Umbilical Cord Case
4" x 2"
Girls umbilical cord case beaded in 13/0 Czech glass beads in pink, white, cut navy, cut yellow, turquoise green on buckskin with navy and yellow tile beads, pink pony beads, and bells.
These cases were, and still are used by traditional families among many of the Plains Tribes including the Lakota, Cheyenne, Arapaho, Kiowa, and Blackfeet. I'm not sure of other tribes from different areas of the country that use these. My family and others here still use these so I make them. Basically I tell my nieces, or whomever, to save a good piece of the umbilical cord after the birth, put it in a bag and freeze it. The steps that I take are as follows: I take it, take a piece of cardboard spiral it around, pin it with a straight pin, put it in a dehydrator, and let it dry and shrink. Then when I make the case we use turtles for girls and lizards for boys. I stuff them with animal hair or buffalo wool except for the center. I tell them to put in the cord with sage or whatever personal medicine they want then sew it shut.
All of these are left open for you to put the cord and medicine in with sinew to finish sewing.