The Perfect Parfleche

What is a parfleche?

  • A parfleche is a Native American bag or pouch usually made from dried, stretched, buffalo hide.
  • It held dried meat (pemmican), nuts, medical herbs, and small treasures.
  • The original bags were decorated with symbolic maps of the surrounding areas, often depicting important rivers and mountains.
  • They were later painted in bright, geometric designs, probably to distinguish the owners.

parfleche

  • Flat parfleches were around 2′ x 3′ in size, and they folded over like an envelope that was tied together with hide laces.  They were perfect for carrying on the side of a horse.
  • The Sioux also made larger raw-hide boxes and tubes.  These were used as suitcases for storing and transporting headdresses, feathers, clothing and moccasins.

 

Sources:

Encyclopedia of Britannica, “Parfleche: American Indian Art” at https://www.britannica.com/art/parfleche

Wikipedia, “Parfleche” at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parfleche

State Historical Society of North Dakota, “Parfleche” at http://history.nd.gov/activities/parfleche.pdf

 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s