Plains Indians Parfleches

Plains Indians fashioned rawhide containers for the storage of various kinds of goods. The word "parfleche" was adapted from the early French fur traders. It refers to the untanned hide used to make to make shields, shields used to turn away (pare) arrows (fleches). In time, the term came to refer to these distinctive rawhide containers and envelopes.
The most common parfleche used to store pemmican has the shape of a double-folded envelope, there were also boxes, pouches and cylindrical parfleches. Parfleches were well decorated by native women. Their designs contributed heavily to the genesis of the various tribal styles of bead embroidery that emerged on the Plains during the 19th century. Parfleches were mostly made of elk and horse rawhides. The parfleches shown on this page are made of wapiti rawhide, decorated with natural pigment paintings..
Old Crow Parfleche Old Crow Parfleche
Classic, old, shaped buffalo rawhide case with traditional mineral painted geometric designs, circa 1900.
Very good condition, good patina, 74 x 33 cm.

ATC25 - Crow Parfleche... [More Information]

Old Crow Parfleche Old Crow Parfleche
Very old and well used 19th Century Crow buffalo parfleche. museum quality, approx. 74 x 38 cm.
ATC59 - Crow Parfleche... [More Information]

Old Nez-Perce Parfleche
Nez-Perce Parfleche (Private Collection)

Assiniboine Tipis
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