- Term applied both to the rawhide and to the container made from it.
The parfleche was the suitcase or trunk of the Plains and Rocky Mountain
tribes. It was made in various sizes from rawhide molded into shape
and lashed together while damp.
Parfleches were used for storing food such
as pemmican, and clothing, and other articles. They were usually
about two feet by three feet in size. Smaller ones, more like large
envelopes were used for paints, mirrors, and personal effects. The
parfleche was painted with a design and sometimes had fringed edges.
The most probable derivation is from the
French par meaning "for," and fleche, meaning "arrow,"
- as Indians often made quivers in the same fashion. Some believe
it came from the French parer, "to ward off," or "parry," and fleche,
"arrow," or a rawhide shield for warding off arrows.
within this Site
and Pouches ][ Paint ][ Pemmican
][ Quiver ][ Rawhide