Historic Parfleche Box, c. 1920 Sioux Nation hide, pigment
5.5” high x 8.5” long x 4.5” deep
Parfleche have historically been used to contain items such household tools or foods. In contemporary usage, they may carry social, spiritual, and symbolic meaning, or be part of dance or parade regalia. Usually decorated with a distinctive style of graphic artwork, they often symbolizing landscape features such as rivers and mountains.Historically women were the main creators of parfleche,first painting stretched-out raw hides, then shaping them into their final form. In the 21st century, both women and men make them.