When the plains Indians were moving from place to place, they carried their clothing, valuables, tools, etc. in a par fleche, which was made from dried buffalo hide and decorated with brightly colored geometric designs.Â The parfleche was used by the Indian as we would use a suitcase.
Â A great informational handout on the Plains Indian Parfleche can be found at http://history.nd.gov/activities/parfleche.pdf .Â You can print off the two sheets which give information about the parfleche and directions on how to make one from felt and using acrylic or tempera paints. Â Instead of the felt, we used brown grocery bag paper as the rawhide and colored our geometric designs with markers. Â Â We used the measurements and the cutting directions from the handout.
Supplies we used:
- Brown grocery bag (cut to lay flat)
- Pencil and eraser
- Colored markers
- Black Sharpie
- White-Out (correction fluid)
- Paper punch
- 18â€ Heavy string or cord
- Colored pony beads
- Â Run off a copy or copies of the handout for the parfleche measurements and folding instructions.
- Draw geometric designs down the center of the parfleche and color with the markers.
- For small areas that are to be white, use the correction fluid.Â Outline the designs with a black Sharpie.
- With the paper punch, make two holes at each end.
- Lace the cord through the holes and tie to hold the parfleche closed.Â Thread colored pony beads on the cord and knot the ends.
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