Object photography

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Object description

  • Niuam (Comanche) artist
  • Parfleche, about 1830
  • Buffalo rawhide, pigment, native-tanned leather
  • Southern Plains, United States
  • H: 26 in, W: 20 in (H: 66.0 cm, W: 50.8 cm)
  • Gift of the Smithsonian Institution, 1884
  • E3780
  • Folded, decorated bag made from buffalo rawhide
  • Used for carrying dried meats or personal belongings

This parfleche, a tough rawhide bag, was probably carried by a man on horseback between hunting and seasonal camps. Derived from the French, parfleche means "deflects arrow." This pouch, with its painted geometric designs and fringes, displayed Comanche style and identity.