Title: Parfleche
Date: c.1880
Culture: Transmontane
Culture: or Western Plateau
Medium: rawhide, leather, and pigment
28 1/4 x 15 1/2 x 4 1/2 in. (71.8 x 39.4 x 11.4 cm)
Credit Line: The Donald Danforth Jr. Collection, Gift of Mrs. Donald Danforth Jr.
Object Number: 107:2010
Place made: United States
Current Location: On View, Gallery 322
Parfleches are durable, waterproof rawhide containers that store food, clothes, and personal and ceremonial items. They are created entirely by women, who stretch and clean the hide, paint the patterns, and fold the decorated hide into shapes. The artist who created this parfleche composed a dramatic design using only four colors and a few basic shapes. Notice the interplay between the vibrant reds and yellows that contrast with the more subtle blues and greens. This parfleche is notable for its great scale and for the large unpainted areas that balance the active composition. Plains women did not draw their patterns on parfleche hides in advance, but instead visualized the entire scheme prior to painting, making the power of this design most remarkable.
Exhibition History
Title: Plains Indian Artwork from the Donald Danforth Jr. Collection (2009)
Date: February 27 – October 25, 2009
Venue: Saint Louis Art Museum
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