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Parfleche is a type of container made from buffalo rawhide that Plains people fashioned into containers and decorated with brightly colored geometrical designs.

A parfleche is a Native American rawhide bag, typically used for holding dried meats and pemmican.

The word was originally used by French fur traders (it was not a word used by the Native Americans). It derives from the French "parer" meaning "parry" or "defend", and "flèche" meaning "arrow", so called because the hide was tough enough to be used as a shield.

The original bags had graphics that were actually maps, general geographical depictions of the surrounding land. The river as a circle of life and mountains were the most common features.[1]

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  1. ^ "Native American and First Nations' GIS" Native Geography, Dec 2000

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