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Parfleche: Gallery Label - Current


Minneapolis Institute of Arts



Institution Minneapolis Institute of Arts
It is unusual for pictorial decoration to appear on rawhide containers; only a few exist that were created in later years. This object shows a chokecherry leaf and berry indicating that the container was possibly used for gathering chokecherries, an important ingredient for preparing food among Plains Indian cultures. The berry was often used in pemmican, a mixture of dried meat, berries, and fat that was easily stored and transported; it provided a significant amount of nutrition for Plains people, particularly in the winter months. In addition, women of some tribes used chokecherry juice to size their rawhide containers, which protected the rawhide from wear and exposure to the elements. The painted design therefore reflects the container's function as well as the elements that went into its creation.
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Type: Commentary, Gallery Label - Current
Source: Minneapolis Institute of Arts
Rights: Copyright Minneapolis Institute of Arts
Added to Site: November 21, 2009