25″ x 30″
Painted on deer hide after a parleche design from 1850’s with earth pigments
1850 Crow Parfleche design.
Parfleche – containers of folded or sewn rawhide elaborated with painted designs on the exposed surfaces – were used by the American Indian throughout parts of North America between the eighteenth and early twentieth centuries. They provided for the transportation of each family’s food, and material possessions. Parfleche was also used to carry sacred objects.
This painting was patterned after an 1850’s design used by women of the Crow Nation. Earth pigments from South Dakota were mixed with a sizing of rabbit skin glue in order to adhere to the rawhide. I soaked the hide in water and then stretched it onto stretcher bars using staples as one would with canvas. Big mistake. Three months from finishing this painting the stretched hide with the changes in atmosphere bust from the stretcher bars! After shedding some tears I re-stretched it this time using deer hide lace and masonite board on the back of the stretcher bars and this held the hide and allowed it to shrink and stretch like a drum would.