Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Answer 8-156

Last Friday's Whatzit was correctly identified by Allyson! It is a parfleche.

Parfleche, 8-156

Parfleches were used to carry many things including foodstuffs and clothing. They are often decorated in bright colors and the designs are sometimes maps (according to one online source I read). I think of parfleches as the pre-runner to backpacks and suitcases. I'm not sure how apt that analogy is, but these objects certainly seem to be useful.

The parfleche is made of leather or hide which has long since stiffened and dried out, making it impossible to unfold it and use it as it was originally intended without causing significant and irreversible damage to it.

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