Identify three arts and crafts from the Mandan,Hidatsa, and Arikara tribes.
Describe parfleche containers; how they are made and decorated and what they are used for.
Construct and decorate a replica parfleche container.
Students will gain hands on experience in making and decorating parfleche containers. The emphasis moves away from abstractl text analysis toward real world application.
Student background information
Directions for parfleche construction and decoration
Sacred Beauty, Quillwork of Plains Women Me Ecci Aashi Awadi (Trunk Item)
Background reading about arts, crafts, clothing and appearance. Download
Box Parfleche Instructions Download
Instructions to make an envelope parfleche Download
Envelope Parfleche Instructions for students Download
Folded Parfleche Instructions Download
Tube Shaped Parfleche Instructions Download
Envelope Parfleche Pattern Download
Folded Parfleche Pattern Download
Box Parfleche Pattern Download
Tube Shaped Parfleche Pattern Download
Ask students to read the provided background material and answer the following question in their journal.
What are parfleche containers, and how are they made and decorated, and what are they used for?
Inform the students that many of indigenous designs are geometric or represent nature through flowers or animals. Although plains tribes had similar designs, some designs were specific to individuals and families; they were expressions of their individuality and interpretation of beauty.
Tell students that today you will create a design to draw that best represents you. Things for students to think about include: What is something that means a lot to you? What is something in the present time that you find pleasing to look at?
Have students design or draw their personal design using whatever medium you choose and have them explain why it is their design.
Students will choose a parfleche pattern and instructions to create their own replica parfleche container.
Students will be able to describe their personal design.
Students will have a model parfleche completed and be able to explain how it was made and decorated along with how it was used.
Many arts and crafts of the Hidatsa served a utilitarian purpose such as parfleches, which were multipurpose cases made of rawhide, and burdon baskets that could carry large amounts of much needed items like vegetables. While they were often highly decorated, these were necessary adaptations and solutions to living in the environmental conditions of the Northern Prairies at the Knife River Villages.
Look at the displays at Knife Riverand chose a specific piece. Take notes describing it in detail. You may sketch it if it will help you. Draw designs and indicate colors. What is the use for the item? Is the medium beadwork, quillwork, paint, tanned leather, other, or a combination? What interested you to choose this piece and how do you think and/or feel when you look at it?
Choose an art project from the following and make it.
Burden Basket ("Way to Independence"pg. 34) Make one out of sticks and construction paper.
Parfleche. Use paper and colored pencils, crayons, markers or paint to decorate.