Definition of parfleche in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈpärfleSH/ /pärˈfleSH/


1(In American Indian culture) a hide, especially a buffalo’s hide, dried by being stretched on a frame after the hair has been removed.
Example sentences
  • These were called parfleches, and they became the wrappers for the compressed dried meat that was put up in bales weighing from ‘thirty to forty-five and fifty pounds each’ ready for transport on packhorses.
  • Using a plastic tapestry needle as a substitute for a bone needle, the sides of the parfleche were stitched with raffia using any number of stitching techniques.
  • The parfleche was selected as a suitable article to study.
1.1An article, especially a bag, made from this.
Example sentences
  • The mauls may have been used to smash bison bone for making bone grease and, in combination with the stone slabs, for reducing dried meat to powder to pack into rawhide parfleches.
  • The same wear occurs on the blades, and we suggest that the blades were used to cut dry bison hide, possibly to manufacture parfleches, thongs, and other items.
  • The meat of buffalo and deer was a source of food, while the hides provided rawhide and buckskins for teepee covers, blankets, clothes and parfleches.


From Canadian French parflèche, from French parer 'ward off' + flèche 'arrow'.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: par·fleche

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