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[pahr-flesh, pahr-flesh] /ˈpɑr flɛʃ, pɑrˈflɛʃ/
a rawhide that has been dried after having been soaked in a solution of lye and water to remove the hair.
an article or object, as a case, pouch, etc., made of such rawhide.
1820-30; < Canadian French parflèche, equivalent to French par(er) to parry (see para-2) + flèche arrow Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for parfleche
  • She can also teach hide-tanning, parfleche, and rawhide painting with natural pigmentation.
  • These vessels use beadwork to illustrate the graphic elements in native parfleche hide painting.
British Dictionary definitions for parfleche


noun (US & Canadian)
a sheet of rawhide that has been dried after soaking in lye and water to remove the hair
an object, such as a case, made of this
Word Origin
C19: from Canadian French, from French parer to ward off, protect + flèche arrow
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Encyclopedia Article for parfleche

tough, folded rawhide carrying bag made by the Plains Indians of North America; more loosely applied, the term also refers to many specialized rawhide articles. The Plains Indians had an abundant source of hides in the buffalo they hunted, but, as they were nomadic, they had little opportunity to tan the skins. Parfleche, or rawhide, was prepared by cleaning and dehairing the skin and then by stretching it and allowing it to dry in the sun. This process created a stiff but durable leather that was used for many items, including bags, thongs, and war shields

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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