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Take and Make: Create Your Own Parfleche Bag!

Take and Make: Create Your Own Parfleche Bag!
  • Type: Hands-on Activity
  • Collection: Native American Art
  • Culture/Region: America
  • Subject Area: Fine Arts
  • Grade Level: K-12

A parfleche bag is used to hold items like hunting supplies or personal valuables and is typically made from a rawhide and adorned with different pigmented symbolic designs. The parfleche, (French for “to turn away arrows”) pictured here was created by the Yakama people who live along the Columbia River and on the Columbian Plateau in Central Washington State and was constructed from tough buffalo rawhide. Create your own Parfleche inspired travel bag, adorned with different patterns and colors that best represent you and your community!


  • Parfleche bag template
  • Markers
  • Hole punch and scissors
  • Beads, leather cord, or string
  • Scrap paper and glue


  1. Download the Parfleche bag template.
  2. Punch holes in the two designated circles on the front flap.
  3. Fold flaps “1” and “2” towards the center and overlapping each other on the horizontal dotted lines.
  4. Fold flaps “3” and “4” towards the center on the corresponding vertical lines.
  5. Re-punch the holes in the folded flaps.
  6. Place a piece of leather cord or string through the holes and tie your parfleche travel bag shut. Add beads to the strings
  7. Use paper scraps and markers to decorate the outside of your parfleche bag.
  8. Punch holes around the edges of the bag and tie on leather cords and beads, if desired.
  9. Unfold your bag and place some special items in your bag to trade or take with you on your journey!

Download the Parfleche bag template:

Download File

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