This purse combines both art with fashion. It was made using the traditional materials and methods of the Native American's but in the contemporary form and style of a modern purse. The purse is made from Elk parfleche that was brain tanned using the same methods as the Native Americans. It is softer than rawhide, but not as soft as fully tanned leather. It was painted with earth pigments mixed with hide glue and applied with sharpened sticks and buffalo rib bone brushes. The paint is sealed with prickly pear cactus juice.
The fringe flap, strap, and lace are all brain tanned deer skin. Antique trade beads are sewn with real elk sinew on the flap. The fringe on the flap is wrapped with dyed porcupine quills.
The holes for stitching were burned in with a hot nail to prevent them from tearing out. The closure uses a deer antler tip button. The strap is 21“ and the dimensions of this purse are 9”x7”x1”.
Handmade Elk parfleche is only available today in very limited quantities. This is a one of a kind piece and is signed by the artist Keri DeWitt.
Check out my blog at Keri DeWitt Designs and Wind River Trading Company Face Book for more information.