“Between Worlds” Beaded Parfleche Vessel

Teri Greeves, Kiowa people

2016

This vessel is inspired by a traditional Kiowa parfleche, a type of container made from rawhide (deerskin that has not been tanned, and is stiff). There are several traditional parfleches in the Museum collection, but they are in the form of flat, rectangular containers, like an envelope, and the Kiowa traditional form is cylindrical. 


 


Greeves, who learned beadwork from her mother, has adorned her parfleche container with beaded images from Kiowa mythology and symbols relating to her own ancestors.  One myth tells the story of a woman who married the sun but missed her people and let herself down from the heavens by a rope. She did not survive the journey, but she left her son, who was half human and half divine, to lead the Kiowa people.