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Parfleche is the French name for the Plains peoples’ hoemskot ‘eo—an

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Parfleche is the French name for the Plains peoples’ hoemskot ‘eo—an  [#permalink]

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New post Updated on: 22 Nov 2018, 04:25
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Parfleche is the French name for the Plains peoples’ hoemskot ‘eo—an envelopeshaped rawhide container for storing clothes, food, and personal items. The parfleche served not only as a practical and durable storage solution, but also as a decorative object of spiritual significance. Among certain tribes, most notably the Cheyenne and Arapaho, parfleches were decorated by the women’s painting society, whose members among the Cheyenne were known as moneneheo, the Selected Ones. Although similar in their economic and social importance to craftsmen’s guilds in medieval and Renaissance Western Europe, the painting society also had a spiritual or religious nature. The shamanistic society required application for admission and held its members to high artistic and moral standards. The society further displayed its importance by defining aspects of Cheyenne wealth and status.

Painting on rawhide was fraught with challenges. If painting was attempted while the prepared hide was too moist, the applied paint bled, but if the hide was too dry, the skin did not absorb the pigments. This restricted the time frame in which painting could best be completed, which meant that designs had to be visualizedfully before the work started. Moreover, every aspect of creating a parfleche was a sacred act. Each design element, for instance, was a syntagma—a linguistic or visual unit intended to convey meaning—freighted with symbolic referents. For example, diamond shapes represented the ha ‘kot, the grasshopper, an abundant grass eater itself symbolic of the bison, the sacred source of food, shelter, tools, and clothing. The tools used were also symbolic: The shape of the “flesher” used to prepare the hide represented lightning bolts—emblematic of the masculine essence of spirit. The flesher removed the flesh from the hide, transforming it into a spiritual container that would hold earthly matter (the people’s material goods).

Even the position of the parfleche in the lodge held symbolic significance. It was stored beneath the bed of older women, not only because they were careful guardians, but also because they were closer to Grandmother Earth, from whose union with the lightning spirit the animals and plants of the middle world came to provide food and shelter. The symbolism of every aspect of the parfleche, therefore, from the interpretable design work on its outside to its storage place within the lodge, reflects the Cheyenne belief in a complementary worldview: the blending of the masculine spirit and the feminine physical matter.
Q1). According to the passage, one reason why there was a limited time frame in which to paint a prepared rawhide was that
A) the pigments dried quickly and thus had to be applied with speed to avoidcracking.
B) if the hide was too dry, it absorbed too much paint.
C) if the hide was too moist, it rejected the pigments.
D) the designs had to be fully visualized before painting was started.
E) if the hide was too moist, the paint bled.

Q2). The main purpose of the passage is to
A) describe a tool used among Native Americans when working with rawhide.
B) rebut a commonly held view about the symbolism of the parfleche for the Plains peoples.
C) analyze the societies of the Cheyenne and Arapaho people.
D) propose a new method for analyzing the use of symbolism in Native American art.
E) discuss the spiritual and symbolic importance of a rawhide container and its decorations to several Plains tribes.

Q3). According to the author, the Cheyenne women’s painting society was unlike Western European guilds of the Middle Ages and the Renaissance in that
A) application for membership was required.
B) the group had significant economic standing in the community.
C) the group had significant social standing in the community.
D) the women’s painting society was religious in nature.
E) the society had an influence on social standing and material valuation.

Q4). You can most reasonably conclude that the Cheyenne definition of the term moneneheo reflects
A) the high status some women enjoyed as artists in Cheyenne culture.
B) the shamanistic spiritual origins of the women’s painting society.
C) the notion that artists were chosen by the gods to perform their tasks.
D) the self-restrictive nature of the women’s painting society.
E) a woman’s skill in using rawhide tools such as the “flesher.”

Q5). The author describes the symbolic meanings of the diamond shape most likely in order to
A) indicate how precious the completed parfleche was to its owner.
B) prove that the grasshopper was superior to the bison in Cheyenne religion.
C) illustrate the visual complexity of the abstract forms used in creating a parfleche.
D) provide an example of the many layers of symbolism involved in creating a parfleche.
E) demonstrate the relationship between the symbolic shapes of the tools and the abstract designs used in creating a parfleche.


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Originally posted by GmatWizard on 20 Nov 2018, 20:52.
Last edited by GmatWizard on 22 Nov 2018, 04:25, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Parfleche is the French name for the Plains peoples’ hoemskot ‘eo—an  [#permalink]

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New post 20 Nov 2018, 20:56

Analysis


The topic, the parfleche, is addressed and defined in the first sentence.
The “not only . . . but also” structure indicates that the author will focus on the spiritual significance of the
parfleche.
Another contrast: The group that made parfleche was economic/social “but also” spiritual/religious.
Making of parfleche: difficult; highly symbolic; even tools symbolic
Parfleche kept by mature women (considered spiritual people). Conclusion: parfleche reflects masculine/feminine blend.

Passage Map


¶1: Intro to the parfleche and the people who created it
¶2: The process and symbolism involved in making the parfleche
¶3: The parfleche as a symbol of the Cheyenne worldview
Topic: The parfleche
Scope: The spiritual significance of the production, decoration, and use of the parfleche
Purpose: To explain the cultural and spiritual significance of the parfleche to the Plains peoples
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Re: Parfleche is the French name for the Plains peoples’ hoemskot ‘eo—an  [#permalink]

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New post 23 Nov 2018, 03:26

Official Answers and Explanations

Q!). (E)
According to the passage, one reason why there was a limited time frame in which to paint a prepared rawhide was that
○○ the pigments dried quickly and thus had to be applied with speed to avoid cracking.
○○ if the hide was too dry, it absorbed too much paint.
○○ if the hide was too moist, it rejected the pigments.
○○ the designs had to be fully visualized before painting was started.
○○ if the hide was too moist, the paint bled.
Step 2: Analyze the Question Stem
The phrase “According to the passage . . . ” indicates that this is a Detail question. The stem gives us a clear reference for our research: “limited time frame in which to paint a prepared rawhide.”
Step 3: Research the Relevant Text
Using our Passage Map, we can refer to the second sentence of the second paragraph, where the author was discussing the difficulties in creating the parfleche.
Step 4: Make a Prediction
The second sentence of paragraph 2 provides everything we need for a prediction of the correct answer: “If painting was attempted while the prepared hide was too moist, the applied paint bled,
but if the hide was too dry, the skin did not absorb the pigments.”
Step 5: Evaluate the Answer Choices
(E) agrees perfectly with the first half of this statement. (A) is unsupported by the passage. (B) and
(C) are both 180 wrong answer traps, since the sentence actually said that when the hides are too dry, they would not absorb paint. (D) is a distortion; it reverses the cause-and-effect relationship
described in the passage. The reason that the designs had to be visualized in advance was the limited time during which the hides could be painted, not the other way around. Choice (E) is the correct answer.

Q2). (E)
The main purpose of the passage is to
○○ describe a tool used among Native Americans when working with rawhide.
○○ rebut a commonly held view about the symbolism of the parfleche for the Plains peoples.
○○ analyze the societies of the Cheyenne and Arapaho people.
○○ propose a new method for analyzing the use of symbolism in Native American art.
○○ discuss the spiritual and symbolic importance of a rawhide container and its decorations to several Plains tribes.
Step 2: Analyze the Question Stem
The wording here—“main purpose of the passage”—makes this one of the most common Global question stems that appear on the GMAT.
Step 3: Research the Relevant Text
Since we paraphrased the author’s purpose while creating our Passage Map, we can simply refer to that; there is no need to go back to the passage itself.
Step 4: Make a Prediction
The Passage Map tells us that the author wrote this passage to explain the parfleche and its “spiritual significance” to certain Indian tribes.
Step 5: Evaluate the Answer Choices
(E) best summarizes this and properly reflects the author’s tone. Notice that (E) doesn’t use the word “parfleche” but rather its definition. Looking for the right words in Reading Comp answer
choices is misguided; always look for the answer choice that matches the meaning or idea that you’ve predicted. (A) is too narrow in scope; it reflects only one detail from the text instead of the
passage as a whole. (C) is too broad in scope; our author is focused on one aspect of Cheyenne culture. (B) and (D) are not correct because the author of this passage does not take a stand on or
disagree with anyone about the symbolism of the parfleche or the methods used for studying it.
Choice (E) is the correct answer.

Q3). (D)
According to the author, the Cheyenne women’s painting society was unlike Western European guilds of the Middle Ages and the Renaissance in that
○○ application for membership was required.
○○ the group had significant economic standing in the community.
○○ the group had significant social standing in the community.
○○ the women’s painting society was religious in nature.
○○ the society had an influence on social standing and material valuation.
Step 2: Analyze the Question Stem
This is another Detail question, again with a clear reference point for research during the upcoming
Step 3. Here, we are asked what, in the author’s words, distinguished the Cheyenne women’s society that made the parfleche from medieval guilds.
Step 3: Research the Relevant Text
As expected, the contrast is highlighted for us by a keyword—in this case “Although”—in the passage.
The Cheyenne group was similar to guilds in economic and social importance, but different because the Cheyenne painters’ group was “spiritual or religious.”
Step 4: Make a Prediction
The correct answer will highlight the Cheyenne groups’ spiritual side.
Step 5: Evaluate the Answer Choices
Thus, (D) is the correct answer choice. (A) is outside the scope of this passage, since while we know that the women’s painting society required application for membership, we do not know that the
guilds were any different in their requirements. (B), (C), and (E) all describe ways in which the women’s painting society was similar to the Western European guilds. Choice (D) is correct.

Q4). (A)
You can most reasonably conclude that the Cheyenne definition of the term moneneheo (line 6) reflects
○○ the high status some women enjoyed as artists in Cheyenne culture.
○○ the shamanistic spiritual origins of the women’s painting society.
○○ the notion that artists were chosen by the gods to perform their tasks.
○○ the self-restrictive nature of the women’s painting society.
○○ a woman’s skill in using rawhide tools such as the “flesher.”
Step 2: Analyze the Question Stem
The wording of this question stem is a bit unusual, but a moment’s reflection tells us that this is an Inference question. Inference questions ask what must be true based on the passage. In this case,
the passage gives us information indicating why the Cheyenne would refer to the women’s painting society members as moneneheo. The question simply wants us to paraphrase that information
accurately.
Step 3: Research the Relevant Text
The question stem refers to the word moneneheo in the line 6, where the author tells us that it refers to the members of the women’s painting society and translates as “the Selected Ones.” The
author goes on to explain the society’s high importance and the “high artistic and moral standards” required for admission and membership.
Step 4: Make a Prediction
Predicting an answer to the question, we would say that the Cheyenne term reflects respect for the society member’s status, talent, importance, etc. Remember, we aren’t trying to predict the words
of the answer but, rather, its meaning.
Step 5: Evaluate the Answer Choices
Choice (A), with its emphasis on status, matches our prediction nicely. Although we are told that the moneneheo is a shamanistic organization, we learn nothing about its origins, so (B) is out of
scope. Choice (C) requires a leap from the use of “selected” to the notion that the gods do the selecting. Nothing the author writes supports this leap. The author mentions no sense in which the term moneneheo refers to anything “self-restrictive” on the part of the women’s painting society; (D) is out of scope. The author draws no association between the term and the skinning tool or “flesher”
(which is, in any case, not mentioned until the end of paragraph 2); thus, (E) is also out of scope.
Choice (A) is correct.

Q5). (D)
The author describes the symbolic meanings of the diamond shape most likely in order to
○○ indicate how precious the completed parfleche was to its owner.
○○ prove that the grasshopper was superior to the bison in Cheyenne religion.
○○ illustrate the visual complexity of the abstract forms used in creating a parfleche.
○○ provide an example of the many layers of symbolism involved in creating a parfleche.
○○ demonstrate the relationship between the symbolic shapes of the tools and the abstract designs used in creating a parfleche.
Step 2: Analyze the Question Stem
This is an archetypal GMAT Logic question. We are referred to a detail—here, the “diamond shape”— and asked why the author includes it in the passage. Notice that the wording of the question, ending with “in order to . . .” means that the answer choices must begin with verbs.
Step 3: Research the Relevant Text
The diamond shape was among the symbols mentioned in the second paragraph. It is located in a sentence that begins with the illustration keywords “For example.” The sentence goes on to tell us
that the diamond represents the grasshopper, which in turn represents the bison, which in turn is sacred, and so on.
Step 4: Make a Prediction
Our research tells us that this answer must begin with a verb meaning “illustrate” or “give an example of” and continue by saying something about the symbolic meanings of the parfleche.
Step 5: Evaluate the Answer Choices
Choice (D) matches the prediction and is correct. Given the verbs that begin each answer choice, only (C) and (D) are really in the running. (C) distorts the purpose of the diamond-shape example
beyond what we read in the passage. Closer reading shows answers (A), (B), and (E), already suspect for having the wrong purpose verbs, to be even worse. (A) addresses the value of the parfleche
to its owner, a topic touched on nowhere in the passage. (B) suggests an unsupported, and rather ridiculous, comparison between the grasshopper and bison as characterized in Cheyenne culture.
(E) tries to apply the diamond-shape example to the tool-use example that comes later in the paragraph.
(D) is the correct answer.

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Re: Parfleche is the French name for the Plains peoples’ hoemskot ‘eo—an &nbs [#permalink] 23 Nov 2018, 03:26
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