Lakota Artist Mitchell Zephier and his Plains Indian Jewelry

Mitchell Charles Zephier

Cétan Ho Wasté (Pretty Voice Hawk)

Four Color Medicine Whee Turtle

Mitchell Zephier grew up on the Cheyenne River and Rosebud Indian reservations. After marrying on Roxanne Apple Rosebud he gave re-birth to Plains Indian Jewelry, particularly Lakota metal adornment. He has mentored over 34 apprentices in the arts of metal-smithing and marketing.

Mitchell Zephier says – “These earrings are miniature shields. The four horses are intended to represent the four horses that the very famous man Black Elk saw in his vision. The four horses came to him from the four directions and symbolized the four directions, the four races, the four seasons and the four Lakota virtues of generosity, bravery, fortitude, and wisdom.”

Mitch collaborates with fellow Lakota artists. Mitch has won numerous awards including first place at Red Earth Show, several awards at the internationally prestigious Sante Fe Indian Market as well as presented his work at far off Native American venues like Schimutzun Celebration in Connecticut. He has also earned the South Dakota Governor’s award.

The four colors of this Medicine Wheel Shield pendant are inlaid with black pipestone, red pipestone, sandstone and alabaster.

Mitch has other forms of artistic expression. His album Cherish the Children won a National Native Music Award for Best Children’s Album. Mitchell Zephier’s latest venture is to team up with fellow artists to explore, on film this time, the issues that affect the lives of Native Young People in Cloud Horse Production’s Lakota 4 Life, a Zephier inspired look at the issues, decisions, responsibilities and opportunities facing Native Youth today.

These earrings are real Buffalo Indian Head Nickels from which the artist has cut away the background leaving the silhouettes.

Other family members and friends that work on the jewelry include his son Wakinyan Luta Zephier , Belle Starboy, Webster Two Hawk Jr., and Roger Dale Herron.

The Number Four – Native American Significance

THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THE NUMBER FOUR

©  2010 Horsekeeping © Copyright Information

The number four is sacred to many Native Americans. There are four sacred mountains, four directions, four colors, four worlds, four sacred plants, and four times of day.

Time and space are defined by the four cardinal light phenomena: Dawn (white, east); Midday (blue, south); Evening Twilight (yellow, west), and Night (black, north).

The four cardinal light phenomena are results of the sun’s apparent daily motion. These phenomena are a composite of the four directions, the four times of day, and the four sacred colors linked with them.

A Navajo thinks of the east, Dawn, and the white color of the sky at the beginning of the day. This is the thinking direction.

At midday, the association is with the south which is usually “horizon blue” or “blue haze” in reference to the band of relatively darker blue that lies on the horizon at midday. This is the planning direction.

Evening twilight is associated with the west and “around the area becomes yellow”. This is the evaluation direction.

Darkness is associated with the north and with the blackness of the night sky. This is the direction of change.