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.

Native American Symbols – The Medicine Wheel

Oglala Lakota Medicine Wheel

Oglala Lakota Medicine Wheel

Native American Symbols – The Medicine Wheel

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The Medicine Wheel, or Circle of Life, is found in many tribes and in many parts of the world, but there are beliefs common to them all. The compass points North, South, East and West give four directions. Mother Earth is below and Father Sky is above, giving six directions. These six directions are also symbolized by animal fetish carvings.

The circle shape represents life. We change like the seasons as we pass through life, traveling through the path of the circle. The center of the circle is the Spirit, from which everything extends and everything returns.

Below are some general beliefs about the colors, animal totems and uses of the medicine wheel. Various tribes have different versions of the medicine wheel as to which color should be located where and what it represents. Every tribe and every person has their own beliefs and you should use what best fits what you believe.

Oglala Lakota Medicine Wheel