Zephier - Lakota
Paula says - "These Four Color Medicine Wheel Turtle earrings are inlaid with the four sacred colors using red pipestone, yellow sandstone, white alabaster and black pipestone."
Dime in photo above shows scale of turtles.
Mitchell Charles Zephier
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.
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.
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.
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.
TURTLE - The turtle (KEYA) in Lakota culture is the guardian of life, patron of healing and controlled accidents. The turtle is wise and hears many things and does not tell anything. Its skin is like a shield so that arrows cannot wound it. The turtle is fierce in its attack on others. In legend KEYA allies himself with the thunderbeings in order to destroy the bad spirits that lurk in the water.
FOUR COLORS - The four colors symbolize the four directions, the four races, the four seasons and the four Lakota virtues of generosity, bravery, fortitude, and wisdom.
MEDICINE WHEEL - The Medicine Wheel is an integral part of American Indian Spirituality. It is based on the four cardinal directions and the four sacred colors. The circle represents life and the four colors symbolize the four directions, the four races, the four seasons and the four Lakota virtues of generosity, bravery, fortitude, and wisdom. At the center of the circle is the eternal fire from which everything originates and everything returns.. Read more about Four Colors Medicine Wheel.