Elk Fetish Carving
By Lakota artist, Delbert Charging-Crow
1.75" long by 1.35" high
Delbert Charging-Crow is Oglala Lakota Sioux, and grew up on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in Wanblee, South Dakota. Delbert learned traditional Lakota ways from elders such as Frank Fools Crow, Selo Black Crow, Leonard Crow Dog, Sam Moves Camp, and others. Delbert is a stone carver, and his Medicine is with the Stone People. His carvings are deeply valued not only for their inventiveness and artistry, but also for their spiritual, protective, and healing powers.
This elk fetish is carved from pipestone, which is sacred to the plains tribes and represents the blood of the ancestors. According to Delbert, within the Lakota tradition, Elk medicine inspires the people you love to love you back; it makes you successful in the hunt (or in the way you provide for yourself and others); it helps you accomplish your goals; it teaches you to be gentle with yourself and others; it helps you be strong, steadfast, mindful, and compassionate in your relationships; and it helps you to recognize and respond to the beauty in the world.
What is a Fetish?
A fetish is a spiritual piece. It is alive. It could be called a totem, spirit guide, or effigy. The stone people hold animal spirits within them, as does fire and air, so as the water and the plants; we are all related and braided together. All these things, these elements and spirits, they seek to help us two-legged people. They love us. We are surrounded and loved. We are never alone. Help and health are out there for each one of us. We must seek for it. Then we must nurture the relationships we find ourselves in. Mitakuye Oyasin (Lakota for “We are all related.)”