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A Tribute to the Late Melvin Miner

December, 2010


Melvin Miner, a dedicated artist, craftsman, and our dear friend, died on Wednesday in Rapid City due to complications from a heart attack. He was 54.

An enrolled member of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe, Melvin was a versatile artist best known for his traditional weaponry - lances, spears, war axes, and clubs - as well as painted buffalo robes, dance sticks, staffs, shields, and rattles.

His meticulous attention to detail and superior craftsmanship, coupled with his deep devotion to traditional Lakota beliefs earned him a reputation as a prominent figure among art collectors, fellow artists, and his friends here at Prairie Edge.

Melvin Miner was born in Igloo, SD on August 4, 1956. He attended the University of South Dakota where he specialized in Indian Studies. In his early 20s, he was encouraged to pursue his artistic aspirations by celebrated artist Charles Fast Horse and the late artist and spiritual leader Sydney Keith - he credited these two outstanding leaders for inspiring him to create in the traditional Lakota way.

Melvin was always the teacher to the children, always a true spokesman for Lakota culture and honor and maybe most of all, always a great friend for all of those who were fortunate enough to have the opportunity to work with and to know Melvin Miner. To say Melvin will only be missed is beyond an understatement!

Mitakuye oyasin.
Toksa, Melvin.

Prairie Edge | 606 Main St | Rapid City | SD | 57701