Nidichi Indian Rifle

With the westward expansion of the new settlers, treaties of trade and peace were arranged for safe passage through Indian lands. As a token of high esteem, many times an ornate rifle would be presented to the chief of the tribe. The rifle was considered powerful medicine, being capable of both sustaining life by making meat or taking life by making war. To receive an embellished rifle was a great honor and the rifle was highly prized by its owner.

Rifles were also captured from the soldiers by the Indians and put into Indian service. While some of those captured guns were also decorated and tacked, it was the ornate rifles - the presentation guns - that were most prized. Sadly, few Indian guns have survived the ravages of time.

Today, Nidichi perpetuates the mystique and Indian gun saga in an art form that few others have mastered. Nidichi enjoys mixed medium sculpture and his Indian rifles are fine examples of his talent of blending metal and fine wood into extraordinary art. 

Each Nidichi Indian Rifle is hand-crafted of the materials and in the same manner as the rifles of the 19th century. However, Nidichi makes it very clear that he is not attempting to copy any specific rifle from history and deplores efforts to fake original artifacts. In fact, it is his pet saying that, No sacred grounds or objects were molested in the creation of his “art-ifacts”.

It is his method to create an original design that honors the past but one that could never be mistaken for and sold as an historic piece. To that end, he utilizes a rare and unique firearm design known as an underhammer rifle. Within that basic form he melds beautiful walnut, steel, and an octagon barrel with tasteful embellishment to create an authentic one-of-a-kind rifle that would be prized by the greatest of chiefs or the fussiest of collectors.

The Spirit of the Rifle is depicted on the right side of the buttstock.

The rifle featured here lacks the adornment which is typical of Nidichi Indian guns. However, this piece is what was commissioned as a presentation to a tribal judge of the Nez Perce Nation. In addition to the traditional brass tacks, Nidichi employs graphic inlays in the walnut stock which depict the Spirit of the Hunt and the Spirit of the Rifle. 

The rifle was blessed, as is typical of all Nidichi art and contains a prayer written on a piece of elk hide which is hidden within a secret compartment in the stock of the rifle. The prayer asks the blessing of the Great Spirit upon the one who uses the rifle to make meat in reverence of all life, as it is intended to be an implement for sustaining life and not for the making of war.

The Spirit of the Hunt is depicted on the left side of the buttstock.

Most Nidichi Indian Rifles are very ornate as depicted by this 
outstanding example of Nidichi's unique gunmaking skill. 
Clicking on the photo will enlarge it for better viewing of the detail.

Nidichi's "basic" Indian guns as seen above command $5000. Due to various state and local regulations, Nidichi will craft his rifles to be non-firing curios or fully functional rifles according to the wishes of the client. Included with each rifle is a beautifully-crafted soft case of long-fringed elk hide. Please contact us at: for more information about Nidichi's Indian Rifles.

Clicking on the photos will enlarge them for closer viewing. Clicking the white X in the upper right corner of the frame will return you to the text.


New work from Nidichi

Nidichi is most known for his multi-medium sculpture as displayed below on this site. Unknown to most is his talent as a photographic artist who still "burns film." He claims that digital photography is useful and he's not against its use. As a matter of fact, he said that he carries a pocket digital camera for the convenience of capturing images that may later serve as inspiration for another mode of expression.

Recently Nidichi has shared some of his photo art and it becomes apparent that the desert serves as much of his inspiration as well as his subject.

Nidichi's photography as seen below is available as limited edition prints for purchase. Please contact us via our e-mail link below to discuss the details of your interest including photo subject and size.

Clicking on any of the photos will enlarge them for viewing in greater detail. Clicking the White X in the upper right corner will return you to the text.

We hope you enjoy these Nidichi originals.

Cloud Spirits Awakening

Desert Dawn

Evening Cloud Dancers


Burning Sky

 Setting Moon - Rising Sun

For more information regarding Nidichi's photography, please contact us at:

Nidichi Buffalo Lance Point

This deceptively simple Nidichi sculpture features an often overlooked, but basic tool of the ancient Indian peoples – a lance point. It is loosely suspended by a thin red leather loop from a clear Lucite crane which is set in a desert sandstone base.

This unique piece displays Nidichi’s love of mixed medium presentation. His artful combination of natural, organic and synthetic materials results in an intriguing piece that invites study and invokes deeper thought. Strikingly simple and beautiful, the Buffalo Lance Point is another example of Nidichi's use of significant symbols to convey a message to the Indian people and to the world.

The most unique and outstanding feature of the Nidichi Buffalo Lance Point is, of course, the spearhead itself. Nidichi provides a modern example of the essential flint-knapping craft of the ancients, here in the form of a buffalo lance point, but has rendered it for us in an exotic steel of his own formulation. It is said that his alloy of steel contains meteoric iron which imparts unique and even mystical qualities to the steel. It is so hard that when tapped by a solid object the steel point rings like a high-pitched tuning fork!

By clicking on the images for a closer view, the basic chipped flint effect of the 5 1/2-inch lance point is clearly visible. Like his pipe tomahawks, Nidichi employed his skill in the application of intense heat to color-finish the steel of the lance point. This process, called "fire-blue" involves a time consuming application of heat selectively applied to the surface of the metal to achieve the colors we find in this specimen. The combination of colors can range from golden straw with shades of peacock, cobalt blue, and even lavender which suggest the point is crafted of rainbow obsidian rather than an exotic steel.

According to Nidichi, this “ferro-lithic” point symbolizes the vast history and culture that is the Indian people. From ancient times of Stone Age technology to modern times of iPod music, the Indian people have managed to span this great breadth of history and have survived virtually intact as a society of people. 

The body of knowledge is heavy and is loosely suspended by nothing more than a thin loop of red leather – the Indian people themselves. They are the only link between the ancient and the modern. They will determine whether Indian culture will survive into the future or simply be lost in history.

Nidichi is concerned that the old ways are being lost or abandoned by a youth that cares little for them - perhaps soon to be forgotten. It is the red loop alone that connects the history and rich pageantry of the past with the modern “plastic” world as Nidichi sees it. But even the plastic world of today rose up from the natural world, here depicted by the sandstone base. According to Nidichi, it is never too late for human beings to reconnect with their natural Source.

This example is one of a limited edition, the first of which was donated to Native American Rights Fund for their annual fund raising auction in August of 2007. The bidding soared to an amazing $500 which set the price for the remainder of the pieces in the collection.

If you wish purchase one of the limited edition Nidichi Buffalo Lance Points, or to commission a piece of Nidichi art, please contact us, the friends of Nidichi, at:


Nidichi Weeping Hearts Pipe

During the westward expansion of the new white settlers, treaties of trade and peace were arranged with the local Indian tribes. As a token of high esteem, many times an ornate pipe tomahawk would be presented to the chief of the tribe. Because tobacco smoking was an essential element of Indian life, the pipe tomahawk was highly treasured by its owner.

Nidichi has chosen to recreate the ornate pipe tomahawks of the past as his reminder of the ways of a lifestyle and culture that are rapidly being lost in history. They are as much a reminder to the Indian peoples as to the rest of the world. This Nidichi Weeping Hearts Pipe is one of his earlier works and is an exclusive piece as Nidichi never duplicates any of his pipes exactly.

One of the most unique and outstanding features of this strikingly beautiful Nidichi pipe is the piercing of the blade with the weeping heart and his use of intense heat to color finish the metal of the head. Some call it fire blue or charcoal blue and it involves a time consuming process to carefully apply the heat selectively to the surface of the metal to juxtapose the colors we find in this specimen.

Clicking on the images will provide a closer view of the details of this piece. Clicking the White X in the upper right corner will return you to the text.

While the dominant color is gold to dark straw, gorgeous displays of indigo and cobalt blue hide in the recesses around the bowl and down the sides of the chevrons at the base of the bowl. Peacock blue, lavender and purple also adorn the top and bottom surfaces as well as the decorative scallops on the edges of the blade.

The haft (shaft) is of select Oregon black walnut which displays a beautiful rippling effect as light plays on the hand-rubbed oil-finished surface and illuminates the curl of the grain structure beneath. The weeping heart motif is carried onto both sides of the haft in the form of inlaid Dutch silver. The wood to metal fit of Nidichi’s inlays and the mouthpiece is perfect with no gaps or any visible securing pins. The metal and wood seem to simply grow together.

Each weeping heart on the haft is pierced by an inlaid black arrow which extends from the Dutch silver mouthpiece almost to the head. So far as we know, this is the only Nidichi piece that bears the weeping heart motif pierced by the black arrow which is symbolic of the deep sorrow he feels for the Indian people. It is said that the black arrow contains powdered black obsidian from the sacred Glass Buttes of central Oregon.

Two additional decorative black inlays finish the top and bottom of the haft between the weeping hearts.

The top portion of the haft, where the head is secured, is a full band of Dutch silver and appears to incorporate a full metal cap piece, while a nicely turned and polished clean-out plug of streaked ebony finishes off the very top, or “eye” of the haft. Hidden away on the lower side of the mouthpiece is the Nidichi “thundercloud” trademark. 

The pipe is supported by clear Lucite pillars secured into a beautiful black walnut base.

It is rumored that the owner of the Weeping Hearts Pipe paid $5000 for it several years ago. That price seems to validate the general consensus that Nidichi art is so unique that collectors will pay dearly to acquire an example.

If you wish to commission a piece of Nidichi art, please contact us, the friends of Nidichi, at:


Nidichi Bear Pipe

Nidichi's modern renditions of the pipe tomahawk are completely handcrafted and each is dedicated to one of the powers of the natural world. This example is dedicated to the great bear which symbolizes the wisdom, strength, and patience of the Indian people. Although simple and beautiful, Nidichi’s Bear Pipe tomahawk is an ironic juxtaposition of the implements of both war (ax) and peace (pipe). It is presented on a simple base of black walnut.

Like his previous pipes, the Bear Pipe also features Nidichi’s almost-trademark feature, a black arrow, inlaid on the haft (shaft) of the pipe which extends from the ebony and Dutch silver mouthpiece forward to the head. It is said that the black arrow inlay contains powdered black obsidian from the sacred Glass Buttes of central Oregon.

On each side of the haft is an inlaid bear, also of Dutch silver. The bear is grounded on a black inlay symbolizing the wisdom of the ancient ones while surrounding the bear is inlaid silver scrollwork suggesting beautiful clouds overhead and Nidichi's indomitable hope for the future.

As is typical of all of Nidichi's work, the wood to metal fit of Nidichi’s inlays and the mouthpiece is perfect with no gaps or any visible securing pins. The metal and wood seem to simply grow together - a hallmark of excellence in the execution of this unique craft.

Impressed into the face of the ax blade is the paw print of the bear displaying the powerful and terrible claws with which Nidichi is obviously fascinated. The edges of the blade are scalloped, also suggestive of claws which frame the impressed paw prints. The acorn-motif pipe bowl is softly patinated in rich russets and dark copper tones while hidden away on the cap-piece is Nidichi's “thundercloud” trademark.
We are told that Nidichi wants each pipe to have a sense and feel of having a history. After having been ceremonially smoked and blessed, each pipe becomes his constant companion and is lightly distressed through normal handling and smoking. After a few weeks of such communion, the spirit of Nidichi is truly captivated in each of his pipes. Only then is he ready to pass the pipe to its new owner. 

Nidichi donated the Bear Pipe to Native American Rights Fund (NARF) for their annual Indian art auction which is held each summer in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Last year's winning bid for the Nidichi Bear Pipe was an impressive $3,200. It was the highest documented price ever paid for a contemporary pipe tomahawk.

Clicking on any image will enlarge it for viewing in greater detail. To return to the text, click the White X at the upper right corner of the screen.

If you wish to commission a piece of Nidichi art, please contact us, the friends of Nidichi, at:


Nidichi - the artist

Although little is known of the intensely private artist, Nidichi, we are learning more about him and his work from close friends of the artist. Those few who really know him say that Nidichi is a spiritualistic thinker who views the world around him from a very different - more universal - perspective than most and connects to it in ways that few can even imagine.

Some believe Nidichi to be a mystic or a shaman. When asked if he is a holy man he thoughtfully responded that "all human beings are holy and they would do well to contemplate that and act accordingly."

When asked why he declines invitations to appear and speak about his work, Nidichi explains that his art is a very personal message to those who find their answer within his artistic expression. He claims that the inspiration and the message given to him comes from the Universe and that he is merely its messenger. 

He points out that throughout history human beings have foolishly aggrandized and even deified the messengers sent to them. However, they soon forget the messages and eventually slip back into the abyss of ignorance. 

This poster announced the annual NARF art auction which prominently lists 
Nidichi as a contributing artist. Clicking on it will enlarge it to view details.

Art is intimately personal 

Nidichi considers art to be a very personal, even intimate, form of communication between the artist and the observer. He explains that there is, initially, a visual attraction between the observer and the art as we study the subject matter, the shapes, perhaps nuances of form, technique or the color pallet chosen by the artist. This takes place on the left-brain intellectual level. Nidichi points out that there is also a communion on a deeper, more subtle, spiritual, or right-brain level that can evoke feelings in the observer which can span the whole gamut of human emotions depending upon who is observing. According to Nidichi, this is why we humans have such an appreciation for and value our art.
He goes on to explain that there is an interaction between the observer and the energies infused into the art piece in the course of its creation by the artist. It is at that level that the art intrigues the mind, speaks to us, moves us, or feeds our soul. It is the artist’s ability to communicate to the observer that subtle, seemingly personal message - the "answer" - as Nidichi puts it, that imparts to art its value. This explains why appreciation of art is such a personal thing, as sometimes the answer is not intended for everyone.

According to Nidichi, it is for that reason and that reason alone that an original piece can command such high esteem and value. It is literally infused with the artist's original thoughts and energies of inspiration, frustration, anger, love, defeat or triumph and it represents the actual manifestation of the very spirit of the artist. Because of this, no machine-made copy of an original work could ever acquire the same value as the original because it lacks the energy and the soul of the artist who created it.

Nidichi feels that even limited edition copies made by the original artist, especially lithographed prints, cannot convey the full spectrum of the artist's energy that is embodied in the original work. They sell for less because they contain less of all that which is the artist.

However, Nidichi is quick to explain that his limited edition sculptural pieces all start from scratch and require as much finishing as the original that inspired them. As such, no two are alike, varying slightly in shape, color of the fire-blue and stone base, or other nuances that only Nidichi recognizes.

Nidichi is a multi-medium sculptor 

Unlike most sculptors who generally settle into one medium, Nidichi is a multi-medium sculptor who works in stone, wax, clay, wood and metal. Occasionally he will employ synthetic materials to complete a theme, but prefers the materials provided by Nature.

When asked why he sculpts in such a variety of materials he explains that different mediums provide him with different opportunities of expression. Stone and wood, for example, present him an opportunity to release the vision that he sees entrapped within the raw stone or wood. While wax and clay require that he form, fashion, and "create" the vision he sees or feels within himself.

He states that it is merely the expression and balance of the yin and yang - one being an additive process while the other is a reduction process. Both are creative forces in action and most of his work reflects both philosophies in each piece.
While Nidichi sculpts varied subjects, it is his modern renditions of presentation-grade Indian pipe tomahawks and his Indian rifles that have gained him serious recognition in Indian art circles. Each Nidichi sculpture is dedicated to one of the powers of the natural world, displaying subtle as well as obvious symbolism. 

Look, but do touch.

Unlike most sculpture which implies "Look, but don't touch,"  Nidichi's work invites the observer to become more involved with it by being accessible. Nidichi claims that his work was intended to not only please the eye, but to please the sense of touch, too, thereby further intriguing the mind. Nidichi's Buffalo Lance Point even speaks to its observer, answering a tap upon it with a soft ringing tone that is so pleasing to the ear.

When one removes a Nidichi Pipe or Buffalo Lance Point from its stand and admires it closely, the observer begins to interact with the good energy Nidichi imparted into the piece during its creation. Some energy-sensitive people have even claimed to see visions when they handled the Nidichi pipe. Nidichi believes they are receiving the benefit of his special blessing of the object that he bestows upon it once he's completed it.

His art is not politically correct

Nidichi likes to re-present implements of the daily life of the ancestors that are generally overlooked by moderns and some would say that his presentation of tobacco-smoking pipe tomahawks and spear points may not be politically correct by some standards. But, Nidichi isn't concerned with political correctness. As a global World Citizen he professes an "apolitical" status and has, as he states, "little interest in the foolishness of men who can barely manage their own lives, yet they plot and scheme by political process and corruption of law to control the lives of the rest of humanity."

Nidichi doesn't impart value judgments of “good” or “bad” on anything in his life or anything that he portrays through his art. It is his feeling that his work is merely a representation of tools and nothing more and that it is the mind of the individual using the tool that determines its application and whether they will use it in aggression, anger, defense, for making meat, or in gratitude of Life. The tool is just an object having no conscious will of its own.

There are but a very few good photos available of Nidichi’s work as it was not his intention to pursue a career in art and as a result he never created a portfolio of his work. Nidichi claims that he did not choose art as a career, but rather that art chose him as a messenger.

His artistic expressions rarely make it into the public realm as few pieces are produced - usually custom-made commissions. Those pieces that do become available are quickly snatched up and coveted in private collections.

While Nidichi was adopted by Chief Thunderbird IV of the now disbanded Kaweah Indian Nation, he has no native Indian blood and here makes that declaration to any parties who may be interested in his work.

If you wish to commission a piece of Nidichi art, please contact us, the friends of Nidichi, at:

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Come back often and see what's new in the world of Nidichi Art.

We wish you the Great Spirit's blessing and leave you with a bit of Nidichi humor.

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