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716 S. Los Angeles St.
Los Angeles, CA

(310) 489-3763

Kristen Dorsey Designs, LLC was founded in 2011 by Kristen Dorsey, an award-winning Chickasaw metalsmith living and working in Huntington Beach, CA. For Kristen, jewelry goes beyond ornamental adornment; it is a medium with which she has forged her cultural identity as a citizen of the Chickasaw Nation, a Native American tribe originally from the southeast.  Utilizing natural gemstones, precious metals, and other materials, her handcrafted jewelry pieces are a unique mix of Chickasaw visual traditions infused with inspiration drawn from the beauty of the California Coast.  Dorsey’s philosophy is that “jewelry is a sacred narrative; it captures moments of significance for the wearer such as transitions in life, relationships with one another, and with one’s community, cultural identity, and spirituality.”




Panther Woman Hair Comb

Kristen Dorsey

 Panther Woman Hair Comb: Fine silver, 14k, Diamond, Labradorite.  Price upon request.

Panther Woman Hair Comb: Fine silver, 14k, Diamond, Labradorite.  Price upon request.

Chickasaw families are organized into clan systems.  The Panther was an important Clan symbol and remains significant to many aspects of Chickasaw culture today.  It was understandable how our ancestors would have revered these powerful feline hunters of the southeast who are now endangered due to the loss of their habitat of southern swamplands and forests.   In the ancient mississippian cosmology, the underwater panther being was associated with the under world which is the world below the surface of the water.  

My hair comb is completely hand fabricated using the chasing and repousse´method and depicts two powerful panthers stalking their prey through the lacy swirls of a southeastern river. The diamonds set in 14k yellow gold glint like the moonlight on the surface of the water while a watery moon of labradorite rises above.  

The panther is also significant to women.  The Chickasaw people are matrilineal and strong female leaders are prevalent throughout Chickasaw History.  The panther is a female symbol and there is a historical female warrior and battle strategist called Panther Woman who's story has been passed down from generation to generation. In this video, Chickasaw illustrator and Director of the Chickasaw Press Jeannie Barbour tells the story of panther woman and how her battle strategies helped the Chickasaw successfully attack the ruthless conquistador Hernando De Soto and his encampment in order to remove them from Chickasaw territory.

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