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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.”

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The Hatchet Women Collection - Indigenous Resistance Since 1736

As Chickasaw women, we have always protected and defended our lands from invaders.  During the French – Indian wars of the 1700's our ancestors saw violence and uncertainty enter their lives.  However, they soon became known to the French as formidable adversaries; their villages nearly impossible to attack.  This was due in part to iron hatchet wielding Chickasaw women, who according to first hand French accounts, thwarted an ambush on the Ogoula Tchetoka village in 1736.  The French were also surprised to see that women could become warriors, and that women were as essential to war as they were to peace, often accompanying warriors into battle to sing war songs and to provide direction and support.  

Today we wield knowledge instead of hatchets, however, we are no less fierce than our grandmothers, and will pass on this gift of strength to our granddaughters.

Blood Bling Necklace

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Blood bling detail view.jpg
bloodbling2.jpeg
Blood bling detail view.jpg

Blood Bling Necklace

2,600.00

This one of a kind necklace carries great weight and significance within the Native culture. Please see below for the interesting story behind the Blood Bling.

Significance

Blood Bling comments on the play of superficiality and weight that Government Issued Certificate of Degree of Indian Blood Cards carry. An individual in possession of one of these cards is deemed a 'card carrying Indian.' The concept of 'blood quantum' is a European creation and did not exist in Indigenous communities. It is based on the racist notion that culture follows blood and that the european blood/culture is stronger and that the Native blood/culture, therefore the 'Native blood' would 'breed out'.  This tool of colonization remains steadfast in contemporary American culture and negatively affects Indigenous peoples who must apply for their CDIB cards from the American government in order to prove their cultural identities.  The irony of this is that no other ethnic or cultural group must apply for membership to the United States Government. The controversial cards are both a tool of power, yet are deemed necessary for native nations to identify true members. Each tribal government handles the blood quantum issues differently, however it remains a troubling and divisive issue for most Indigenous peoples on this continent. 

Details

The hand carved frame is cast in bronze and is set with red, white, and blue cubic zirconia. A CDIB card was acid etched into sterling silver and then riveted into the frame. The piece has been selected to be featured in an upcoming anthology about blood quantum issues.  The anthology will feature works from leading Native scholars, poets, and artists across Native America.

Dimensions

It hangs on a 35" gold plated vintage chain.

Collection

Earth Water Sky

Handmade in Los Angeles

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