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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.”

Grape Tassel Earrings in Rose Gold

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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.

Grape Tassel Earrings in Rose Gold

RG grape tassels.jpg
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RG grape tassels.jpg
earth.jpg

Grape Tassel Earrings in Rose Gold

from 720.00

The original design of these earrings was created using the ancient technique of Chasing and repoussé. Chasing and repoussé was a process used by Chickasaw ancestors to create hand sculpted designs out of hammered flat metal. Tiny possum grapes accent a central pyramid-cut  banded blue lace agate. The art-deco inspired framing around the possum grapes is embellished with fiery purple sapphires set in solid sterling silver, plated rose gold.  A Dramatic tassel of hand strung chalcedony adorns the bottom of the earrings. 

Significance

Possum grapes are a favorite fruit of both past and present Chickasaw people.  These tiny wild grapes can be found throughout the southeast as well as in Oklahoma.  A popular recipe still made today is possum grape dumplings.

Details

These earrings are cast in sterling silver with a rose gold plate. They are set with blue lace agate, purple sapphires and chalcedony tassels.

Option: can be made without tassels. 

Dimensions

1.6" x 2.8" (length includes tassel)

1.6" x 1.6" (length without tassel) 

Collection

Of Earth and Place - Nurturing a future rooted in the place we forever call home.

Handmade in Los Angeles

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