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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.”


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.

Two Worlds Gorget

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Two Worlds Gorget


In Mississippian cosmology there are three worlds; the upper sky world, the lower underwater world, and the middle world of the earth's surface. The duality of the upper and lower worlds create a balance without which life is not possible. Please see below for the full story on the Two Worlds Gorget piece.


In my Two Worlds Gorget, I divide the crescent shaped gorget into two parts, which unite to clasp the ropes of black pearls. The right side depicts a winged serpent, a deity of the sky world. The left side depicts an underwater panther, a deity of the underwater world. The two meet in the center with a hinge masked by a copper panel etched with a turtle shell pattern, the turtle, or 'loksi' in the Chickasaw language, carries great spiritual significance and represents the Earth. Additionally the use of copper and silver symbolizes this concept of duality. The pearls are a traditional adornment material and in this piece they are used to reference both the rivers that they are from and the path of souls.


This piece is created using copper and silver.


Coming Soon.



Handmade in Los Angeles

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