Beaded Jewelry

Chickasaw Culture Keepers

Chickasaw citizen Melvin Burris is both a basket maker and a jewelry maker. He creates his baskets out of a unique material: ropes that were previously used for team roping. When making jewelry, he frequently uses materials like turquoise, coral and black onyx, as well as a variety of man-made stones. To each of his necklaces and bracelets, he adds a small silver feather bead as a signature. "My grandmother was full-blood Chickasaw, and she taught us the Chickasaw ways," Burris said. "I'm glad she did because I took it to heart, and I'm teaching my kids most of what she taught me."