Woman Forbidden to Carve Hopi Figures at Museum

July 30, 2001

Source: The Seattle Times

On July 30, 2001, The Seattle Times reported on Hopi carver Debbie Drye. "Some say the men [who objected to her demonstrations at the Heard Museum] are jealous of Drye's talent. But the Hopi Cultural Preservation Office maintains it's an issue of religion. Traditionally, Hopi men carve kachinas and give them to women as representations of Kastina, the spirit of procreation, thus excluding women from carving the sacred objects...Male carver Forest Chimerica will replace Drye...Chimerica says he does not object to women carvers, but when women carve, it's like they are selling their children because of the symbolic ties to procreation...Drye is reviewing the tribal constitution to determine her rights before taking any action."