Debbie Drye (Hopi)
Continuity and Change in a Traditional Art Form

As a Hopi woman, Debbie Drye is one of the first to take steps into an art form that has been traditionally practiced by men.  With the encouragement and teaching of her grandfather, she has learned to carve Katsina figures.  These figures are not simply dolls but are sacred objects within the Hopi culture that represent teaching spirits.  To carve them is an important role.

While Debbie has not received universal encouragement for taking on this role, she has continued with it.  During her visit with us in Indianapolis, she shared and demonstrated her techniques along with information about Hopi culture.  Through this kind of work at museums and schools, she is helping to ensure the continuity of her culture at the same time that she represents change.

Debbie Drye's residency was supported by grants from the Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust and the National Endowment for the Arts.

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