Master Carver Sammie Walker

Sammie Walker, master carver of Kachina dolls since the age of 8, was born to Deer Water Clan. He spent his childhood in Sand Springs, Arizona, in the heart of Tony Hillerman Country, where he helped his family with their farming and the tending of their 360 sheep, 67 cows, and 37 horses. Sammie's father was a medicine man who also fashioned moccasins form the cured hide of their cattle. At the age of 8, Sammie developed a love of carving after working on a 2x4 that had been saved to repair the family's horse drawn wagon. Sammie's first doll was a simple stick-typo figure with no base. Pine tree sap was used as glue and the arms were secured with horse shoe nails. He and his father took the doll to Bruce Powell, owner of a trading post at Old Oraibi. He bought Sammie's doll for $35.00. That was the beginning. Realizing that his son had a gift for carving Sammie's father introduced him to a Hopi friend, Many Cattles who gave Sammie a book on Hopi Kachinas and then taught him the art of carving. Later, Many Cattles initiated Sammy in one of his Hopi plaza dances. Since that time Sammie has carved dolls for local enthusiasts as well as for Presidents Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton and President Fox of Mexico.