Hopi Kachina Carver
Hopi carver, David Jensen was born in Tuba City in March 1972. He is of the Paaqapwungwa clan (Reed/Bamboo). Raised in Tuba City, he graduated from Tuba City High School in 1990. He joined the US NAVY immediately after graduation and served aboard the USS KITTYHAWK during Desert Storm, Operation Restore Hope and the Somalia Crisis. He was honorably discharged in 1994.
David was inspired by his close friend Reggie Curry to begin carving in 1995. “I thought I’d give it a try. He got me motivated by telling me “you never know, you might get good at it”. I sold my first piece which was a Shalako to my uncle Cecil Calnimptewa at his gallery for $125.00.”
“I would sit and carve with fellow carver brothers, Arnold and Arthur Holmes Jr. I would occasionally go out to Cecil’s ranch and carve with him. I learned a lot from my relatives, Cecil, Stetson Honyumptewa, Dennis Tewa, Ros George, Alfred Lomaquahu and Ronald Honyouti by studying their work and getting a lot of words of encouragement. I’ve been carving since 1995. We carvers like to say the wood talks to you and let’s itself take shape. Once we complete a doll, we always know that they are going to good homes. Every doll is always a challenge to make. I enjoy doing the animal kachinas, especially the deer.
I currently live in Tuba City with my wife Connie and work as a Facility technician for a local School. I continue to carve but not as much due to work, farming, hunting and traditional ceremonies.”