Ronald and Susan Dubin Fellowship
Alfred was born at Keams Canyon, Arizona, and was raised in the small Hopi village of Bacavi, high atop Third Mesa. He learned early the wisdom of accepting and following his elder’s counsel. Advice given him by one grandfather, a Hopi medicine man, to travel and gain new experiences, was particularly influential in the shaping of Alfred’s life and his principles.
As a direct result of that advice, he departed his homeland and attended a boarding school in Riverside, California. After completion of his formal education, Alfred joined the Marines, and for the next six years, he traveled extensively. As he observed other cultures, Alfred developed a deeper appreciation for the Hopi’s simple way of life.
A short while after his return to the States, an unfinished Kachina was given to him to complete. His first Kachina was so well received that he decided to pursue carving as his vocation. From that point, Alfred’s destiny became clear. Today, his Kachinas are still well received and admired as evidenced by his numerous awards.
At times, criticized for his use of power tools when applying finishing touches to his Kachinas, Alfred replies, “If you want to accomplish anything, you have to use every available means.” In each of his dolls, the spiritual element is always present. Coupled with that element, Alfred does his utmost to give good form and outstanding physical artistry to each finished piece. He is always hopeful that each of his Kachinas will eventually grace a home where good feelings abound, for the underlying purpose of the Kachina is to promote and insure harmony.
Ten hour days are the norm for Alfred, but he enjoys his “work” and is happy with it.