Wilmer Kaye

Badger Butterfly Clan

Wilmer Kaye is a highly reputed katsina carver, one of the most recognizable names in that category of Indian art, and a veteran award-winner. He is known for the perfection of his carvings, which he has been doing since his teens. Wilmer is part of a family of many talented relatives who are internationally famous artists. One of his uncles was the legendary Hopi jewelry artist, Charles Loloma.

Using only a pocket knife for his carving, Wilmer works on only one figure at a time, unlike some other carvers. The katsinas are embellished with paint and/or stain, and finally rubbed with linseed oil, to protect the wood and bring out the grain.  He specializes in carving dolls from a single piece of wood.  His preference is carving sculptural dolls rather than fully detailed ones.  He believes they are more beautiful as sculptures than animated figures.  He also believes each doll has a soul and a spirit and is meant to please those who own and admires it.

Wilmer is a top-award-winning artist who has contributed to the advancement of Katsina doll carving into fine art wooden sculptures.