James Sawyer (Gam Nan K'ihl Nuens) 
Haida Painter (and more)

James Sawyer is a very talented painter. His images are inspired by his Haida heritage. His steady hand and fantastic original compositions will amaze you! Several of his paintings are available as prints. 

Here are some of James's paddle painting techniques:

A pencil is used to trace the outlines of a pattern (designed by James) onto the piece to be painted. Details are painted free-hand, without the help of a pattern or pencil drawing.

Raven Telling the Bear Mother Story

Raven (top center) tells the story. The Eagle face within the Bear's chest represents James's Nuni Kathleen's Aunt, who was taken by the Bear Family when she was gathering food in the forest. After living with the Bears for a while, she produced offspring. The Bear (center bottom) represents the Bear mother. The Eagles (left and right side) represent people in James' clan. After his great Aunt was taken, some men in James' clan saw the Bear when they were hunting. They chased it up a tree, but when the Bear turned and looked at the hunters, they noticed that it had human features and qualities, so they decided not to kill it. To this day, James' family does not hunt bears because they do not want to kill their relatives.


Here is more of James' work:

James engraved an Eagle and Ravens in 2008 on this Copper made by Christian White in 2002. Red Cedar Shield with eagle designs, 4 feet high by 30 inches wide, 2005.

Painted Plaque on yellow cedar.

Raven and Eagle drums.

For more information about James or his work, you can contact him at:

Box 892 
British Columbia
Canada, VOT 1M0

Home Telephone: (250) 626-3518


Haida wood carver, Reg Davidson
Haida argillite carver, Myles Edgars
Haida silversmith, Dave Hunter
Haida cedar bark hat maker, Gladys Vandal 
Abdou Mfopa 
Cameroonian painter, Hilarion Wirdzeka Faison  
Nigerian painter, Elcarver Rotimi Agbola   
Silva Foundation Workshops in Lisbon, Portugal   
Intarsia of Granada, Spain    
Religious sculpture in Seville, Spain
Polish wood carver, Czeslaw Olma    
Polish Wood Carver, Jan Piotr Ledwon
Mexican wood carver, Fernando Giron Pantoja 
Mexican marquetry box maker, José Antonio Rodríguez
Wood carving in Foumban, Cameroon, Africa
Abdou Mfopa 
Painting in Sirigu, Ghana, Africa  
Adinkra Printing in Ntonso, Ghana, Africa   

Web page, photographs, and text by Carol Ventura in 2001. Please look at Carol's home page to see more about crafts around the world.