My Father's Red Paint

My father -  Philip Sayers circa 1990

The artist's tribute to her father

     My mother and father were descendants of the early peoples of The Great Lakes and both were members of their respective medicine lodges.


    In 1978 my dad became the first counselor at Mash-ka-wisen, the first treatment center in the country owned and operated by Native Americans. Since then Mash-ka-wisen has helped thousands of Native People return to the good path.

    My fathers life was the inspiration for me to continue on in the traditions of the Anishinaabeg (Ojibwe) people. I honor him with my work and hope that I will be an inspiration to the Anishinaabeg and to Native peoples everywhere.

    Right now, it's important to note that among America's earliest people, the storytellers and wisdom keepers are disappearing at an alarming rate. In a culture once deeply embedded in symbolism, many of us have forgotten the signs and symbols that our ancestors created to help us navigate through this life.

Preserving traditions is critical to a culture's heritage.

    "Nearly every early culture created pictographs to help them in remembering important information and these images have appeared on everything from tree bark and animal hides to ledger books and granite.

I encourage everyone to learn more about pictographs and rock art. Take care of your body, keep your mind clear, and try to be kind to one another."

                                       Paula B. Sayers

(Click on any image for detail).

"Continuing education and research is key to preserving traditions."

    Paula has dedicated herself to ensuring that the pictograph images created by her ancestors and other early Native peoples will be preserved and passed along for generations to come.

    Pollution and vandalism are taking their toll upon thousands of primitive pictographs all around the world. At many early pictograph sites, incredible natural works of art are being destroyed by unnatural weather patterns, air pollution, and vandalism.


    When asked about the importance of her life's work to honor her father, the artist summed up her feelings by stating;

    "Pictographs and Rock Art are among the oldest art expressions of humans and can be found all over the world. Whether from caves in Spain, the rock art of Western Australia, or my own peoples beautiful pictographs among the Great Lakes, pictograph art has been a means for early peoples to express themselves, communicate to others, and honor the mystery of the Great Creator for tens of thousands of years. The images created by our planets earliest artists must be preserved."

                                                                                     Paula B. Sayers

    Here is an Ojibwe style neck bag and the flower which inspired its design, made by Paula in memory of her father. 

    In early Woodland culture, floral images were incised on birch bark. These pictograph designs, drawn from nature later found their way onto clothing, containers, and other utilitarian objects in the form of Quillwork and beading.

© 2016-2020 Paula B. Sayers - all rights reserved