Tsagaglalal

"She Who Watches" is probably the most famous petroglyph in the Northwest. She is located on a cliff overlooking the Columbia River and Horse Thief State Park in Washington State. It is one of the best examples of aboriginal art in the United States.

There are many stories about her, but the one told by the Wishram people is as follows:

Tsagaglalal
Tsagaglalal

A woman was chief of all who lived this region. That was a long time before Coyote came up the river and changed things, and the people were not yet real people.

After a time Coyote, in his travels, came to this place and asked the inhabitants if they were living well or ill. They sent him to their chief who lived up in the rocks, where she could look down on the village and know what was going on.

Coyote climbed up to the house on the rocks and asked, “What kind of living do you give these people? Do you treat them well or are you one of those evil women?”

"I am teaching them to live well and build good houses," she said. When she expressed her desire to be able to do this forever, Coyote said, "Soon the world will change and women will no longer be chiefs."

Then, being the powerful trickster that he was, Coyote changed her into a rock, saying: “You shall stay here and watch over the people and the river forever.”

People know that "Tsagaglalal" sees all things for whenever they are looking at her, those large eyes are watching them.

I make several versions of Tsagaglalal, in varying sizes and venues. These two platters are about eighteen inches in diameter.

As you can see from the photos, she can handle life outdoors. In fact, she thrives there.

 

 

 

Mark Heimann
Lost Mountain Clayworks
PO Box 280
Estacada, Oregon 97023
Phone: (503) 631-8686
Email: mark@lostmountainclayworks.com

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