Lewis and Clark's Columbia River
Lewis & Clark's Columbia River - "200 Years Later"
""She Who Watches" ("Tsagaglalal") ... Horsethief Butte, Washington"
Includes ... Petroglyphs ... Pictographs ... "Tamani Pesh-wa" ... "She Who Watches" ... "Tsagaglalal" ("Tsagaglal") ... Horsethief Butte ... Horsethief Lake State Park ... Columbia Hills State Park ...
Image, 2011, Pectroglyph, She Who Watches, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
"She Who Watches", Pectroglyph, Horsethief Lake Park (Columbia Hills State Park), Washington. Image taken October 15, 2011.


Petroglyphs and Pictographs ...
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Horsethief Butte, Washington ...
A guided walk can be taken among petroglyphs and pictographs lining the basalt cliffs along the Columbia River at Horsethief Butte, located within the Columbia Hills State Park. Horsethief Butte is located at Columbia River Mile (RM) 194, on the Washington side of the Columbia River upstream of The Dalles, Oregon, and downstream of Wishram, Washington and Maryhill Museum.
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Klickitat County, 45KL58 ...
In 1977-1978, Richard H. McClure, Jr. compiled a database of 235 rock art sites thoughout the State of Washington.

45 KL 58:

"The Tsagiglalal Petroglyph/Pictograph Site. This site is found in the S 1/2 of the SW 1/4 of Section 19, T2N, R14E, in the southwest corner of Horsethief Lake State Park. Rock art occurs on basalt cliffs facing the Columbia River for a considerable distance.

Perhaps the most well-known of all Washington petroglyphs is the large face known as Tsagiglalal, the Wishram word translated as "She who watches all who are coming and going". This anthropomorphic face is lightly pecked through the oxidized surface of the rock. Two other petroglyphs are noted here. One is an owl figure, shallowly pecked, and the other, possibly non-aboriginal, is an anthropomorphic face. Red and white pictographs are also present with both pigments sometimes present in a single figure. About 75 individual pictographs were found. A number of arcs and concentric circles with rays are present. Other figures include a "rabbit-eared" anthropomorph with detailed face and holding bow and arrow, two owl-like faces, four point stars, a large anthropomorphic face in red and white with alternating red and white zig-zag lines extending from top of head, and a few simple anthropomorphs. At the extreme north end of the site is a lizard figure. Other zoomorphic figures, including one or two quadrupeds exist.

A plan by the State Parks to develop the area for an interpretive trail has been temporarily postponed. In close proximity to this site were several bedrock mortars and a number of burials, the entire park being rich in cultural material. The site was visited on numerous occasions in 1977 and 1978."


Source:    Richard H. McClure, Jr., 1978, "An Archaeological Survey of Petroglyph and Pictograph Sites in the State of Washington": The Evergreen State College, Archaeological Reports of Investigation, No.1.



Guided Walk

  • Guided Walk ...
  • Shapes ...
  • Water Spirit ...
  • Red, White, Black ...
  • An Outcrop ...
  • "She Who Watches" ...
  • The Story of "Tsagaglalal" ...


Guided Walk ...
The guided walk to "She Who Watches" ("Tsagaglalal") can be taken on Fridays and Saturdays from May through October (2011 information). The trail is approximately 1/2 mile long and over easy terrain and is limited to around 25 people. Sign-up before hand is necessary. Contact Columbia Hills State Park for more information. The majority of the images seen along the walk are pictographs. Pictographs are images painted on the rock faces, using pigments of prdominantly red, white, and black.

Image, 2011, Horsethief Butte, Washington, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Trail to "She Who Watches", Horsethief Lake Park (Columbia Hills State Park), Washington. Image taken October 15, 2011.
Image, 2011, Horsethief Butte, Washington, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Trail to "She Who Watches", Horsethief Lake Park (Columbia Hills State Park), Washington. Image taken October 15, 2011.
Image, 2011, Horsethief Butte, Washington, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Trail to "She Who Watches", Horsethief Lake Park (Columbia Hills State Park), Washington. Image taken October 15, 2011.
Image, 2011, Horsethief Butte, Washington, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Guide pointing to pictographs, Horsethief Lake Park (Columbia Hills State Park), Washington. Image taken October 15, 2011.
Image, 2011, Horsethief Butte, Washington, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Pictograph (in white) barely visible in above image, Horsethief Lake Park (Columbia Hills State Park), Washington. Image taken October 15, 2011.


Shapes ...

Image, 2011, Horsethief Butte, Washington, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Pictograph, Horsethief Lake Park (Columbia Hills State Park), Washington. Image taken October 15, 2011.
Image, 2011, Horsethief Butte, Washington, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Four-pointed Star Pictograph, Horsethief Lake Park (Columbia Hills State Park), Washington. Image taken October 15, 2011.

According to Keyser in his "Indian Rock Art of the Columbia Plateau" (1992), there are 39 stars located at 17 sites along the Columbia River, with only this one painted and the others carved.
Image, 2011, Horsethief Butte, Washington, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Pictograph, Horsethief Lake Park (Columbia Hills State Park), Washington. Image taken October 15, 2011.


"Water Spirit" ...
The "water spirit" is a well known image along the Columbia River, warning of impending water hazards.

Image, 2011, Horsethief Butte, Washington, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Pictograph "Water Spirit", Horsethief Lake Park (Columbia Hills State Park), Washington. Image taken October 15, 2011.
Image, 2011, Horsethief Butte, Washington, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Pictograph "Water Spirit", Horsethief Lake Park (Columbia Hills State Park), Washington. Image taken October 15, 2011.


Red, White, Black ...
According to "American Indian Rock Art in Oregon and the Pacific Northwest" (Oregon Archaeological Society, Winter 2008), pigments used in pictographs along the Columbia River were mostly red, white, and black. The reds came from local deposits of iron oxides (hematite and limonite), white from certain clay deposits, and black mostly from coal. The pigments were ground into powder and mixed with a binding agent (such as water, urine, saliva, blood, eggs, fats, and plant juices) and painted upon the rock face using ones fingers or fashioned tools. Research indicates that red and white pigments were used for their spiritual significance with red pigments representing blood or life giving forces and white, being associated with the whiteness of bones, was considered to represent death or, possibly, the spirit realm.

Image, 2011, Horsethief Butte, Washington, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Pictographs, Red, White, Black, Horsethief Lake Park (Columbia Hills State Park), Washington. Image taken October 15, 2011.
Image, 2011, Horsethief Butte, Washington, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Pictographs, Red, White, Black, Horsethief Lake Park (Columbia Hills State Park), Washington. Image taken October 15, 2011.
Image, 2011, Horsethief Butte, Washington, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Pictographs, Red, White, Horsethief Lake Park (Columbia Hills State Park), Washington. Image taken October 15, 2011.


An Outcrop ...
Like finding shapes in the clouds.

Image, 2011, Horsethief Butte, Washington, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Outcrop with dog head bas relief, Horsethief Lake Park (Columbia Hills State Park), Washington. Image taken October 15, 2011.

Not a Pictograph or a Petroglyph, just the way the rock face broke ... dog head is small, just to the right of center of image, near the bottom.
Image, 2011, Horsethief Butte, Washington, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Dog head in the basalts, Horsethief Lake Park (Columbia Hills State Park), Washington. Image taken October 15, 2011.

Not a Pictograph or a Petroglyph, just the way the rock face broke ...


"She Who Watches" ...
"Tsagaglalal" (also seen spelled "Tsagaglal" and "Tsagiglalal") is known as "She Who Watches". This spectacular petroglyph is at the end of the Columbia Hills State Park guided trail walk. Researchers believe she was created 250 to 300 years ago and is one of the finest examples of Native American petroglyphs.

Image, 2011, Petroglyph, She Who Watches, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
"She Who Watches", Petroglyph, Horsethief Lake Park (Columbia Hills State Park), Washington. Image taken October 15, 2011.

Walk guide telling the story of "Tsagaglalal".
Image, 2011, Petroglyph, She Who Watches, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
"She Who Watches", Petroglyph, Horsethief Lake Park (Columbia Hills State Park), Washington. Image taken October 15, 2011.


The Story of "Tsagaglalal" ...
"There was this village on the Washington side of the Columbia Gorge. And this was long ago when people were not yet real people, and that is when we could talk to the animals.

And so Coyote the Trickster came down the river to the village and asked the people if they were living well. And they said "Yes, we are, but you need to talk to our chief, Tsagaglal. She lives up in the hill."

So Coyote pranced up the hill and asked Tsagaglal if she was a good chief or one of those evildoers. She said, "No, my people live well. We have lots of salmon, venison, berries, roots, good houses. Why do you ask?" And Coyote said, "Changes are going to happen. How will you watch over your people?" And so she didn't know.

And it was at that time that Coyote changed her into a rock to watch her people forever."


Source:    Lillain Pitt, Pacific Northwest Native American Artist, "lillianpitt.com" website, 2011.


Image, 2011, Petroglyph, She Who Watches, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
"She Who Watches", Petroglyph, Horsethief Lake Park (Columbia Hills State Park), Washington. Image taken October 15, 2011.


From the Journals of Lewis and Clark ...

Clark, October 24, 1805 ...




Columbia PlateauReturn to
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*River Miles [RM] are approximate, in statute miles, and were determined from USGS topo maps, obtained from NOAA nautical charts, or obtained from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers website, 2003

Sources:    See Petroglyphs and Pictographs;    Also:

  • Lillain Pitt, Pacific Northwest Native American Artist, "lillianpitt.com" website, 2011;


All Lewis and Clark quotations from Gary Moulton editions of the Lewis and Clark Journals, University of Nebraska Press, all attempts have been made to type the quotations exactly as in the Moulton editions, however typing errors introduced by this web author cannot be ruled out; location interpretation from variety of sources, including this website author.
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December 2017