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


Petroglyphs and Pictographs, 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.

Guided Walk ...
The guided walk to "She Who Watches" ("Tsagaglalal") can be taken on Fridays and Saturdays from May through October. 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.

Image, 2011, Horsethief Butte, Washington, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Trail head 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.


Along the Trail ...
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
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
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Pictograph, left and 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.


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, Horsethief Lake Park (Columbia Hills State Park), Washington. Image taken October 15, 2011.


In the rocks ...
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 pictograph is at the end of the Columbia Hills State Park guided trail walk. Researchers believe she was painted 250 to 300 years ago and is one of the finest examples of Native American pictographs.

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

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


From the Journals of Lewis and Clark ...

Clark, October 24, 1805 ...
The first pitch of this falls [Celilo Falls] is 20 feet perpendicular, then passing thro' a narrow Chanel for 1 mile to a rapid of about 18 feet fall below which the water had no perceptable fall but verry rapid ...     It may be proper here to remark that from Some obstruction below, the cause of which we have not yet learned, the water in high fluds (which are in the Spring) rise <nearly> below these falls nearly to a leavel with the water above the falls; the marks of which can be plainly trac'd around the falls. at that Stage of the water the Salmon must pass up which abounds in Such great numbers above- below thos falls are Salmon trout and great numbers of the heads of a Species of trout Smaller than the Salmon. those fish they catch out of the Salmon Season, and are at this time in the act of burrying those which they had drid for winter food. ...    Capt Lewis and three men crossed the river and on the opposit Side to view the falls which he had not yet taken a full view of-     At 9 oClock a. m. I Set out with the party and proceeded on down a rapid Stream of about 400 yards wide at 2 1/2 miles the river widened ito a large bason to the Stard. Side on which there is five Lodges of Indians. here a tremendious <heigh> black rock Presented itself high and Steep appearing to choke up the river [the future Browns Island] nor could I See where the water passed further than the Current was drawn with great velocity to the Lard Side of this rock at which place I heard a great roreing. I landed at the Lodges and the natives went with me to the top of this rock which makes from the Stard. Side; from the top of which I could See the dificuelties we had to pass for Several miles below; at this place the water of this great river is compressed into a Chanel [the "Short Narrows" or Tenmile Rapids] between two rocks not exceeding forty five yards wide and continues for a 1/4 of a mile when it again widens to 200 yards and continues this width for about 2 miles when it is again intersepted by rocks. This obstruction in the river accounts for the water in high floods riseing to Such a hite at the last falls. The whole of the Current of this great river must at all Stages pass thro' this narrow chanel of 45 yards wide. as the portage of our canoes over this high rock would be impossible with our Strength, and the only danger in passing thro those narrows was the whorls and Swills arriseing from the Compression of the water, and which I thought (as also our principal watermen Peter Crusat) by good Stearing we could pass down Safe, accordingly I deturmined to pass through this place notwithstanding the horrid appearance of this agitated gut Swelling, boiling & whorling in every direction (which from the top of the rock did not appear as bad as when I was in it;[)] however we passed Safe to the astonishment of all the Inds: of the last Lodges who viewed us from the top of the rock [this high rock became Browns Island when the waters of Lake Celilo inundated the valley]. passed one Lodge below this rock and halted on the Stard. Side to view a verry bad place, the Current divided by 2 Islands of rocks the lower of them large and in the middle of the river, this place being verry bad I Sent by land all the men who could not Swim and Such articles as was most valuable to us Such as papers Guns & amunition, and proceeded down with the Canoes two at a time to a village of 20 wood housies in a Deep bend to the Stard. Side [area of Horsethief Butte and Horsethief Lake] below which a rugid black rock about <the> 20 feet hiter <of> than the Common high fluds of the river with Several dry Chanels which appeared to Choke the river up quite across; this I took to be the 2d falls or the place the nativs above call timm, The nativs of this village reived me verry kindly, one of whome envited me into his house, ...    I dispatched a Sufficent number of the good Swimers back for the 2 canoes above the last rapid and with 2 men walked down three miles to examine the river Over a bed of rocks, which the water at verry high fluds passes over, on those rocks I Saw Several large Scaffols on which the Indians dry fish; as this is out of Season the poles on which they dry those fish are tied up verry Securely in large bundles and put upon the Scaffolds, I counted 107 <Scaff> Stacks of dried pounded fish in different places on those rocks which must have contained 10,000 w. of neet fish, The evening being late I could not examine the river to my Satisfaction, the Chanel is narrow and compressed for about 2 miles [the "Long Narrows" or Fivemile Rapids], when it widens into a deep bason to the Stard. Side ["Big Eddy", today the location of Spearfish Lake], & again contracts into a narrow chanel divided by a rock [head of Threemile Rapids] I returned through a rockey open countrey infested with pole-cats to the village where I met with Capt. Lewis the two old Chiefs who accompanied us & the party & canoes who had all arrived Safe; the Canoes haveing taken in Some water at the last rapids. here we formed a Camp near the Village [near Horsethief Butte and Horsethief Lake] ...





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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: "American Indian Rock Art in Oregon and the Pacific Northwest", Oregon Archaeological Society, Winter 2008; Keyser, J.D., 1992, Indian Rock Art of the Columbia Plateau, University of Washington Press; 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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October 2011