Friday, July 24, 2009

She Who Watches

In case you were wondering, the new image in my profile is of an ancient petroglyph found throughout the Columbia River Basin. Her name is "Tsagaglalal", or "She Who Watches". From the Columbia River Gorge Interpretive Center:

Tsagaglalal is located on a cliff overlooking the Columbia River at Columbia Hills State Park (formerly known as Horse Thief State Park) in Washington. It is one of the best examples of the aboriginal art in the United States. There are several versions of this legend, but the one told to the Museum by the Wishram people is as follows:

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, he said, "Soon the world will change and women will no longer be chiefs."

Being the trickster that he was, Coyote changed her into a rock with the command, "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."

No comments: