Tsagiglala (She Who Watches) Bronze by Lillian Pitt
Tsagiglala (She Who Watches), Lillian Pitt, Wasco/Warm Springs/Yakama Nation, bronze, 5" x 5.5" x .5"
She Who Watches is one of North America's most famous pictographs.
Famous among archaeologists around the world, an ancient rock painting in the Columbia River Gorge comes with an interesting story about it's creation. The large-eyed pictograph has a cliffside perch in Washington's Columbia Hill's State Park/Horsethief Lake unit.
The story says that coyote, known as a trickster by Native Americans, had attempted to betray the leader of a local tribe. After a wrestling match, the wily animal tossed the female chief onto the cliff where she turned to stone.
To this day, the tribe's guardian watches over her children and is known as Tsagiglala, or She Who Watches. Portland artist Lillian Pitt has many pieces that carry the image of She Who Watches.
She Who Watches can be viewed during the park's twice-weekly tours, conducted seasonally. One of the largest known pieces of rock art in North America, the 31/2-by-3-foot painting was drawn about 300 years ago. To preserve the treasure, access to the site has been limited to guided tours since 1993.
Ranger-led pictograph tours at Horsethief Lake, located across the Columbia River from The Dalles, are offered Fridays and Saturdays at 10 a.m., April to October. The tours are free and reservations are required by calling 509-773-5007. Space is limited and tours fill fast, so reserve well in advance, two or three weeks minimum.
If you can't book a She Who Watches Tour, the park maintains a display of Native American art that was recovered from nearby cliffs before they were flooded after construction of The Dalles Dam. This display is open during the park's normal operating schedule.