Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Petroglyphs and Maryhill Museum

The Friends of Multnomah Falls took their Interpretive Volunteers on a bus tour to illuminate their volunteers about places to share with the visitors to the Visitors Center at the Falls.  This year we went to Columbia Hills State Park in Washington to see the Petroglyphs and Pictographs located there.  I'm putting the image of the most famous of them here at the top, Tsagaglalal, also known as She-Who-Watches.  I will tell you more about her later in this post.  

There is a hike to see Tsagaglalal which I have done twice in the past successfully, I had forgotten about a section that got quite steep, narrow and rocky and 4 of us older volunteers with mobility issues decided to turn back.  So, I gave my camera to my sister Denise and she took some very special photos for me to share with you.  While those who went on were gone I walked along to see the petroglyphs which were put on view with a nice paved walkway.  :-)  These petroglyphs were actually removed from where they were located when the Dalles Dam was built and the area where they were made was flooded with Columbia River waters.  They stayed for years out of the public view until they were moved here for us to see and enjoy.  For more info on the petroglyphs, click HERE.

Above you can see the petroglyphs where they are displayed in a natural habitat.  I snapped all these images with my iPhone as my sister had my Lumix camera.  :-)  Below you see a bird and a deer or elk.

These were found in Petroglyph Canyon, Tamani Pesh-wa Trail, less than a mile away from where they are now.

Another Elk or deer.

This looks like a bird or owl.

There are many images on on this piece of basalt.

Tsagaglalal is my favorite of all but this is Spedis Owl and he's my second favorite.  :-)  Isn't he cute?

This one is called Water Spirit.

What a wonderful day we had for this tour, warm and breezy.

My sister's photos - this is a wildflower of this area, Balsamroot.

These are pictographs, which are painted on the rocks with iron oxides and other colors.

An unidentified wildflower.

Very artsy shot, sis!

Denise also captured this great photo of Burlington Northern train passing and the Columbia River, Oregon on the right and Washington on the left.

And here is the prize of those who made it to see Tsagaglalal - isn't she beautiful?  No one knows the true story of her - some think she's a bear's face, some an owl, some think she might be a death mask because so many native people died from diseases brought to the area by white settlers.  But my favorite story is this - She-Who-Watches was a woman chief of her people and when she died she was immortalized by an artist placing her there to watch over her people forevermore.  

See the pits in her face?  Rumor has it that when sternwheelers went by years ago and men would use her as target practice.  Isn't that shameful?

Here is my photo from the top of the walkway showing you the barge going by, they ply the river back and forth all day.  There's my car down there!  The petroglyphs are lined up on the right against the rocky backdrop.

Beautiful orange poppies were brightening the grasslands.

My sweet little Spedis Owl.

Some years ago I made two beaded pouch-bags to commemorate my visit to see She-Who-Watches and the other petroglyphs.  I used the free-hand peyote stitch technique and just used the beads to paint the image.  :-)

And this one of the Mountain Sheep or Goat.  

We then drove on to visit Maryhill Museum.  The history is to be found HERE.  They have a FABULOUS collection of Native American artifacts here, I was in heaven.  This first photo is of carved stone items.

Stone mortars and pestles, anchors, and more.

The stone mortars were used for grinding seeds and nuts and also for making paint and many other uses.

I loved this one.

Finely woven baskets and other containers.

These two items on the right are called "parfleches" - parfleche is a Native American rawhide container. Enveloped-shaped perfleches have historically been used to contain items such as dried meats and pemmican. The word was originally used by French fur traders, and derives from the French language parer meaning "to parry" or "to defend".

Lots of beaded bags, vests and gauntlets.

Wonderful old photos included on the walls.

A young woman in her regalia.

A rawhide and beautifully beaded doll.

Look at the amazing headdress using Eagle feathers.

I wonder what all these were used for?  :-)

A beaded vest and shirt, and many pairs of beaded moccasins.

A fabulous collection of baskets of all sizes from small to really huge.

As a basketmaker, I was most impressed by these vase shaped ones.

More beaded bags and baskets.

These were the only beads on display, I truly think they need a bigger collection of them.  I actually have more in my own personal collection!  But I will pass on the bloody looking teeth one.  LOL!

Another beaded vest, bags and those long things which I'm not sure what they are as I didn't read the sign.  :-)

The last window before I left this museum room.  Love these baskets.

The next wing held a collection of Rodin's work, love this piece.

And this woman's sculpture.

I hope you've enjoyed seeing the petroglyphs and artwork!  Thank you for visiting and also a gold star to those of you who leave a comment for me.  :-)  ((hugs)), Teresa :-) 


  1. Lovely photos, thank you for sharing

  2. What a beautiful day you had! We drive by there every month but I haven't been inside Maryhill Museum in several decades. We must plan a visit soon. Thanks for sharing! (Side note - we just got a 16 ft. C-Dory Angler - our starter boat!)

  3. Really enjoyed the petroglyphs and artwork Teresa. You do go on some fascinating trips. Anne x

  4. Wow Teresa! As many times as I’ve been by the Maryhill museum and never stopped. I found all of this fascinating. You and Denise both got some wonderful photos. Thank you for sharing all of this with us. This is a subject that has always interested me a lot. I have read so much about the pioneers and native americans and always enjoy learning more. Thanks a bunch for all of the information

  5. Teresa! Thank you for posting! One of the ladies in my Wednesday morning stitching group said this morning how amazed she is by the artwork at Maryhill, and thanks to your informative post I know more about why you both admire the collections. So glad you had a sunny day for the trip. I am enjoying the sunshine today and I'm going out to go pull some more weeds. :-) xxxx

  6. Such an interesting and enjoyable post! Thank you for sharing.

  7. Wow fabulous Teresa you guys sure are out and about and a lovely day for all. So many wonderful photos and thoroughly enjoyed your post and the train too ☺

  8. Very interesting post Teresa. I think your beaded pouch bags are amazing - you have such talent !! I also loved those baskets.

  9. Beautiful pictures Teresa, thank you for taking us along.

  10. I love SHE WHO WATCHES. I love the owls earlier in the post. What a great idea to take the volunteers around and continue the education. Your beaded bags...oh my gosh. I'l l be showing you that I used your gift BEAD on my beaded bag to help with the ties staying closed.

  11. Teresa, this is a wonderful post! The petroglyphs are the largest I've ever seen---just plain amazing! What a beautiful day you enjoyed! The museum pieces are so interesting. The jewelry you fashioned is wonderful as well. Thank you for sharing your part of the country that is so different than the east coast. It really points out the vastness of our beautiful country. ♥

  12. Teresa, it is Friday may 4th and I posted my use of your gift bead!!! go SEE!!!!! WHEEEEE

  13. Thank you for taking us along on yet another amazing adventure Teresa.

  14. Wonderful pictures Teresa! I've always loved looking at petroglyphs - we saw quite a few in Utah one year. Very interesting. Love your beaded purses too.


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