Monday, July 6, 2009


Coyote, it's one of those words if you look too long or say it over and over it begins to sound nonsensical. I like the legend of She Who Watches. Coyote came to a village nestled on a cliff. All the people were doing well, eating well, living the good life. He consulted their female chief, he had the hard job of explaining he would have to turn her into stone so she could watch over the land and the people. Society would soon change, becoming a patriarchy. This legend shows how powerful Coyote is, to have known the future, and to have had the power to change the chief to stone. To have had the foresight to know how different life would be for a society led by men.
Wasco Native artist Lillian Pitt made Coyote mask in ceramic, in 2005.
I like to think about the She Who Watches legend when I see the mask, because I can go around the corner and see a She Who Watches inspired piece by Pitt, Wasco Totem.

She Who Watches is a petraglyph near Horse Thief Lake, out the Columbia Gorge, about an hour past Hood River. You can only go by reservation. I haven't seen it myself, and I grew up here. I heard yesterday that the average american knows over a hundred brand names by sight but fewer than ten plants. She Who Watches needs eyelids.

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