Created By: University of Virginia
Growing up in Hood River, a common weekend family activity was biking the Mosier Tunnels, a few miles east of Hood River. This road is along the Old Highway, which was used before I-84 was put in, but now it is just a biking and walking road that leads to Mosier, which is a small town. Along the path there are several striking views where you can see all the way down the Gorge, and in this area, just a few miles East of Hood River, is significantly drier with fewer trees. The path ends in the town of Mosier, where we would always eat ice cream at the same little shop, and where there is also a big totem pole in the center of town.
Chinookan art style is fairly familiar to me, as it is commonly displayed in museums or in every-day artwork in the Pacific Northwest. The art has deep social and religious meaning, with a focus of individual spirit power. It is often used as decorations for everyday usable items, such as baskets, bowls, utensils, etc. They also commonly used concentric geometric shapes, and the images often represented spirits in human and/or animal form. This reflects the Indigenous perspective of how a body is structured. They took into account numbers; for example, the number five was sacred as well as elements in sequence of three. They also often were inspired by mythology.
Painted art was more rare, and may mean that the artist had a high social status. With this, black signifies the earth and red signifies the ancestors.
The carved stone figure seen here is The Guardian of Altoona, which is believed to have stood outside of a Chinook longhouse to protect from evil spirits and influences.
This point of interest is part of the tour: Colombia River Gorge