Eagle Effigy on the Umpqua

Lottie and her grand-niece Nellie Aason recalled there used to be (and maybe still is) an eagle-shaped rock on the north shore of the Umpqua River between Winchester Bay and Scottsburg.

Lottie said “I saw that myself, about half way between Winchester Bay and Scottsburg on the north bank of the Umpqua RIver a rock with a life-sized eagle on top of it.  If that eagle were painted with white head, it would look like a real eagle.  The Hanis call that place noméxxeyde, from mexxeye, eagle.  On the way up the Umpqua River by boat we never noticed that place, but it was coming back down that we noticed the eagle.” (Harrington 23:708a)

Nellie agreed but she thought the eagle rock had been destroyed when the road was built.  Although the road was built on the south bank, not the north.

No one recalled the name in Umpqua.  There are several words given for eagle on Siuslaw/Umpqua:  maiqw for the bald eagle, also ts’aiyalii.

So has anyone ever seen the eagle rock effigy when canoeing or boating down the Umpqua?  It is somewhere halfway between Scottsburg and Winchester Bay – next time you are canoeing down that stretch of river, look for it!


About shichils

Just sharing some fun on language
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