Vying (and Dying) for Love

From the Northwest of the United States this vase tells the tale of a love triangle of the gods and a fiery sibling rivalry that required some pretty extreme parental intervention.

The indigenous people in the north west of the United States told early explorers a tale about a mountain called Louwala-Clough; you may know this mountain as Mount St. Helens.

According to legend, this mountain used to be a beautiful woman who was named Loowit. There were two braves, who happened to be brothers that were vying for her love. These were not just any two braves, for they were the sons of the Great Spirit, Sahale.

Unfortunately, Loowit spoiled by choice, could not decide which of these brothers to choose. This only intensified the rivalry between the two brothers Wyeast and Klickitat. They fought intensely, leaving a fiery trail of destruction around them, throwing rocks and liquid fire at one another, burning villages and forest alike.

Their father, the Great Spirit, Sahale grew weary of the destruction caused by his battling sons and the indecisive beauty Loowit. In a move that would be frowned upon by any of today’s authorities on parenting, but probably very much appreciated by the locals of the time, he decided to smite all three of them.

In their place he erected three mountain peaks, Loowit was turned to a beautiful snow covered peak (Mount St. Helens), Wyeast (Mount Hood) with his head raised in pride, and Klickitat (Mount Adams) with his gaze fixed on Loowit for all of eternity – or until erosion ultimately gets the better of the three.

Now due to her indecisiveness Loowit gets to spend what will seem like an eternity with two rock solid men and is spared the anguish of choice.

You can see more images of the raku vase ‘Louwala-Clough’ here.

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