Glacial Theory Of The Natives
By: Eliza Ruhamah Scidmore (1896)
  The Stikines, hearing the mysterious roars and crashes from within this bay ("Hutli"-Thunder Bay, now called Le Conte), believed it the home of the Thunder Bird, and Hutli's rough ayllables stand for that mythical creature, the flaping of whose wings causes the rolling noise heard. All Tlingits believe that in the beginning  the mountains were living creatures, grandly embodied spirits, whom they long worshipped. The glaciers are the children of the mountains, and these parents hold them in their arms, dip their feet in the sea, cover them with deep snows in the winter, and scatter earth and rocks over them to ward off the summer sun. Sitth is their general name for ice, and its whispered sibilants suggest the Tlingits' horror of cold, even their dull imaginations conceiving a hell of ice - a place of everlasting cold as the future state of those buried in the ground rather than cremated. Sitth tooYehk is their ice spirit, an invisable power of evil, whose chill breath is death, who manifests himselfin the keen, peculiar wind blowing over glacial reaches; whose voice is heard in the angry roar of falling bergs, and in the hiss, the crackle, and tinkle of singing ice-flows. He hurls down bergs in his  wrath, he tosses them to and fro, crushes canoes, and washes the land with great waves. When the ice-wind dies away and the glacier's front is still, Sitth too Yehk sleeps or roams under ice labyrinths, planning further distruction. The natives speak in whispers, for fear of rousing or offending this eil one, and refrain from striking his subjects - the icebergs - with ther canoe-paddles. When they must make a  journey across a glacier, they implore the mercy of Sitth too Yehk with much big medicine and incantations, speak softly, tread lightly, and neither defile nor offend it with crumb or odour of their food. The hair-seals are the children of the glacier, and proof against all this magic. They may ride on the ice-cakes with impunity, and under the Hutli's and Klumma Gutta's (Taku's) front the man-faced seals live, terrible creatures whose spell can only be broken by one's pouring some fresh water into the sea.
Scource: Scidmore, Eliza Ruhamah. Appletons' Guide-Book to Alaska, New York:
D. Appleton and Company, 1896, 76
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