Page:Tlingit Myths and Texts.djvu/39

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25
TLINGIT MYTHS AND TEXTS

have ever since been very watchful about their sisters. Because he had been fooling with his sister, when Lq laya k ! went out, his brothers said to him, "You do not behave yourself. Go somewhere else. You can be a thunder (hex!)." They said to him, "Ha/agun kadi."[1]

This is why, when thunder is heard, people always say, "You gummy thigh." It is because Lq laya k! became a thunder. Their sister was ashamed. She went down into Mount Edgecumbe (L!UX) through the crater.

Because the thunder is a man, when the thunder is heard far out at sea, people blow up into the air through their hands and say, "Let it drive the sickness away," or "Let it go far northward." The other brothers started across the Stikine and became rocks there.


4. ORIGIN OF THE KILLER WHALE[2]

A man named NatsAlAne , belonging to the Tsague di (Seal peo ple), made killer whales. He first tried to carve them out of red cedar, then out of hemlock, then out of all other kinds of wood in succession. He took each set of figures to the beach and tried to make them swim out, but instead they floated up on the surface. Last of all he tried yellow cedar, and was successful.

He made these of different sorts. On one he marked white lines with Indian chalk from the corners of its mouth back to its head. He said, "This is going to be the white-mouthed killer whale." When he first put them into the water he headed them up the inlet, telling them that whenever they went up to the heads of the bays they were to hunt for seal, halibut, and all other things under the sea; but he told them not to hurt a human being. When you are going up the bay, people will say to you, "Give us something to eat." Before this people did not know what the killer whale is.


Another thing people did not know was that the killer whale could go ashore and camp. One time a man married a high-caste woman and went up to the head of a certain bay with her, because he knew that the killer whales always went there. On the way they saw a camp fire blazing upon the shore. There were killer whales encamped here, but he thought they were human beings and landed to see them. When they got close in, he jumped into the water to urinate. All at once the killer-whale chief said, "I feel people's looks. Go outside and look on the beach." But, when they saw him urinating, they started off, leaving their camp just as it was, jumped into the water, and swam away.

  1. It is said that no one knows what these words mean.
  2. See stories 59 and 71.