Sila, “That which is outside everywhere,” is a force, not a person or deity. Sometimes when called Sila-Sila-Hila-Hla it means “air, weather” and also “sense, reason”.

This force is personified when the word sila is joined with another word such as inua, “master,” thus the Iglulik, “the master of air”; silap inua, the personal name of Nartsuk.

Sila has various functions. To the Caribou Inuits he may appear as Pinga while in the Hudson Bay area Hila means famine.

Occasionally he can functions as Sedna’s agent. The plural hilap inue is a collective name for air spirits which seem to have no definite function. Whereas many still think of Sila as a deity, it is more like the spiritual force of various deities. A.G.H.


Grimal, Pierre, Larousse World Mythology, Secaucus, New Jersey, Chartwell Books, 1965, pp. 445-446

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