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THE INUIT of the Arctic Regions Of Canada, Greenland, Russia & Alaska

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Author Topic: THE INUIT of the Arctic Regions Of Canada, Greenland, Russia & Alaska  (Read 7594 times)
Bianca
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« on: February 05, 2009, 03:54:39 pm »





             










                                                          T H E   I N U I T





 
Total population

150,000
 


Regions with significant populations

Greenland, Canada, Alaska, Russia



Languages


English language,

Inuit language,

Eskimo-Aleut languages

and others



Religion


Christianity,

Shamanism,

Animism



Related ethnic groups


Aleuts,
Yupiks



Inuit (plural; the singular Inuk means "man" or "person") is a general term for a group of culturally similar indigenous peoples inhabiting the Arctic regions of Canada, Greenland, Russia and Alaska. The Inuit language is grouped under Eskimo-Aleut languages.



The Inuit people live throughout most of the Canadian Arctic and subarctic:


in the territory of Nunavut ("our land");

the northern third of Quebec, in an area called Nunavik ("place to live");

the coastal region of Labrador, in an area called Nunatsiavut ("Our Beautiful Land");

in various parts of the Northwest Territories, mainly on the coast of the Arctic Ocean and formerly in the Yukon territory.



Collectively these areas are known as Inuit Nunaat.



In the US, Alaskan Inupiat live on the North Slope of Alaska and the Seward Peninsula.

Greenland's Kalaallit are citizens of Denmark.

Sireniki Eskimos live mainly on the Chukchi
« Last Edit: February 05, 2009, 04:03:36 pm by Bianca » Report Spam   Logged

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Bianca
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« Reply #1 on: February 05, 2009, 04:00:53 pm »



INUIT GRANDMOTHER AND GRANDCHILD
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« Reply #2 on: February 05, 2009, 04:08:36 pm »



Distribution of Inuit language variants.
« Last Edit: February 05, 2009, 04:12:40 pm by Bianca » Report Spam   Logged

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« Reply #3 on: February 05, 2009, 04:11:49 pm »










In Canada and Greenland the term Eskimo has fallen out of favour, is considered pejorative and has been replaced by the term Inuit. However, while Inuit describes all of the Eskimo peoples in Canada and Greenland, that is not true in Alaska and Siberia.

In Alaska the term Eskimo is commonly used, because it includes both Yupik and Inupiat, while Inuit is not accepted as a collective term or even specifically used for Inupiat (which technically is Inuit). No universal replacement term for Eskimo, inclusive of all Inuit and Yupik people, is accepted across the geographical area inhabited by the Inuit and Yupik peoples.






Inuit, Yupik, and First Nations people


 
The Inuit Circumpolar Council, a United Nations-recognized non-governmental organization (NGO), defines its constituency to include Canada's Inuit and Inuvialuit, Greenland's Kalaallit Inuit, Alaska's Inupiat and Yup'ik people, and the Siberian Yupik people of Russia.[7]

However, the Yupik of Alaska and Siberia are not Inuit, and the Yupik languages are linguistically
distinct from the Inuit languages.  Yupik people are not considered to be Inuit either by themselves
or by ethnographers, and prefer to be called Yupik or Eskimo.

Inuit are recognized by the Constitution Act, 1982 as Aboriginal peoples in Canada, which also includes First Nations and Métis peoples.

The Inuit should not be confused with the Innu, a distinct First Nations people who live in northeastern Quebec and Labrador.

Some of the Inuit dialects were recorded in the 18th century, but until the latter half of the 20th century, most were not able to read and write in their own language. In the 1760s, Moravian missionaries arrived in Greenland, where they contributed to the development of a written system of language called Qaliujaaqpait, based on the Latin alphabet.

The missionaries later brought this system to Labrador, from which it eventually spread as far as Alaska
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« Reply #4 on: February 05, 2009, 04:14:00 pm »





             
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« Reply #5 on: February 05, 2009, 04:17:16 pm »










The Inuit are the descendants of what anthropologists call the Thule culture, who emerged from western Alaska around 1000 AD and spread eastwards across the Arctic, displacing the related Dorset culture (in Inuktitut, the Tuniit). Inuit legends speak of the Tuniit as "giants", people who were taller and stronger than the Inuit. Researchers believe that the Dorset culture lacked dogs, larger weapons and other technologies that gave the expanding Inuit society an advantage over them. By 1300, the Inuit had settled in west Greenland, and finally moved into east Greenland over the following century.

The Tuniit survived in Aivilik, Southampton and Coats Islands, until the beginning of the 20th century. They were known as Sadlermiut (Sallirmiut in the modern spelling). Their population had been ravaged
by diseases brought by contact with Europeans, and the last of them fell in a flu epidemic caught from
a passing whaler in 1902. The area has since been resettled by Inuit.

In Canada and Greenland the Inuit circulated almost exclusively north of the tree line, the de facto southern border of Inuit society. To the south, Native American Indian cultures were well established, and the culture and technology of Inuit society that served them so well in the Arctic was not suited to subarctic regions, so they did not displace their southern neighbours. They had trade relations with more southern cultures, but as is the usual case boundary disputes were common and often a cause
of aggressive actions. Warfare, in general, was not uncommon among Inuit groups with sufficient population density. Inuit, such as the Nunatamiut (Uummarmiut), who inhabited the Mackenzie River delta area experienced common warfare whereas the Central Arctic Inuit lacked the population density to engage in warfare.

The first contact with Europeans came from the Vikings, who settled Greenland and explored the eastern Canadian coast. Norse literature speaks of skrćlingar, most likely an undifferentiated label
for all the native peoples of the Americas the Norse contacted, Tuniit, Inuit and Beothuks alike.

Sometime in the 13th century the Thule culture began arriving from what is now Canada. Norse accounts are scant. However, Norse made items have been found at Inuit campsites in Greenland.
It is unclear whether they are the result of trade or plunder. One old account speaks of "small people" with whom the Norsemen fought. Ívar Bárđarson's 14th century account mentions that one of the two Norse settlement areas, the western settlement, had been taken over by the skrćlings. The reason
why the Norse settlements failed is unclear, but the last record of them is from 1408, roughly the same period as the earliest Inuit settlements in east Greenland.

After roughly 1350, the climate grew colder during the Little Ice Age and the Inuit were forced to abandon hunting and whaling sites in the high Arctic. Bowhead whaling disappeared in Canada and Greenland (but continued in Alaska) and the Inuit had to subsist on a much poorer diet. Without whales, they lost access to essential raw materials for tools and architecture that were derived from whaling.

The changing climate forced the Inuit to also look south, pressuring them into the marginal niches along the edges of the tree line that Native Americans had not occupied, or where they were weak enough to coexist with. It is hard to say with any precision when the Inuit stopped their territorial expansion. There is evidence that they were still moving into new territory in southern Labrador in the 17th century, when they first began to interact with colonial North American civilization.
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« Reply #6 on: February 05, 2009, 04:18:12 pm »



INUIT MAN IN A KAYAK
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« Reply #7 on: February 05, 2009, 04:19:14 pm »










Inuit language



The Inuit mainly speak one of the traditional Inuit languages or dialects, sometimes grouped under the term Inuktitut, but they may also speak the predominant language of the country in which they reside. Inuktitut is mainly spoken in Nunavut, and, as the Greenlandic language, in some parts of Greenland.

The Inuktitut syllabary used in Canada is based on the Cree syllabary devised by the missionary James Evans. The present form of the syllabary for Canadian Inuktitut was adopted by the Inuit Cultural Institute in Canada in the 1970s. The Inuit in Alaska, the Inuvialuit, Inuinnaqtun speakers, and Inuit in Greenland and Labrador use the Roman alphabet, although it has been adapted for their use in different ways.

Though conventionally called a syllabary, the writing system has been classified by some observers as an abugida, since syllables starting with the same consonant have related glyphs rather than unrelated ones. All of the characters needed for the Inuktitut syllabary are available in the Unicode character repertoire. (See Canadian Aboriginal syllabics character table.) The territorial government of Nunavut, Canada has developed a TrueType font called Pigiarniq for computer displays, designed by Vancouver-based Tiro Typeworks.

The Inuit language is written in several different ways, depending on the dialect and region, but also on historical and political factors. Moravian missionaries, with the purpose of introducing the Inuit peoples to Christianity and the Bible, contributed to the development of an Inuktitut writing system in Greenland during the 1760s that was based on Roman orthography. They later travelled to Labrador in the 1800s, bringing the written Inuktitut with them. This Roman alphabet writing scheme is distinguished by its inclusion of the letter kra. The Alaskan Yupik and Inupiat (who, in addition, developed their own system of hieroglyphics) and the Siberian Yupik also adopted the system of Roman orthography.

Eastern Canadian Inuit were the last to adopt the written word when, in the 1860s, missionaries imported the written system Qaniujaaqpait they had developed in their efforts to convert the Cree to Christianity. The very last Inuit peoples introduced to missionaries and writing were the Netsilik Inuit
in Kugaaruk and north Baffin Island. The Netsilik adopted Qaniujaaqpait by the 1920s.

The "Greenlandic" system has been substantially reformed in recent years, making Labrador writing unique to Nunatsiavummiutut at this time. Most Inuktitut in Nunavut and Nunavik is written using a scheme called Qaniujaaqpait or Inuktitut syllabics, based on Canadian Aboriginal syllabics. The western part of Nunavut and the Northwest Territories use a Roman orthography (alphabet scheme) usually identified as Inuinnaqtun or Qaliujaaqpait, reflecting the predispositions of the missionaries who reached this area in the late 19th century and early 20th century
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« Reply #8 on: February 05, 2009, 04:19:33 pm »

   

    Inuit basket made by Kinguktuk (1871-1941)
    of Barrow, Alaska.
    Ivory handle.

    Displayed at Museum of Man,
    San Diego, California.
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« Reply #9 on: February 05, 2009, 04:24:20 pm »









The Inuit have traditionally been hunters and fishers. They hunted, and still hunt, whales, walruses, caribou, seals, polar bears, muskoxen, birds, and at times other less commonly eaten animals such as foxes.

The typical Inuit diet is high in protein and very high in fat - in their traditional diets, Inuit consumed
an average of 75% of their daily energy intake from fat.

While it is not possible to cultivate plants for food in the Arctic, gathering those that are naturally available has always been typical. Grasses, tubers, roots, stems, berries, and seaweed (kuanniq or edible seaweed) were collected and preserved depending on the season and the location.

Anthropologist Vilhjalmur Stefansson lived with and studied a group of Inuit.  The study focused
on the fact that the Inuit's extremely low-carbohydrate diet had no adverse effects on Stefansson's health, nor that of the Inuit. Stefansson (1946) also observed that the Inuit were able to get the necessary vitamins they needed from their traditional winter diet, which did not contain plant matter.
In particular, he found that adequate vitamin C could be obtained from items in the Inuit's traditional diet of raw meat such as Ringed Seal liver and whale skin (muktuk).

While there was considerable scepticism when he reported these findings, they have been borne out
in recent studies.
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« Reply #10 on: February 05, 2009, 04:30:33 pm »



TRADITIONAL QAMUTIK
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« Reply #11 on: February 05, 2009, 04:35:03 pm »










Sea animals were hunted from single-passenger, covered seal-skin boats called qajaq, which were extraordinarily buoyant, and could easily be righted by a seated person, even if completely overturned. Because of this property, the Inuit design was copied, along with the Inuit word, by Europeans who still make and use them under the name kayak.

Kayaks have a special tube like design.

Inuit also made umiaq, larger, open boats made of wood frames covered with animal skins for transporting people, goods and dogs. They were 6–12 m (20–39 ft) long. They also had a flat bottom
so that it could come close to shore.

In the winter, Inuit would also hunt sea mammals by patiently watching an aglu (breathing hole) in the ice and waiting for the air-breathing seals to use them, a technique also used by the polar bear, who hunts by seeking out holes in the ice and waiting nearby.

On land, the Inuit used dog sleds (qamutik) for transportation.

The husky dog breed comes from Inuit breeding of dogs and wolves for transportation. A team of dogs in either a tandem/side-by-side or fan formation would pull a sled made of wood, animal bones, or the baleen from a whale's mouth, over the snow and ice. They used stars to navigate at sea and landmarks to navigate on land and possessed a comprehensive native system of toponymy. Where natural landmarks were insufficient, the Inuit would erect an inukshuk to compensate.

Dogs played an integral role in the annual routine of the Inuit. During the summer they became pack animals, sometimes dragging up to 20 kg (44 lb) of baggage. In the winter they pulled the sled and yearlong they assisted with hunting by sniffing out seal's holes and pestering polar bears. They loyally protected the Inuit villages by barking at bears and strangers. The Inuit generally favoured and tried to breed the most striking and handsome of dogs, especially ones with bright eyes and a healthy coat.

Common husky dog breeds used by the Inuit were the Canadian Eskimo Dog (Qimmiq; Inuktitut for dog), the Greenland Dog, the Siberian Husky and the Alaskan Malamute. When the dog was newborn, the Inuit would perform rituals on the dog to give the pup favourable qualities. Its legs were pulled to make it grow strong and its nose was poked with a pin to enhance its sense of smell.
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« Reply #12 on: February 05, 2009, 04:36:53 pm »

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« Reply #13 on: February 05, 2009, 04:39:19 pm »










Inuit industry relied almost exclusively on animal hides, driftwood, and bones, although some tools were also made out of worked stones, particularly the readily-worked soapstone.

Walrus ivory was a particularly essential material, used to make knives.

Art is a big part of Inuit history. Small sculptures of animals and human figures were made out of ivory and bone usually depicting everyday activities such as hunting and whaling.

Inuit made clothes and footwear from animal skins, sewn together using needles made from animal bones and threads made from other animal products such as sinew. The anorak (parka) is in essence made in a similar fashion by Arctic peoples from Europe through Asia and the Americas, including by the Inuit. In some groups of Inuit the hood of an amauti, (women's parka, plural amautiit) were traditionally made extra large, to protect the baby from the harsh wind when snuggled against the mother's back. Styles vary from region to region, from shape of the hood to length of the tails. Boots (kamik or mukluk) could be made of caribou or sealskin, and designs varied for men and women.

Certain Inuit also lived in temporary shelters made from snow in winter (the famous igloo), and during the few months of the year when temperatures were above freezing, they lived in tents made of animal skins and bones. Other Inuit, such as the Siglit, used driftwood, while others built sod houses.
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« Reply #14 on: February 05, 2009, 04:40:52 pm »




             

              INUPIAT WOMAN
              circa 1907
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