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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 7750 times)
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« 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 612 m (2039 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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