Aleut, self-names Unangax̂ and Sugpiaq, a native of the Aleutian Islands and the western portion of the Alaska Peninsula of northwestern North America. The name Aleut derives from the Russian; the people refer to themselves as the Unangax̂ and the Sugpiaq.
Population and distribution They resettled many Aleut families to the Commander Islands (within the Aleutsky District of the Kamchatka Krai in Russia) and to the Pribilof Islands (in Alaska). These continue to have majority- Aleut communities.
Religious Beliefs. Because Russian contact quickly devastated much of Aleut culture, we know relatively little about the group’s traditional religion. It was animistic, with spirits of humans, animals, and natural entities requiring placation.
Aleut artists are known for making baskets and carving arts, including wooden masks and walrus-ivory carvings. Here is a page of Aleut mask photos, and a good website about Alaska Native artwork in general.
The staple diet of the Aleut were fish products and shellfish. These were supplemented by the meat obtained from sea animals such as the seal, whale and sea lions. The Aleut ate a great variety of shellfish including crab, shrimp, mussels and clams.
Although the name ” Eskimo ” was commonly used in Alaska to refer to Inuit and Yupik people of the world, this usage is now considered unacceptable by many or even most Alaska Natives, largely since it is a colonial name imposed by non-Indigenous people.
Unangan is another traditional name for them. Unanangan means Seasider. Unangax^ is the plural form for Unangan. Traditionally, Aleut Unangan men were the ones who hunted the seals, whales, sea lions, sea otters, sometimes walrus, and in some areas they were the ones who hunted the caribou and bears.
The name ” Alaska ” derives from the Aleut word Alaxsxaq (also spelled Alyeska), meaning “mainland” (literally, “the object toward which the action of the sea is directed”).
Summary and Definition: The Inuit tribe were a hardy people who were nomadic fishermen and hunters. The Inuit tribe lived on the western and northern coasts along the Bering Sea and the Arctic Ocean. They survived the harsh climate in igloos made of snow bricks or in tepee-shaped tents.
Inuit are Indigenous Peoples living in the Arctic regions of Canada, Greenland, Alaska, and Russia. Inuit have lived and thrived in the Arctic for thousands of years.
Various sources estimate there are fewer than 100 to 150 remaining active Aleut speakers. Eastern and Atkan Aleut are classified as “critically and severely endangered” and have an EGIDS rating of 7.
The name ” Alaska ” is derived from the Aleut “alaxsxaq”, meaning “the mainland” or, more literally, “the object towards which the action of the sea is directed”. It is also known as “Alyeska”, the “great land”, an Aleut word derived from the same root.
Stretched across the ocean between two continents, the Aleutians are an important habitat for birds. The islands are part of the Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge, the largest refuge in the United States. The islands are also an important stopping point for migrating birds.
The Aleutian Island chain extends from the Alaska Peninsula almost 1,500 km to the east between the Bering Sea and the Gulf of Alaska. It is composed of a series of sedimentary islands capped by steep volcanoes.