The Inuit people were unable to farm and grow their own food in the harsh desert of the tundra. They mostly lived off of meat from hunting animals. They used harpoons to hunt seals, walruses, and the bowhead whale. They also ate fish and foraged for wild berries.
Where do they live? The traditional homelands of the Inuit include the Canadian Arctic — most notably in the region called Nunavut, but also the Arctic coasts of Quebec, the Northwest Territories, and Labrador — and the coastal areas of Greenland.
The two main peoples known as Eskimo are the Inuit (including the Alaskan Iñupiat, the Greenlandic Inuit, and the diverse Inuit of Canada) and the Yupik of eastern Siberia and Alaska. A third northern group, the Aleut, is closely related to both.
Inuit – This is the plural form of the people’s traditional name for themselves. Eskimo is a term used to mean people of North America or Greenland, as distinguished from Eskimo people from Asia or the Aleutian Islands.
This makes the Inuit population an exception of the latitude-correlated distribution of skin color. One possible reason is that the dark skin could protect the Inuits from the severe UV exposure because of the long daylight hours in winter and high levels of UV reflection from the snow.
While igloos are no longer the common type of housing used by the Inuit, they remain culturally significant in Arctic communities. Igloos also retain practical value: some hunters and those seeking emergency shelter still use them. (See also Architectural History of Indigenous Peoples in Canada.)
Among the problems the Inuit face is permafrost melting, which has destroyed the foundations of houses, eroded the seashore and forced people to move inland. Airport runways, roads and harbours are also collapsing.
In fact, in some northern cultures this is only done between mothers and children. So the mental image we might have had of the “ Eskimo kiss ” was misleading. Some Alaskan indigenous people accept the term Eskimo. Other peoples consider it offensive, because it was a label applied by Europeans and others.
Inuit is the contemporary term for ” Eskimo “. Inuit are “Aboriginal” or ” First Peoples “, but are not ” First Nations “, because ” First Nations ” are Indians. Inuit are not Indians. The term ” Indigenous Peoples ” is an all-encompassing term that includes the Aboriginal or First Peoples of Canada, and other countries.
People in many parts of the Arctic consider Eskimo a derogatory term because it was widely used by racist, non-native colonizers. Many people also thought it meant eater of raw meat, which connoted barbarism and violence. The word’s racist history means most people in Canada and Greenland still prefer other terms.
An Eskimo kiss, nose kiss, or nose rub, is the act of pressing the tip of one’s nose against another’s nose, usually interpreted as a friendly greeting gesture in various cultures.
Traditional Inuit religious practices include animism and shamanism, in which spiritual healers mediate with spirits. Today many Inuit follow Christianity, but traditional Inuit spirituality continues as part of a living, oral tradition and part of contemporary Inuit society.
” Inuit ” is now the current term in Alaska and across the Arctic, and ” Eskimo ” is fading from use. The Inuit Circumpolar Council prefers the term ” Inuit ” but some other organizations use ” Eskimo “.
The ancestors of the present-day Inuit, who are culturally related to Inupiat (northern Alaska), Katladlit (Greenland) and Yuit (Siberia and western Alaska), arrived about 1050 CE. As early as the 11th century the Norse exerted an undetermined influence on the Inuit.
Yupik, also called Yupiit or Western Eskimo, indigenous Arctic people traditionally residing in Siberia, Saint Lawrence Island and the Diomede Islands in the Bering Sea and Bering Strait, and Alaska. They are culturally related to the Chukchi and the Inuit, or Eastern Eskimo, of Canada and Greenland.