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Inuit Eskimos

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  • March 2005
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Inuit: The People of the Arctic
The native people that live in the Northern-Polar Regions of the world refer to themselves as "Inuit", or as Americans like to call them "Eskimos." The Inuit are nomadic tribes who live their life's very different from the rest of the world. They base their life on beliefs, customs, habits, traditions, and culture that are very different from the American culture. The culture of the Inuit is a very miss-understood culture and it is proven in this essay that the Inuit are more than just savage, seal, killing Indians, that sleep in ice houses, live in below freezing weather and only kiss with their noses.

"Inuit" is a word that means "the people", which is how they refer to themselves. Until recently outsiders called the Inuit, "Eskimos" which means "eaters of meat." Scientists have placed the Inuit in a separate anthropological category, while the Inuit are closely related to the native of Northern Asia, which is were they originally came from. Language provides an important insight into the lives of the Inuit. For example they must spend hours on end tracking caribou for many km or sitting by a hole in the ice waiting for a seal to show itself. The Inuit have no need to describe the past or future in great detail so they have no word for history. Another extreme is snow. There are many different words for many different types of snow. For example, aput is the the general word for snow. Snow that has recently drifted is akeolrak, but drifted snow is perksertok. The Inuit language is made up of words for the things that are important to the Inuit way of life (Halderson 2-7).

Beginning about a thousand years ago, the early Inuit began to spread into the Arctic of Canada, across the great land bridge known as the Bering Straight, which no longer exists. The Inuit eventually spread over 6000 km, from the Soviet Union to East Greenland. Within a few hundred years, they had replaced the earlier inhabitants of the region. The...