Ms. Cora Dunaway
April 16, 2012
The Inuit of the Arctic
The Inuit of the Arctic are a unique tribe or people. They have adapted and learned to live in what is known as one of the harshest environments known to mankind. The majority of the Inuit people live in camps along the coastline and no doubt had to adapt to their environment or face extension. They are made up of various social groups with a bilateral kinship system that provides the Inuit’s’ with a flexible social structure. Imagine living in an environment that maintains sub zero temperatures almost year around, has extended periods of darkness and daylight, and having no wood for cooking food or shelter. “It can be said that the Inuit were an “edge” people who looked to the land and sea, the winter and summer, and the hunting and domestic technologies for survival. (Effland, R., The Arctic People: Inuit, para. 3)
Their people are spread out over a vast territory that extends more than five thousand miles along the Arctic Circle from Russia, Alaska, northern Canada to Greenland. Mr Effland states that “There are fewer than 110,000 Inuit today thinly distributed across the inhospitable region. (Effland, R., The Arctic People: Inuit, para.1). Nearly all areas are covered by ice year around with winter temperatures dropping as low as a -58 degrees Fahrenheit in some regions of this area. This type environment provided limited materials to utilize as or forge into tools. The Inuit made very good use of the raw materials at their disposal. Skins, bone, antler, ivory, and what limited wood were used for making tools and constructing houses. (Effland, para. 3) The is little to gather during the Arctic’s long winter so most the diet is from hunting animals with occasional supplement of roots and berries during the brief summer. The social organization of the Inuit is considered that of a “band”. The band usually consisted of anywhere from...