The Inuit

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The Inuit

The Inuit are the northernmost inhabitants of North America. The name INUIT and Eskimo is given to the population of the Arctic region and the region from eastern Siberia to Greenland. The Inuit have been called "Eskimo" but they really do prefer to be called Inuit. The word Inuit means, "people who are alive at this time". Inuit also refers to the group of people of "Eskimoid" ancestry, which live in northern Canada. The word "Eskimo" means "eaters of raw meat" - and in today's time it is insulting to use the term. "Eskimo" is a word that comes from the CREE. It is a term that honors the ability of this group of people to survive in a harsh climate, living on the products of the hunt alone.

There were several different "Eskimoid" cultures that came to the Canadian Arctic at different times. Some of the names for the early culture were the Paleo-Eskimo, Arctic Small-Tool Tradition (which included the Independence I, Pre-Dorset, Denbigh Flint Complex - which was from Alaska), and Saqqaq (which were from Greenland). By 1700 BC, the Pre-Dorset Inuit were established in Northern Hudson Bay, the Hudson Strait, and Fox Basin. They used snow houses, and soapstone lamps, bows, toggling harpoon heads, and fish and bird spears. The Pre-Dorset Inuit used dogs for packing and hunting. The Inuit at this time did not use them for pulling sleds.

The Dorset Inuit had to change their techniques of a way of life based on seal and mammal hunting because around 1800 BC the climate in the Arctic became colder. The Inuit of the eastern Arctic have long known these people as the Tuint. From the early days of the Pre-Dorset and Dorset people who moved across the Arctic in the first millennium BC have left a record of their ...

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...anies a game. No such music was ever a form of worship. The Inuit would only use music for their own personal entertainment.

There are several different Inuit languages, all of which are close enough that speakers of one can usually understand those of another. There are dozens of different dialects - which differ in pronunciation and structure. The language of the Eastern Arctic is "Inukitut". This language uses symbols to represent different sounds. Missionaries working in Labrador and on Baffin Island developed a system, which was inspired by Pittman shorthand. Before Confederation in 1949, "Inukitut" was the language of daily life, and children were educated in their language.

Inuit art is beautiful. They made sculptures, jewelry, baskets, tapestries, dolls and clothing. Most of their carvings were made in whale-bones, walrus tusks, and soapstone.