Inuit Culture and Society Essay

Inuit Culture and Society Essay

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When you mention Alaska and the Arctic Circle, one envisions igloos, dog sleds, and invariably, Eskimos. However, little do most know, that what most refer to as Eskimos is actually a generalization representing three distinct groups. In order to understand the societies that live in this region and acknowledge their cultural differences we must explore the different groups that inhabit this region of which there are two: the Inuit, and the Yupik.
For the purposes of this discussion we will focus on the lives of the Inuit. The Inuit are a group of people often mischaracterized as Eskimos. They lived in the area of central and northeastern Canada and Greenland. There has been much discussion of the orignination of this group of people but the most recognized theory is that they crossed from northern Asia across thin bridge of land over the Bering Strait sometime around 6000-2000 BC. Many people mistakenly think that the Inuit and Native Americans are one in the same. It seems that the Inuit most likely came from Asia more likely than the Native Americans. Although both probably came to the Americas through the Bering Strait. Biological, cultural and dialect differences show the different origin. Much of this theory is supported due to the close resemblance of the Inuit to the Mongoloid races of Eastern Asia. Because of the harsh land and climate of the Arctic, this area was probably one of the last regions to be inhabited making the Inuit on of the earth’s younger cultures.
A large portion of the Inuit culture was developed based upon the need to survive. Migratory societies such as the Inuit were driven by the need for food to feed its members, by the availability of trade to secure resources not normally available ...

... middle of paper ..., J. Sidney. (2012). Inuit, . Retrieved March 11, 2012, from The Inuit Culture. (2009). Retrieved March 10, 2012, from Frederic V. Grunfeld (Ed.), Oker: Spiele der Welt II. (in German) Fischer, Frankfurt/M 1984. ISBN 3-596-23075-6 Betty Kobayashi Issenman: Sinews of Survival – The Living Legacy of Inuit Clothing. UCB Press, Vancouver 1997. Pulaarvik Friendship Kablu Centre (2007). Retrieved March 7,2012, from Maas, David. "Alaska Natives," in Native North American Almanac, edited by Duane Champagne. Detroit: Gale Research, 1994. Craig, Rachel. "Inupiat." Native American in the Twentieth Century: An Encyclopedia, edited Mary B. Davis. New York: Garland Publishing, 1994. Ernest Burch Jr., Werner Forman: The Eskimos. University of Oklahoma Press, Norman 1988, Macdonald/Orbis, London 1988

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