The Inuit People of the Arctic

The Inuit are one of the many self-designations of the Eskimo people.They are considered to be of Asian decent, which is noticeable from their small hands and feet.Another distinguishing feature is the appreciable percentage of the B blood type, which seems to be totally absent from the American Indian, whom they are usually mistaken to be descendants of (Mastny 25).These Inuit are scattered in small communities across Northern Alaska, northern Canada, Greenland, and the Chukotka region of Eastern Siberia.The Inuit in these regions total around 150,000 that makes up barely 4 percent of the Arctic's total population of 3.8 million (Mastny 25).The origins of the Inuit living in this region is very unclear, it is believed that they have been there for more than 4,000 years surviving the cold harsh winters and cool to cold summers.Temperatures in the regions range from –31 degrees F in the winter to 50 degrees F in the summer months
(Mastny 24).With this temperature range and the smaller amount of sunlight the Inuit have not been able to become true agriculturalists.Lichen, mosses, small shrubs, and a variety of small flowering plants are the only types of vegetation this climate can support.So, for the Inuit their lives have depended on the animals that inhabit the region.Caribou, seal, walrus, fish and whale meat were their major sources of food.
The Inuit population just as in many other societies drastically decreased due to the arrival of the Europeans in the 19th century by introducing new diseases.These colonialists also dismissed local land claims, relocated or integrated groups, and even removed their traditional ways.Now that they have been in contact with other societies their lives have changed greatly.Snowmobiles have replaced the traditional dogsled for land transport and rifles have replaced the harpoon during the hunt.Outboard motors,
Store-bought clothing, and other numerous m…

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