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Who Are the Inuit People?

The Inuit people were traditionally called the Eskimos. However, the term nowadays are rarely used due to its negative and derogatory connotations that accompany it.

The Inuits are indigenous people who thrive in the Northern-most parts of America particularly in the Arctic region. They can also be found in the cold regions of Greenland and Russia. The term inuti literally means “the people”. Though the Inuits are usually classified under one group of people, the term actually refers to an umbrella term of various cultures that are distinct from each other. Their rich culture tells of their long and intricate history. The Inuits are subdivided into different groups such as the Aleut, Yupik and Inupiat whose histories can be traced back eight thousand years ago in the Arctic. Because the Arctic region has a very harsh environment with extreme cold, the Inuit people survived through their close community relationships, cooperation among the community members as well as with the inspiration they got out of their adventures, stories and folklores. They use clothing made from animal skin such as that of bears for them to survive the extreme coldness of their environment. They were known also for their ingenuity as shown in the way their make their houses which can stand extreme winter storms, their crafts and boats which are valued by people around the world.

However, during the time when explorations were highly honoured, English and European explorers brought so much destruction in the way of life of the Inuits. Despite the hostility these people experienced, their rich culture has survived even at present.

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