The Inuit- translating directly as “The People”- are found throughout Alaska, Canada, Greenland, and Russia, with a population of 160,000. They have a unique culture, a profound respect for nature, and a significant history dating back thousands of years.
The typical Inuit culture was a hunter-gatherer society that belonged to all people and animals equally. They believed in respecting the land and assigning specific roles for everyone in the community. That attitude has not changed today, and while the Inuit have adopted some Western ideas, they still maintain parts of their culture.
One aspect of their culture that remains the same is their pride in hunting. Traditionally, the Inuit had to rely on their skills and cleverness to survive, as they tended to live in areas where crops didn’t grow very well. Now, while it is easier for them to obtain food, they still often look to the environment for sustenance. Local people in the north regions will rely on fishing, trapping, and hunting to provide their own food.
Another important part of Inuit tradition is the kayak. They invented this boat for single passengers to hunt, and it was easy to put together with light materials they had on hand. Now, the kayak has been adapted to western cultures and modern materials. However, the roots of the kayak still remain within the Inuit people, and they take pride in it. While most communities now use modern boats, some still use kayaks for hunting.
For thousands of years, the Inuit have been living as peaceful, respectful, and resourceful people. They take food from the land while maintaining the utmost respect for it, and have been inventive in their creation of the kayak. Today, in the 21st century, there are still huge numbers of the Inuit that are carrying on traditions from the past.
Source: Arctic Voice
Image Source: Library Archives Canada
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