*Explains the origins, religion, and social structure of the Inuit.
*Includes a Bibliography for further reading.
“We are told today that Inuit never had laws or ‘maligait’. Why? They say because they are not written on paper. When I think of paper, I think you can tear it up, and the laws are gone. The laws of the Inuit are not on paper.” - Mariano Aupilaarjuk
From the “Trail of Tears” to Wounded Knee and Little Bighorn, the narrative of American history is incomplete without the inclusion of the Native Americans that lived on the continent before European settlers arrived in the 16th and 17th centuries. Since the first contact between natives and settlers, tribes like the Sioux, Cherokee, and Navajo have both fascinated and perplexed outsiders with their history, language, and culture. In Charles River Editors’ Native American Tribes series, readers can get caught up to speed on the history and culture of North America’s most famous native tribes in the time it takes to finish a commute, while learning interesting facts long forgotten or never known.
North Americans have long been fascinated by the Inuit, but this level of interest has been matched by a general lack of knowledge about the group itself. For centuries, they have been called Eskimos, despite the fact there are distinct differences within the group and many of them find the use of the word Eskimo offensive.
With that said, the group’s lifestyle has long been of interest to outsiders simply based on the fact that it’s so different. The Inuit live in harsh Arctic climates in Canada, America, Russia, and even Greenland, and they are descendants of the very people who historians believe crossed the landbridge that once connected Russia to Alaska thousands of years ago. Given the Inuit’s history and lifestyle, as well as general Eskimo stereotypes, the Inuit have long been associated with igloos, sleds, pack dogs, and other aspects of culture that people think of when they think of Alaska and freezing weather.
The Inuit’s homelands ensured that they came into less contact with Europeans than other Native American groups in North America, which has also added a degree of mystery to them. Legends and myths about the Inuit spread, including the allegation that they would put babies with physical deformities to death like the Ancient Spartans. Historians still speculate that the Vikings came into contact with the Inuit when Leif Ericson sailed to the northern tip of Newfoundland, and it’s even believed that the Inuit’s movements in that region (including to Greenland) helped displace the Europeans from their earliest colonies in what would later be deemed the New World nearly 500 years later.
Native American Tribes: The History and Culture of the Inuit comprehensively covers the culture and history of the famous group, profiling their origins, their history, and their lasting legacy. Along with pictures of important people, places, and events, you will learn about the Inuit like you never have before, in no time at all.
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