Category: Inuit

Symptoms of atherosclerosis, or hardening and narrowing of the arteries, have been detected in the mummified remains of four Inuit adults who lived in Greenland about 500 years ago. The recent study used computerized tomography to examine the bodies of the two men, who are thought to have been between 18 and 22 and 25 and 30 at the time of death, and two women, who died sometime between the ages of 16 and 18 and 25 and 30, and one infant. Three of the four adults showed evidence of arterial calcification. Increased gunk in arteries can lead to life-threatening conditions such as strokes and heart attacks.

These Inuit’s atherosclerosis is a surprising find because current health theories suggest that a diet rich in marine foods and omega-3 fatty acids, such as that eaten by preindustrial-era Inuit peoples, would offer protection from arterial calcification. The individuals’ entire circulatory systems were not preserved, however, so the researchers were not able to determine the full extent of the damage to their arteries. The scientists also noted that heavy exposure to smoke from indoor fires may have outweighed the heart-health benefits of an active lifestyle and fatty-fish-based diet.

New genetic research now suggests that when the ancient Inuits migrated from Siberia to North America they brought their dogs with them. Considered one of the toughest and strongest breeds, this ancient Siberian canine was so indispensable, the genetic research shows the Inuits used them exclusively. They did not even interbreed with the new dogs they found in North America. The new study showed that over 4,500 years, Inuit new dogs were and remained genetically distinct and physically different from the dogs who arrived earlier in North America.

Where the humans went they brought their dogs, so Inuit dogs rapidly dominated and spread eastward in the North American Arctic alongside their humans’ migration. Because the Inuit remained faithful to their sled dogs, the pre-existing native dogs were almost completely replaced.

This genetic distinction has been maintained through today, too. The study compared 922 Arctic dogs and wolves who lived over 4,500 years. Modern sled dogs, according to their genomes, are some of the last direct descendants of the breed the Inuit brought with them from Siberia.

historical-nonfiction:

“Eskimo Girl Wearing Clothes of All Fur.”

Taken in 1915, this photograph and its title comes from an American cultural anthropologist’s collection of photographs and negatives. Eskimos today are known by their own word for themselves, Inuit, which means ‘people.’ The Inuit are the main indigenous people of the Arctic and sub-Arctic regions of Alaska, Canada, Greenland, and Siberia.

A couple followers pointed out that this post contains a word used as a slur for Inuit, and that slur not be used. Thank you for that! And I agree. Unfortunately, when this was taken, the title given by the photographer contained the slur.

As an attempt to correct that, and perhaps to help educate people, I included both the name of the photograph and an explanation for why “Inuit” should be used instead.

“Eskimo Girl Wearing Clothes of All Fur.”

Taken in 1915, this photograph and its title comes from an American cultural anthropologist’s collection of photographs and negatives. Eskimos today are known by their own word for themselves, Inuit, which means ‘people.’ The Inuit are the main indigenous people of the Arctic and sub-Arctic regions of Alaska, Canada, Greenland, and Siberia.

Inuit oral historian had ‘critical role’ in solving mystery of doomed Franklin expedition:

Working tirelessly over 30 years, Louie Kamookak, who died of cancer on March 22, came up with the most educated-guess of where Franklin’s lost ships might be. His work was key to the discovery of the Terror and Erebus — the lost ships of Captain Sir John Franklin’s doomed 1845 expedition to the Arctic.

Canada once tried to import yaks, to get Inuits in northern Quebec herding and farming, and “into mainstream Canadian society”. Basically the idea was to wean Inuit off their hunter-gatherer way of life. And as a side benefit, the yak-importation would cultivate a special relationship with a newly-independent India.

The plan never played out, partially because one of the three test yaks they brought in was sterile!

We fear the weather spirit of earth that we must fight against to wrest our food from land and sea. We fear Sila.

We fear dearth and hunger in the cold snow huts.

We fear Takanakapsaluk, the great woman down at the bottom of the sea, that rules over all the beasts of the sea.

We fear the sickness that we meet with daily all around us; not death, but the suffering. We fear the evil spirits of life, those in the air, the sea, and the earth, that can help wicked shamans to harm their fellow man.

We fear the souls of dead human beings and of the animals we have killed.

Therefore it is that our fathers have inherited from their fathers all the old rules of life which are based on the experience and wisdom of generations. We do not know how, we cannot say why but we keep these rules in order that we may live untroubled. And so ignorant are we in spite of all our shamans, that we fear everything unfamiliar. We fear what we see about us, and we fear all the invisible things that are likewise about us, all that we have heard in our forefathers’ stories and myths. Therefore we have our customs, which are no the same as those of the white men, the white men who live in another land and have need of other ways.

Aua, from a discussion recorded by Knud Rasmussen.

Born around 1870 in today’s Greenland, the Igloolik shaman gave this summation of local Inuit religion to Danish explorer and anthropologist Rasmussen in 1921. Aua was converted to Christianity by missionaries around the time of Rasmussen’s visit; his description is often interpreted as Aua contrasting Igloolik religion with the Christian message of trust in God. Still, his account provides a perspective on Igloolik mythology at a time when it was being slowly subsumed by the introduction of Christianity.

In another narrative recorded by Rasmussen, Aua said he took his name from a type of “little spirit, a woman, that lives down by the seashore” and from whom Aua got his shamanic powers.

Inuit people building an igloo in Fullerton Harbour, Canada in

via reddit

25 amazing vintage photographs that capture everyday life of Inuit people from the early 20th century.