Traditionally Inuit culture had a kind of life that was totally influenced by the harsh climate and the barren landscapes that is so typical of the Tundra region. There were many beliefs that inspired great stories of the way there were people living here in the snow. Inuits in fact invented gear, tools and many methods so that they could survive in this ambience. Inuit culture has changed over the years.
Inuit communities are normally found in the Arctic region and also in the territories in the northwestern part of the world. Quebec and Labrador in Canada, Alaska and Russia are the areas where these communities are found. In Alaska people are normally referred o as Inupiat or Yupik. Russians call the Inuits Yupik. Inuits are called Eskimos and they find the term Eskimo very offensive. Injit means “the people” in the language they speak – the Inuktitut language.
The Iniuit homes are normally found in those areas where there are no building materials and where there are no trees. So the question of them being made by wood doesn’t arise. Snow is a very construction material. So the Inuits normally use snow to build their houses. These are called “igloos”. In the summer the snow melts and then the Inuits live in tents made of animal skins. Earlier the Inuits used to migrate between a summer and a winter camp and their houses were normally shared by many families.
The Inuits used to go from one place to another in sleds that were made out of skins and animal bones. These were normally pulled by dogs .The dogs were quite strong and had thick fur and were bred by the Inuits. Then there were kayaks or small boats that were used for hunting purposes. These boats or the ‘umiaq” were used to transport people and also supplies and dogs.
The Inuits lived in places where plants cannot grow . So they used to have a diet of meat The Inuits used to hunt and eat meat. They also used to eat seals, walruses, whales and fish.
The Inuit clothing was made out of animal skins. Fur was also used. Boots were usually made out of animal skins. There were thick coats with parkas or hoods that were used by the Inuits. The parka coats are still worn in many other places in the world but is made out of other materials.
Inuit life has changed over the years and man traditions and customs still are being observed by them. There are lot of storytelling sessions, and mythological tales told, there is lot of dancing and many ways of imbibing the cultural values in the society.
Inuit Culture history
During the 20th century, Inuit culture has undergone lot of changes. The Europeans were not in great touch with the Inuits and these people did not have any interest in settling down in the frozen Arctic reign. After the World War, the Arctic became a place where countries could access this remote place. Gradually Inuit children began to get educated and be a part of the new world. Permanent settlements were then created in this land of ice Arctic and the Inuits underwent a sea change in attitude, lifestyle and customs. Schools and many other institutions were opened and the Inuits started living in towns by the time it was 1960. In this manner the Inuits survived a great ancient way of living and today are in the social set up.
There are many Inuits who are still in the old fashioned way of living but it is not long that these people too would come out into this world and interact with the others around.
With a lot of intrigue and interest attached to them, the Eskimos or the Inuits are very special people in this part of the world with special customs and habits.