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The Daily Life Of the Inuit
Transcript of The Daily Life Of the Inuit
Stuffed with moss and feathers and fur between caribous hide and sealskin.
The Daily Life Of the Inuit
The Inuit, also known as the People of the Far North, or the Eskimos, live a very unique and uncommon lifestyle. They are the descendants of the Thule people, who existed from over 1,000 years ago.
By Jennifer Qian
How do they live the freezing cold and unforgiving ‘frozen desert’ of the north? What was their daily life like to be able to survive in these harsh environments?
The Inuit were nomadic people, who were mainly a hunter-gatherer society. They had many customs to make the nomadic life easier:
They lived in small villages that could be easily moved around.
The population of a village depended mainly on the availability of food. People in a village shared everything and hunted together, and land belonged to everyone.
Hunting was very important . The men were usually the hunters in the families, and
Good hunters were respected for their work ethic. oys were taken on their first hunting trip around the age of ten. Good hunters were respected for their work ethic. Food was very impotant and came in many ways:
Food & Hunting
mainly consisted of:
They used these resources from the animals to their fullest extent:
Their flesh was eaten as food
Their hides and skins were used for boats, tents, clothes, blankets and bedding.
Their fat was used as fuel for fire and warmth
Their intestines used for sacs and waterproof lining
Their bones and ivory were used to make tools and carve decorations.
that little was wasted,
and there was no pollution.
...could live in harmony with the extremes of nature.
Shelters and Tools
The Inuit lived in a place with the highest temperatures at around 50 degrees F and lowest at around -55 degrees F. They needed the necessary warmth that can be gotten from appropriate shelter:
Sod houses that they often came back and could be shared with whoever needed it after they left
Big ‘community’ sod houses (called 'quargit') were for ceremonies and workshops et.c.
Snow houses, better known as Igloos (called 'ingluvigak') that were made with snow saws and were ready to use within two hours.
The ‘community’ snowhouse is called a 'quaggiq'.
Skins and hides used to make these were also used to make tools like 'kayaks' and large whaling boats called 'umiyaks'.
There was a very versatile tool used by women called an 'ulu'. It could scrape and remove blubber, and cut sinew and frozen meat.
The inuit were the first to use the kayak!
Children were given mini versions of the actual tools to play with (like mini harpoons, spears, et.c.) so they could start learning how to use them from a small age. Tools were very useful and necessary and long trips were often taken to obtain them.
Family and Gender Roles
Men and women were very dependent on each other, and it was considered weird for a person to be living by themselves.
Kinship was VERY important to the Inuit; strangers could be killed if they could not prove they were related to someone in the village, making the villages really safe.
Young men and women were expected to start a family at around 15 years of age. They were also expected to take care of their elderly relatives. A typical Inuit family consisted of a husband, wife, 2-3 children, and usually some extended family.
Parents valued their children and encouraged them to be patient, cheerful hardworking, sharing, learn names of their relatives, and grow into strong adults. When babies were born, they were often named after relatives who had died recently.
These people could use
so much of the animal
Marriage was a unique as well - you were considered married if you lived together, so divorce would just be moving into separate homes.
Even though there were no real formal ceremonies, this was still very important to their culture. Relatives were not allowed to marry, and marriages could be chosen or arranged.
Women mainly did:
Housework, like skinning and butchering the animals hunted by the men, cooking, preserving, and tending to the fires.
They also prepared animal flesh and skin with the aforementioned ulu.
Built light shelters like tents and fish camps.
Made clothes by sewing skin and hides. They were often also decorated with intricate stitching, feathers, and other decorations.
Each gender had specific roles.
Men did things like:
building (boats, shelter, toboggans, et.c.),
lugging whale bones
carving designs in antlers and ivory.
Even though men usually made the decisions in the family, they also listened to and respected their elders, and all adults respected each other. Names were non-gender as well.
Though there are many dialects spoken by the Inuit, their native language is Inuktitut (or Inuinnaqtun).
Cited from the Office of the Languages Commissioner ( langcom.nu.ca)
Even though they are sometimes called Eskimos, they prefer to be called the Inuit or the Inupiat because Eskimo supposedly means eaters of raw meat.
Inuit means 'the people' in iInuktitut.
They had many beliefs and customs like gender and family roles, andthere were also Shamans, who were spiritual leaders, and special healers who could connect to other worlds and heal in ways no one else can.
They had a trampoline game called blanket tossing, which was done by a lot of people holding the sides of a hide and trying to toss the one person on it as high as they could.
Spiritual celebrations were done in groups yearly. These included singing, dancing, drumming, storytelling, and feasting together.
Ceremonial clothes were often decorated with carved ivory, feathers, beads, animal furs and tails. Jewelry was made of ivory, bones, claws, shells, wood, and other things.
Clothing of the Inuit was very different due to the harsh cold of their environment. Women often made the clothing, which were parkas and mittens made of hides and lined with wolf fur.
Women’s parkas had special additions to the called 'Amauti', for carrying infants.
Beacause being wet was very dangerous, the Inuit had special sticks to beat the ice and snow off parkas before they melted, and parkas were also lined with waterproof intestines of an animal.
Snow goggles were also made and used to protect the eyes from he glare of the sun reflecting off the snow of the icy desert of the north.
Socks were sometimes available to be woven from the long grasses found during the short summers.
The Inuit people are a very old and unique culture. Their simple yet different everyday life is fascinating and intriguing because of how they survived and endured in the climate of the north. The Inupiat People are ancient, special, and...
Thanks For Watching!
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Works Cited / Resources