of these articles treats groups of peoples. For further meanings see Eskimo (term clarifying).
zirkumpolar (in

the arctic approximately around the north pole ) living groups of peoples call themselves Inuit woman Inuit Man inside of a Iglus Inuit kitchen with Inuit. Also those becomes similarDesignation Eskimo (s) used, but is to be noted with the fact that the two terms Inuit and Eskimo are not completely congruently used occasionally - then, even if more far away related arctic groups of peoples with are included like the Inuit traditionally by oneHunt culture are coined/shaped.

The total number of the Inuit becomes today estimated on approximately 150,000. On it live on Greenland about 50,000 Inuit, just as many in Canada - in the territory Nunavut about 25,000, in the northwest territories, in the territory Yukon, in the area Nunavik (north Québec) and on Labrador together likewise about 25,000 - as well as in Alaska about 30.000. A group of 10-20.000 lives in Tschukotka (northeast Siberia). The Inuit leads regionally different designations: Inuit in north and northeast Canada, Inuit andspecial Kalaallit on Greenland, Yupik in Siberia and parts of Alaska, Inupiat in the rest of Alaska and in northwest Canada.

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explanationthe name

Inuit is in Inuktitut the word for humans; the singular reads Inuk, humans - two humans are Inuuk. The so far still more well-known designation Eskimo originates from the language of the Cree - and Algonkin - Indian, those- spatially neighbouring settling - again and again arguments with the Inuit had. The word is usually interpreted as Rohfleischesser, recently also as Schneeschuhflechter - nevertheless latter interpretation results in only sense for Alaska Eskimos, there the Inuit in the north andNortheast of Canada before the time of contact with Qallunaat (D. s. from the south coming not Inuit) over no appropriate raw materials ordered. Eskimo in the meaning Rohfleischesser is regarded of many, but long not of all Inuit as disparagingly. In North America, but alsoin the remaining world the term Eskimo is used ever more rarely, above all after the Inuit moved the 1950er for years political and culturally increasing in the public interest.

Origin of the Inuit

the origin of the ancestors of the Inuit is not exactadmits. With Inuit infants „the Mongol mark arises “frequently; this could quite point on a relationship with today's altaischen peoples.

As safe it is considered today that „Paläo Eskimos “about 3000 v.Chr. (after the latter, about 10000 v.Chr. ending ice age) of Asiaout over the Bering Strait to Alaska (North America) immigrated. They arrived thus clearly later than the Indians at the American continent (Paläo Indians approx. 28000 v.Chr., Athabasken - Indians approx. 12000 v.Chr.).

Over about 2000 v.Chr. (Climate of the arctic more warmly than today)then a part of the Paläo Eskimos moved from Alaska until Greenland; „the Independence culture “and „the Prä Dorset culture “developed, later (500 v.Chr. until 1000 n.Chr.) the Dorset culture (in such a way designated after pieces of find close of the today's Südbaffin settlement Cape Dorset).

Parallel to it (2000v.Chr. until 1000 n.Chr.) one developed „Neo Eskimo culture “in the Alaska warmer by Pacific influence. Over approx. 1000 n.Chr. a recent migration of Alaska Eskimos over north Canada to Greenland (climate clearly more warmly than today) followed. They were slower the Dorset Eskimos, their developmenthad progressed, clearly superior and displaces it or mixes themselves with them. Their culture is called after pieces of find close of the nordgrönländischen settlement Thule „Thule culture “; Length of time of the Thule culture from approximately 1000 to approximately 1500 (up to the beginning of the „Small ice age “- around 1550-1850). „The Thule Eskimos “are the direct ancestors of the today's Inuit. The following period of 1500 to 1900 is considered as „Inuit Frühgeschichte “.

Traditional way of life

the Inuit have a relatively uniform (hunt) culture, the long time on thatHunt from sea mammals (seals, walruses, whales, polar bears), in addition, from land animals (Karibus) was based. Most important hunting weapon was the harpoon. Besides they operated fishing and collected fruits. Pursuing huntable animals was the reason for their nomadische way of life; in times of sufficient game occurrencesthey lived stationarily.

For progressive movement on the water they used the Kajak or the vielsitzigen Umiak (woman boat); on the country and the sea ice in the winter from dogs, the Huskies, pulled Qamutik ( carriage) served them as means of transport. In the summerthe dogs served as stretcher animals.

Most Inuit lived as groups of families in Camps - during the winter in the Qarmaq (Plural: Qarmait), a dwelling, those depending upon region and available material from stone, grass and earth deserts, low Gestrüpp, occasional driving wood andWhale bones and sealed with snow were built. Snow houses (Iglus) served usually not as permanent winter accommodations, but on journeys were put on. In the summer one lived in the air-more permeable tent, which was established from skins with milling nor bars. Elements more polarCulture were in all other respects among other things the nave and the Serpentin Öllampe (Qulliq), operated with oil from the bacon of sea mammals.

Cultural circulations

Inuit family

over meeting the Inuit culture with the culture of the white ones becomes in connection with the increasing„Emancipation “the Inuit much written, and not at all always freely of ideology. Frequently historical connections are also shortened represented, in order to emphasize for instance an individual fact, under what inevitably totallook suffers.

Since that 2. World war is subject the Inuit culture to strong circulations:The Nomadenleben is practical since end of the 1960er years to end, and the Inuit inhabits today in the south of Canada prefabricated settlement houses established because of the Permafrosts on Stelzen. These houses are heated with Ölöfen (each house with fuel oil supply tank). Fresh water becomes alsothe tank truck brought, and the used up water likewise with Tanklastern one removes. Kochplatz with electric cooker, rinse, Gefrierschrank, wash room with shower and/or bath tub and flushing toilet, even washing machine and laundry dryers are usual. The TV-equipment runs nearly around the clock. Correspondences becomeby fax devices and E-Mail connections settles.

Carriage dogs (differently than in north Greenland today in Nunavut rather a luxury) were replaced Kajak and Umiak by snow mobile, by factory-manufactured Kanus with outboard motors, and summer journeys do not become any more foot, but alsothe ATV (all terrain Vehicle, „Quad “) undertaken. The hunt for Greenland whales finds only sporadic due to international preventive measures according to strict national rules which are based on an agreement for the maintenance of tradition instead of (Nunavut: five Greenland whales within ten years). Traditional trade alsoPractically crawling and fox skins as well as with manual work from walrus and Narwal ivory came due to boycott by many states (for animal protection reasons) to succumbing.

However are since the 2. Half of the 1950er years Inuit art and Inuit arts and crafts important sources of the creation of value become.Serpentin and marble sculptures, art diagram, Wandbehänge and - carpets (among other things from Baker Lake, Arviat and Pangnirtung), decoration, ceramic(s) and dolls give today to a large number of Inuit artists and - artists of all generations apart from chase and fishing a substantial base of life. Internationally admits became asInuit artist e.g. from the Nunavut settlements Arviat: George Arluk, Lucy Tassiur Tutswituk; Baker Lake: Barnabus Arnasungaaq, Irene Avaalaaqiaq, Jessie Oonark (+); Cape Dorset: Kenojuak Ashevak, Pitseolak Ashoona (+), Nuna Parr, Kananginak Pootoogook, Pauta Saila, Aqjangajuk Shaa, Toonoo Sharky, Uvilu Tunnillie; Iglulik: Germaine Arnaktauyok (today in Yellowknife resident); Pangnirtung: Andrew Qappik.

The Inuit expects a positive development both in economic and in cultural areain the northeast of Canada of the education of the territory Nunavut, since 1. April 1999 exists and by the Inuit themselves is administered. Special value is put here also on the care by Inuit tradition.

Besides there are movements also state-spreading,which are to retain the culture of the Inuit and coordinate their political demands, e.g. the Inuit Circumpolar Conference (ICC). As very important problem the greenhouse effect is regarded, which does not only seem to change the traditional life of the Inuit substantially, butalso animal and plant world strongly affect. The government of the territory Nunavut, everything in front prime minister Paul Okalik, shows essential interest in as Kyoto minutes will achieve themselves to develop further and its goals.

See also


  • Ansgar mill: In the country of the Inuit - arctic diary, Bielefeld 2002 ISBN 3-934872-21-2
  • Ansgar mill: Kenojuak - life history of an important Inuit artist, Bilelefeld 2003 ISBN 3-934872-51-4

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