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The Inuit Way Of Life

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The Inuit were people who lived in the Arctic such as Alaska, Northern Canada and Greenland. They can also be called Eskimos. The word Inuit refers to "real people of the north" and from this distinction as well as their way of living which I observed at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History, I conclude that these people were a race of people with a strong spirit for life in general as well as each other. Their social customs included storytelling, dancing, drum playing, crafts, celebrations, games, hunting and survival skills. They based their social structure on the land, their families, and traditions that were passed on through generations.

The Inuit hunted and fished whale, seal, and walrus by way of a kayak or by waiting patiently near holes in the ice. They made great use of animal skins for warm and beautiful clothing as one may observe on display in the Polar World exhibit at the museum. They primarily made a living by hunting, trapping, and buying and selling handicrafts. They also traded whale blubber which was used for fuel. They traded the blubber with missionaries, whalers, and other foreigners.

Organization in Inuit society was nearly non-existent. There were no class divisions or divisions of rank among the people. They can simply be described as Eskimo tribes who shared the same traditions. There were no prominent leadership roles among these people. Family was considered the main focus with the eldest male of each family reigning with highest authority. This society was non-aggressive with values centered on cooperation. This is probably why there were no prominent leaders in this liberal-like society. The only character held in high regard was the Shaman who was believed to have relations with supernatural powers which controlled health, power, and the weather.

The Inuits valued their families and each member looked out for each other. Kinship typically included three past generations from



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