Eskimos (or Esquimaux) or Inuit–Yupik (for Alaska: Inupiat–Yupik) peoples are indigenous peoples who have traditionally inhabited the circumpolar region from eastern Siberia (Russia), across Alaska (United States), Canada, and Greenland.
There are two main groups that are referred to as Eskimo: Yupik and Inuit. A third group, the Aleut, is related. The Yupik language dialects and cultures in Alaska and eastern Siberia have evolved in place beginning with the original (pre-Dorset) Eskimo culture that developed in Alaska. Approximately 4,000 years ago the Unangan (also known as Aleut) culture became distinctly separate, and evolved into a non-Eskimo culture. Approximately 1,500–2,000 years ago, apparently in Northwestern Alaska, two other distinct variations appeared. The Inuit language branch became distinct and in only several hundred years spread across northern Alaska, Canada and into Greenland. At about the same time, the technology of the Thule people developed in northwestern Alaska and very quickly spread over the entire area occupied by Eskimo people, though it was not necessarily adopted by all of them.
The earliest known Eskimo cultures (pre-Dorset) date to 5,000 years ago. They appear to have evolved in Alaska from people using the Arctic small tool tradition who probably had migrated to Alaska from Siberia at least 2,000 to 3,000 years earlier, though they might have been in Alaska as far back as 10,000 to 12,000 years or more. There are similar artifacts found in Siberia going back perhaps 18,000 years.
Today, the two main groups of Eskimos are the Inuit of northern Alaska, Canada and Greenland, and the Yupik of Central Alaska. The Yupik comprises speakers of four distinct Yupik languages originated from the western Alaska, in South Central Alaska along the Gulf of Alaska coast, and the Russian Far East.
The term Eskimo is commonly used by those in the lower 48 (states of the USA) and in Alaska to include both Yupik and Inupiat. No universal term other than Eskimo, inclusive of all Inuit and Yupik people, exists for the Inuit and Yupik peoples. In Canada and Greenland, the term Eskimo has fallen out of favour, as it is sometimes considered pejorative and has been replaced by the term Inuit. The Canadian Constitution Act of 1982, sections 25 and 35 recognized the Inuit as a distinctive group of aboriginal peoples in Canada.
Other articles related to "eskimo, eskimos":
... There exist some very common erroneous ideas about the Inuit ... These include "They have thousands of words for snow." This is a gross exaggeration ...
... Shamanism among Eskimo peoples refers to those aspects of the various Eskimo cultures that are related to the shamans’ role as a mediator between people and spirits ... Such beliefs and practices were once widespread among Eskimo groups, but today are rarely practiced, and it was already in the decline among many groups even in the times when the first major ... For example, at the end of 19th century, Sagdloq died, the last shaman among Polar Eskimos who was believed to be able to travel to the sky and under the sea, and many other shamanic capabilities such as ...
... Little is known about the history of Sireniki Eskimo language ... According to a supposition, the peculiarities of Sireniki Eskimo language may be the result of a supposed long isolation from other Eskimo groups ...
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