Indigenous peoples of the world have paved the path for the future. Many who appear to have been left behind by society remain in their lifestyle by choice. Over thousands of years, Indigenous groups and tribes have persevered the elements that seemed to surround their way of life. They learned to respect nature and the cycles of the earth. It is this knowledge and wisdom that has helped their culture to survive for centuries. Most had to weather the tropical heat and weather related trials, while others braved the opposite extreme of the arctic.
Extreme temperatures of the Arctic hold freezing levels of dangerously cold air and winds. History tells us the Inuits have occupied these conditions for over four thousand years. They are closely genealogically related to the Mongloid people of Asia. Wen you imagine places such as the frozen sectors of Alaska or Greenland, you would not assume there were plentiful resources available. The Inuits adapted to their environment quickly and steadily which preserved their population for generations. More than half of the living Inuit still reside in the icy spaces of Alaska, Greenland and Canada.
Bringing their knowledge of survival with them, they were able to thrive in the intense cold. We do not have strict documentation of their earlier years; however skilled tactics were passed down giving us a glimpse of the past. Making homes out of snow and ice was not an easy task and it was also not the only way they built cover. Inuits managed to have domed structures of packed snow and tents made from animal skins. The thick layers of fur and skin were an important asset to the groups. Clothing, jackets and hats kept them warm through the day. Building a fire and blocking the wind were essential aspects when it reached intolerable temperatures.
Inuit Resources and Beliefs
The Inuits stayed well maintained with three distinct hunting seasons they followed. Caribou, seals and whales held a variety of uses. Lengthy hunting periods led to vast feasting and long hours of work in between seasons. Preparing the animals included breaking them down for specific purposes. They used every part of the animal turning hide into clothing and shelter, the meat into food and the bones were sharpened into tools and weapons. Once the items were completed, they made a durable and lasting contribution to the Inuits self-sustainability.
As a part of their hunting experience, Inuit peoples would perform rituals to honor the spirits of the bodies taken. The spirit world was navigated by Shamans of the different tribes. A strong belief in both positive and negative energies was their culture and tradition. Inuits encircled an ancient spirituality that continues to be evident in their belief systems today. Linking the success and survival of their families and communities to the various Gods they revered was more than a religion… it was their life.