Beautiful collection of old photographs capturing the everyday life of the Inuit

Ian Smith
Featured image

Inuit are the indigenous peoples who have traditionally inhabited the northern circumpolar region from eastern Siberia (Russia), across Alaska (United States), Canada, and Greenland.

While since the late 20th-century numerous indigenous people viewed the use of the term “Eskimo” as offensive, because it was used by people who discriminated against them, in its linguistic origins the word did not have an offensive meaning. Alternative terms, such as Inuit-Yupik, have been proposed, but none has gained widespread acceptance.

In Canada and Greenland, the term “Eskimo” has fallen out of favor as pejorative and has been widely replaced by the term “Inuit”, “Alaska Natives”, or terms specific to a particular tribe. However, under U.S. and Alaskan law (as well as the linguistic and cultural traditions of Alaska) “Alaska Native” refers to all indigenous peoples of Alaska.

The term “Alaska Native” also includes groups such as the Aleut, who share a recent ancestor with the Inupiat and Yupik groups, and also includes the largely unrelated indigenous peoples of the Pacific Northwest Coast and theDene, who descend from other, unrelated major language and ethnic groups.

A line of Eskimo men are pictured between 1900 and 1930 while wearing various shades and patterns of animal furs as protection. Library of Congres. Lomen bros

A line of Inuit men are pictured between 1900 and 1930 while wearing various shades and patterns of animal furs as protection. Library of Congress. Lomen bros

 

An Eskimo child, 1929

An Inuit child, 1929

 

An Eskimo Family building an igloo, 1924. Library of COngres

A Family building an igloo, 1924. Library of Congress

 

Inuit child in fur

 

An Eskimo hunter poses with bow and arrows above a slain polar bear seen in 1924 with arrows protruding from its chest

A hunter poses with bow and arrows above a slain polar bear seen in 1924 with arrows protruding from its chest

 

An Eskimo man enjoying some music on a record player, 1922

An Eskimo man enjoying some music on a record player, 1922

 

Eskimo Berry Pickers. The picture was taken near Nome, Alaska in the early 1900's.

Eskimo Berry Pickers. The picture was taken near Nome, Alaska in the early 1900’s.

 

family portrait of an Inupiat Eskimo mother, father, and son.

family portrait of an Inupiat Eskimo mother, father, and son.

 

Inuit on kayak

Inuit on kayak

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