Inuit

Food

Inuit Hunter
The walrus, seal, and other fur-bearing sea mammals supply food and clothing to the Inuit. All parts of the animals were used. Parkas were made of seal-skin. The walrus hide was made into boats.

In the winter seals were harpooned at their breathing holes in the ice. A hunter might have to stand still for hours waiting for the seal to come up for air. In the summer the seals came out of the water to sun themselves. The hunter can crawl close to the seal and throw a harpoon to kill the seal.

In late summer the caribou were hunted. Inuit hunters made camp near the caribou grazing grounds. They would ambush the slow-moving herd with bows and arrows.

 

Customs

The Arctic people are closely connected to nature. Their tradition believes that every being has a spirit and must be treated with respect.

Tools/Weapons

Umiaks

Umiaks were large open boats.

Kayaks

The kayak was a light canoe. It was made by stretching skins over a wooden framework.

Harpoons

The Inuit used several kinds of harpoons and spears. Large harpoons were used to hunt the walrus. Smaller spears were used for hunting small animals and birds. Wooden spear throwers were used to increase the spear's power. All spear throwers were individually made for the hunter. The length of the thrower was equal to the distance between the hunters forefinger and his elbow. This have the hunter and extra arm joint.

Dog Sleds
Inuit Dog Sled

Dog sleds were a means of transportation.

 

Art

Inuit artists created simple animals, birds, and scenes of daily life and travel. These were often appliquéd to caribou and sealskin. Stone sculptures of animals such as the wolf, polar bear, birds, reindeer, and walrus were also common.

Scrimshaw
Directions for making a scrimshaw drawing

Scrimshaw was a famous technique used by the Inuit. The Inuit engraved pictures that told stories in ivory and then rubbed the carving with lampblack.

 

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