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Yes indeed, Bossel
That's just what was said at the Polar Exhibition Hall in Dalien. I thought it was kind of amusing when it was presented.|
Of course that's just hearsay evidence, but so is the allegation that the word stems from an American Indian word whose actual origin and meaning are doubtful at best. Recently I saw a comment in a publication which alleged that Confucius was not Chinese and that he was born in Alaska, and the 'evidence' that was presented stated that Qufu (where the saint was born) sounded very much like an Inuit town in Alaska. So that kind of pseudo-scientific inference goes on and on and on.
I have always been interested in tracing the origin of different ethnic groups though.
People we call Eskimos originally came from Asia across a land bridge called Beringia (now a strip of water called the Bering Sea).
These folks do not use the word "Eskimo" when speaking of themselves.
Instead they use a term that to them means simply "people." In Canada that word is "Inuit," while in Alaska Eskimos refer to themselves as "Inupiat" and "Yupik." The word "Yuit" is used in Siberia. So you see even the word "Inuit" is not the only term used.
Here is a short description of Eskimo life in the four countries where they live:
Alaskan Eskimos form the bulk of the population. It is estimated to be approximately 42,000. By the early 1900s, rifle hunting and trapping greatly reduced the number of game animals. They began to hunt reindeer which had been brought in from Siberia (not by Santa Claus).
Canada's Eskimo population is about 27,000. Their lives didn't change a lot until the 1950s. The fur trade declined, and the number of caribou decreased after rifle use increased.
In the Soviet Union at present there are approximately 2,000 Eskimos living on the northeast tip of Siberia. They produce reindeer hides, walrus tusks, and bone and soapstone carvings.
There are approximately 55,000 Eskimos living in Greenland, presently a province of Denmark. A change in the climate had warmed coastal waters, which drove seals north and affected their livelihood. There are government programs for job retraining. The Eskimos who live in northern Greenland still follow the traditional life even as of today.
All in all, the influence of Europeans rather than the harsh environment has been much more challenging to their endurance.