Perfect for ages seven to 10.
In Charles River Editors' History for Kids series, your children can learn about history's most important people and events in an easy, entertaining, and educational way. The concise but comprehensive book will keep your kids' attention all the way to the end.
North Americans have long been fascinated by the Inuit, but this level of interest has been matched by a general lack of knowledge about the group itself. For centuries they have been called Eskimos, despite the facts that there are distinct differences within the group and many of them find the use of the word Eskimo offensive.
With that said, the group's lifestyle has long been of interest to outsiders simply based on the fact that it's so different. The Inuit live in harsh Arctic climates in Canada, America, Russia, and even Greenland, and they are descendants of the very people who historians believe crossed the land bridge that once connected Russia to Alaska thousands of years ago. Given the Inuit's history and lifestyle, as well as general Eskimo stereotypes, the Inuit have long been associated with igloos, sleds, pack dogs, and other aspects of culture that people think of when they think of Alaska and freezing weather.
The Inuits' homelands ensured that they came into less contact with Europeans than other Native American groups in North America, which has also added a degree of mystery to them. Legends and myths about the Inuit spread, including the allegation that they would put babies with physical deformities to death like the ancient Spartans. Historians still speculate that the Vikings came into contact with the Inuit when Leif Ericson sailed to the northern tip of Newfoundland, and it's even believed that the Inuits' movements in that region (including to Greenland) helped displace the Europeans from their earliest colonies.
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