Eskimo; Esquimaux; Innuit

(Eskimo = eaters of raw flesh) A race occupying the entire Arctic Coast, and the outlying islands of America from below Cook Inlet in Alaska around to the mouth of the Saint Lawrence. With the exception of the Aleut, all those scattered over this vast territory are practically homogeneous. They call themselves Innuit (people). They depend entirely upon hunting and fishing, live in tents in summer and snow houses in winter, and dress in the skins of animals. Their religion is a form of animism. Their first contact with the Scandinavians was about the year 1000. Towards the end of the 14th century a war broke out between them and the Scandinavian colony of Greenland, resulting in the destruction of the latter. Most of the Greenland Eskimo have been civilized and Christianized under Lutheran and Moravian auspices. The Russian Orthodox Church began mission work in Alaska, in 1794, with great success. The great Oblate Father Petitot visited the Eskimo in 1865, reaching Alaska in 1870, and the Jesuits established their first Alaska mission in 1886. They have a number of flourishing stations, and are assisted by the Sisters of Saint Anne, and the Brothers of Christian Instruction.

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