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The Aleuts of the Aleutian islands

Listed under Traditional Cultures in Alaska, United States.

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The Aleuts are people indigenous to the Aleutian Islands along Alaska’s western coast. To thrive in such a challenging climate the Aleuts developed specialist technology; they built their homes partly underground with an entrance in the roof to avoid drafts and frequent rain and produced finely stitched waterproof clothing from fun and seal gut. The Aleuts also crafted weapons from ivory and are known for their intricate weaving skills, used to make baskets and mats from rye and grasses using only a sharpened thumb nail, which still survive today. Genetically and territorially related to Eskimo, there are two different Aleut dialects, spoken by around 1000 people. Aleuts have retained some of their traditional ways of life but have had to change their hunting habits because of competition. Visitor to the Aleutian Islands have plenty of opportunity of meet these people and to learn about their culture in museums and recreated houses etc. The Aleutian Islands are thought of as Alaska’s back of beyond - more wilderness than the rest of the great wilderness. 57 volcanos, mountain peaks, glaciers and vast, clear still lakes all stretching along a curved archipelago following a volcanic rift.

More information on the Aleuts.

Written by  World Reviewer Staff.

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