an aboriginal people of the Mongolian or American Indian stock, in all not amounting to 40,000, thinly scattered along the northern seaboard of America and Asia and in many of the Arctic islands; their physique, mode of living, religion, and language are of peculiar ethnological interest; they are divided into tribes, each having its own territory, and these tribes in turn are subdivided into small communities, over each of which a chief presides; the social organisation is a simple tribal communism; Christianity has been introduced amongst the Eskimo of South Alaska and in the greater part of Labrador; in other parts the old religion still obtains, called Shamanism, a kind of fetish worship; much of their folk-lore has been gathered and printed; fishing and seal-hunting are their chief employments; they are of good physique, but deplorably unclean in their habits; their name is supposed to be an Indian derivative signifying "eaters of raw meat."

The Nuttall Encyclopaedia. . 1907.

Look at other dictionaries:

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