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Home  >  Digital Archives  >  People of the North  >  Native Peoples

The Iñupiat people live along the northern and northwestern regions of Alaska, and most villages are above the Arctic Circle and the tree line. The Iñupiat are mostly oriented toward the sea, and have traditionally relied on marine mammals such whales, seals, and walruses for food. Caribou and fish also are important foods. In addition, the animals' skins, bones, baleen, and other organs were valuable resources for making tools, clothing, weapons, musical instruments, and boats. As with all of Alaska's Native peoples, sharing is an essential code among the Iñupiat people. Dancing, drumming, storytelling, carving and other crafts are among the important cultural practices. Barrow and Kotzebue are the two largest Iñupiat communities in northern Alaska. At Christmas, children and adults compete in traditional games that have been passed down through the generations.


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Native woman and child
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A summer on the Thetis, 1888

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