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Difference Between Eskimo and Inuit

Eskimo vs Inuit
 

Eskimo is a word that most people around the world associate with indigenous or native people living around the polar regions of the world namely Siberia, Alaska, Greenland, and some parts of Canada. We get to read about people living in homes made of snow; these are the people we tend to call Eskimos. Inuit is a word used to refer to a group of people living in arctic regions of the world. This article highlights the difference between Eskimo and Inuit.

Eskimo

Eskimo is a blanket term used to refer to indigenous people living in Polar Regions of the world that are extremely cold and icy. The term includes both Yupik and Inuit people who live in Alaska, Siberia, Canada, and Greenland. To the outside world, all original inhabitants of these snow clad regions of the world are Eskimos. However, the generic term Eskimos is avoided by people in Canada and Greenland as it has negative connotations. The word means ‘Eaters of raw flesh’ which is considered pejorative by the indigenous people. In fact, Canadian government passed an act in 1982, giving recognition to the word Inuit over Eskimo to refer to indigenous people of Canada. However, despite the fact that all indigenous people of Canada and Greenland can be termed as Inuit, the term cannot be applied to all indigenous people living in and around Siberia and Alaska.

Inuit

Inuit is a term used to refer to indigenous people of Canada and Greenland as Eskimo is considered a pejorative term by the original inhabitants. However, the term Eskimo continues to be used to refer to both Yupik as well as Inupiat people of Alaska and Siberia. It is better to call indigenous people Inuit or Yupik, but not Eskimos.

What is the difference between Eskimo and Inuit?

• While Eskimo is a blanket term used to refer to indigenous people living in the arctic and Polar Regions of the world, Inuit is a term used to refer to original inhabitants of Canada and Greenland.

• Eskimo continues to be used for indigenous people living in Alaska and Siberia while Canada government has passed an act in 1982 giving recognition to the term Inuit. This has been done as the original inhabitants considered the term Eskimo as offensive and pejorative as it means eaters of raw flesh.

• Call original inhabitants of Alaska and Siberia as Eskimos, but call indigenous people in Canada and Greenland Inuit or Yupik as the case may be.

• Eskimo remains the only all-inclusive term for original inhabitants from Siberia to Greenland.

• Alaskans love the term Eskimos, but dislike being called Inuit.


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