Tuesday, September 04, 2012

Inuit prople

Otherwise known as Eskimo. Thee are some really wonderful, really amazing peopele.
They have lived as hunter-gatherers for untold thousands of years. All over the worlrl, after farming was invented, the farmers always wanted more and more land. So they took over almost all the best places where hunter-gatherers had been living, and are still pushing. But the Inuit lived in ice and snow, so for a long time, the farmers did not did not invade their territory. To the Inuit where they live is the best place in the world, and always has been. Anybody who comes up there can see how beautiful it is, and if they stay around long enough to meet the Inuit, they will lern how beautiful they are too.
    Now you may have heard stories about the Inuit having  many many words for "snow". This is true. But they might have even more words for ice. In this case it's easy enough to understand why. When they leave their igloos to go hunting, they find their way around by the ice, which they can read like a gps map. At least equally important, their many words for ice instruct them, and their children, about where to walk and where not to.

As it happens many people in many parts of the world have experienced deadly effects of climate change. You may have been hearing about the ice in the Arctic Circle melting, getting smaller. Mostly when this is mentioned, it's like a way of understanding how serious it is. But for he Inuit it has become a disaster. Even the elders themselves can no longer navigate this suddenly treacherous ice. They must be much more careful how they travel, and use other markers to guide them. The children who once learned the ice when they were very young, cannot find their way around at all. So they don't go out to hunt or play. They stay home where it is safe. Safe, but boring and empty. What this means is that climate change is killing their rich traditional culture.


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