The traditional Eskimo diet varies with the seasons. During the winter months, seals, whales and other sea mammals are hunted. The meat is eaten cooked, raw or dried. In summer and fall months, the major food sources are caribou, small game, fish and berries.
A traditional Eskimo delicacy is akutok, often called Eskimo ice cream. This is made from arctic berries, seal oil and caribou meat. Strong hot tea and hard biscuits, made with flour bought from a trading post, are served in nearly every home.
Eskimo is the name given to a group of people living in Alaska, northern Canada, Greenland and the Chukchi Peninsula of northeastern Siberia. The name was long thought to have come from an Algonquian Indian word meaning eaters of raw meat. However, it is now believed to have originated with the Montagnais Indians, a northern Canadian tribe, and may mean snowshoe-netter.
Eskimos possess a unique culture in a cold, harsh environment. They belong to the Mongoloid racial group. Eskimo language, part of the Eskimo-Aleut language family, consists of two branches: Yupik and Inuit. Yupik is spoken in Siberia and southwestern Alaska, and Inuit is spoken in northern Alaska, Canada and Greenland. The Inuit language has several dialects and is called Inupiaq in Alaska, Inuktitut in Canada and Kalaallisut in Greenland. In addition to their own language, many Eskimos read, write and speak English (in North America), Danish (in Greenland) and Russian (in Siberia).