Abstract and Keywords
The Arctic part of the North American continent has seen some of the most fascinating and demanding human adaptations anywhere, culminating in those of the Inuit who live there today. This region is characterized by persistence of cold (long winters and short cool summers), permafrost (year-round frozen ground), large seasonal differences in the amount of sunlight, few or no trees, and a minimum of plant foods directly consumable by humans. To survive in this environment the Inuit peoples and their predecessors, of necessity, relied on technology and on animal resources to a greater extent than recent hunter-gatherer populations anywhere else in the world. This chapter explores the ethnographic and archaeological records of these peoples and this region to study the nature of childhood in prehistoric hunter-gatherer populations.
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