Wonderful photo collection of Eskimo life a hundred years ago.

I love these candid photos. The photographer caught many of these people smiling and laughing.

I’m always fascinated how indigenous people survived and even thrived in harsh artic conditions. Carving out a life and diet very unique to the Arctic. They are a special people and culture.

My three top favorites
Children in water kayaks
Woman berry pickers
Woman holding child, Eskimo kitchen. She has such a joyous expression.

Apparently, there were no “Code Enforcers of the North”.

Ugggh… this OP sounds like Trump (jr? or was it Eric?) talking about happy poor people in India. Oh, Don Junior https://www.npr.org/sections/goatsandsoda/2018/02/21/587604741/donald-trump-jr-is-impressed-by-the-smile-on-a-face-of-indias-poor

Is it that amazing that we poor people can manage to look happy for a day, hour, minute or the moment a photo is taken?

And the rest of the time we just “look”. Much like the photo (B&W) of my GGM, GM, Mother and her holding my oldest sister… on the reservation in the late 60s. No one was smiling.

The ups and downs of all those women’s lives were not captured by that picture.

(I’m jealous and don’t have a copy of it… just for the historical and maybe a tiny bit of “family” tug want.)

Thanks. This definitely gives us a glimpse of what life was like for them back then. They are now a dying breed due to cosmopolitanism…

Eskimo is a derogatory term, according to those to whom it is applied. They would prefer their correct title, Inuit.

Small thing? Perhaps, but an important thing too.

Thought you ought to know.

Now I’m craving an Inuit Pie.

Also, I’m reminded of my favorite Heathers quote: “Inuit.”

Never that simple though is it? Only the Inuit actually want to be called Inuit. All other northern polar people have their own names for their groups and using “Inuit” for them would be wrong and potentially offensive. Indeed, some of those other groups are happy to be labelled “Eskimo” as a general grouping, just like “Scandinavian” refers to the general populace of a particular area.

So yes, in Canada Eskimo can be offensive but that doesn’t mean its use is always offensive in all circumstances and for all people.

The photo of King Island is interesting. The place was abandoned in the '70s, although there is still some visitation there by hunters.

As for the Eskimo/Inuit discussion that always comes up, the collective term in Alaska is “Alaska Natives”, with people identifying with individual divisions. I never knew an Alaskan Inuit who objected to the term ‘Eskimo’, although I’m sure that a Tsimshian or Tlingit would correct someone in that regard.

The Inupiat and Yupik are not Inuit, and don’t want to be called Inuit.

Sorry, the Inupiat are Inuit.
It’s the Aleut that are not.

My Inupiat relatives, who refer to themselves as “Alaskan Native,” “Inupiat,” or “Eskimo,” will be surprised to learn this.

Awful Trumps aside, isn’t this a bit over-sensitive? The OP only remarks that people in some of the photos are looking jolly. Are you suggesting that without modern-day consumerist wealth, no-one is ever happy? If I was the child recipient of that exquisite toy boat in that picture, I’d be pretty happy I’m sure (I’d be happy enough as a middle-aged recipient, frankly…).

No they aren’t.

I missed that comment, and you’re absolutely right. Alaska Natives have a vibrant culture and they keep traditions alive, as well as having considerable political and commercial clout. The largest of the Alaska Native corporations is Arctic Slope Regional Corporation (ASRC), which has assets of over $6 billion and contracts worldwide. There are still persistant problems in village life, with high incidences of addiction and assault, and high unemployment, but their way of life is far from dying.

If he would have stuck with the first sentence and not included the second sentence I wouldn’t have gotten the “Look at the happy poor/Native/vanishing/backwards people” vibe. Throw in the “pats on the head, aren’t they special” last sentence in the second paragraph and the vibe went full vibrator.

Yeah, I think that you are seeing something that isn’t there.

As others have said, at least in American English, this is equivalent to saying European is derogatory and we should all use the more correct term, German.

It is, however, true that Canadian English regards Eskimo as a serious insult, which leads to some interesting discussions in places where American and Canadian English can come into conflict on the subject, such as Wikipedia article talk pages: The Canadians are shocked and appalled (shocked and appalled, I tell you!) that this horrible, unjustifiable word is being used, whereas the Americans are slightly amused that this is even a point of contention, especially, as has been noted in this thread already, the Americans who self-apply those words and/or know people who do.

Being poor or rich doesn’t make people unhappy or happy. To the extent that poor people are less happy than richer people (and I’m not sure this is so) this would be the result of income inequality and unfulfilled aspirations. But to the extent that a given lifestyle is all people know and accept, then this wouldn’t be a factor.

The introduction of television in rural Alaska had a huge impact on how Natives viewed themselves and their lives. It was a big contributor to the exodus of young people for the cities, and the decline in respect for cultural values.

Can’t say for Alaska but down here in the other 48 states (because I don’t speak for Hawaii either) (actually I only speak for my household, close relatives and my reservation) … yep. And the internet as it became available via community centers, schools and, now, phones.

But the last decade and a half has seen a huge resurgence (for my Band, at least) of (re)-learning culture, language and values. The opioid debacle let alone heroin (cheaper at the start) or alcohol (our constant demon) has had our people fighting hard with many classes/hospital help/tribal medicine help. It’s a hard fight. And we do it on our own for the most part.

As an apple, I have had it easy. If I lived on the Rez I could have access to some more stuff but… not my husband of 25 years. He’s White so not allowed (rollseyes).

Just more gov. stuff (not USA, Sovereign of the actual kind) and still not as bad as one picture or 3 showing “fascination” for a whole people or happiness for a whole people.

The photos are actually beautiful… which is all that needed to be said.