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Their use and array of tools, their spoken language, and their physical type have changed little over large periods of time and space.

Alaskan Inuit inhabit the west, southwest, and the far north and northwest of Alaska, comprising the Alutiiq, Yup'ik (or Yupiat), and Inupiat tribes.

The Denbigh, also known as the Small Tool culture, began some 5000 years ago, and over the course of the next millennia it spread westward though Arctic Alaska and Canada.

Oriented to the sea and to living with snow, the Denbigh most likely originated the snow house.

Over 40 percent of Alaskan Inuit now reside in urban areas, with Anchorage having the highest population, and Nome on the south of the Seward Peninsula also having a large group of Inupiat as well as Yup'ik.

Within Inupiat territory, the main population centers are Barrow and Kotzebue. Anthropologists have discerned several different cultural epochs that began around the Bering Sea.

The name Eskimo was given to these people by neighboring Abnaki Indians and means "eaters of raw flesh." The name they call themselves is Inuit, or "the people." Culturally and linguistically distinct from Native Americans of the lower 48 states, as well as from the Athabaskan people of Alaska, the Inuit are closely related to the Mongoloid peoples of eastern Asia.

It is estimated that the Inuit arrived some 4,000 years ago on the North American continent, thus coming much later than other indigenous peoples.

Between 25,000 and 35,000 reside in Alaska, with other smaller groups in Canada, Greenland, and Siberia.

The Asiatic Eskimos had the custom of sharing wives between partners ( nangsaghag ), who were considered "brothers," shared food, helped each other in the hunt, and showed each other hospitality.

They had the right to enter into sexual relations with each other's wives.

The population of the historical Ipiutak was probably larger than that of the modern village of Point Hope, with a population of about 2,000 people.

Houses at Ipiutak were small, about 12 by 15 feet square, with sod-covered walls and roof.

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