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Inside the life of the Inuit: Extraordinary photographs document how Alaska's Eskimos survived the cruelest of winters
07:29 GMT, 25 December 2012
An extraordinarily collection of rarely seen photographs capturing Alaska's Eskimos document the hard but persevering survival of the people commonly known as the hunters of the Arctic.
Photographed between 1909 and 1932, the collection offers a rare glimpse in the natives' everyday life from hunting polar bears, to building igloos, to their personal dwellings inside.
Standing with bow and arrows and hand, a hunter photographed in 1924 proudly poses before his kill of a massive polar bear, resting more than twice his size along the snow, arrows protruding from its chest.
Survivors: An Eskimo hunter poses with bow and arrows above a slain polar bear seen in 1924 with arrows protruding from its chest
Withstanding: A line of Eskimo men are pictured between 1900 and 1930 while wearing various shades and patterns of animal furs as protection
No boundaries: A man paddles in kayak, a popular use for fishing when carrying a spear
Alaskan camp: Photographed around 1916, two women are seen around a camp with furs and skins seen hanging inside
Children of the Arctic: Three Eskimo children are seen seated side by side, their hoods removed to reveal smiles and playful eyes despite the cold climate otherwise adapted to by the locals
Homes' accommodations: Stacked homes of cliff dwellers along King Island in Bering Sea, Alaska are seen just off the side of snow
In another photograph a young family carves out blocks of snow gradually stacked one-by-one into what could eventually become a sustainable and warm home.
Seen gathered around the developing structure, their four children, the youngest warmly wrapped and perched in furs on the mother's back, stand around their father's handiwork while three dogs sit at the side.
In stark contrast, bringing a piece of life from the south into the frozen and otherwise barren Arctic Circle, an Eskimo is photographed while sitting back on a stool clutching a copy of the Saturday Evening Post in 1913.
After living in the Arctic for more than 5,000 years, these extraordinary people can hardly be described as the earliest settlers.
But their unique methods and examples –
from their heavy, bundled furs to their exhaustive hunt for meat across
the ice and sea – are shown proven methods of survival.
Igloo building: A family of Eskimos containing four children and three dogs are seen surrounding the work of an igloo gradually built up from the surrounding snow
Home sweet home: An Eskimo hut, lined in animal skins, is seen from the outside
Indoors: The inside of an Eskimo hut lined with wood and animal skins in 1916 is seen
An Eskimo girl named Mukpi is photographed smiling in a bundled outfit of furs, left, while right an Eskimo medicine man stands over a sick boy
Ice fishing: A woman poses over an ice fishing hole, several successful fish seen at her left-hand side
Leisure time: A man sits back in a frozen field while reading a copy of the Saturday Evening Post in 1913
Walrus hunting: Hunters cut up a walrus, its horns seen held by one man seen left, center
As seen in the men and women who trucked across the frozen land with snow shoes strapped to their feet, the main hunting ground was the pack ice.
There walruses and seals would be speared, their meat taken as well as their tusks.
On the water kayaks would take to the sea, battling whales with spears despite the astonishing contrasted size of hunter versus prey.
Back on land, ice holes could be dug out for fishing as well as caribou and reindeer killed.
Until well into the 20th century, their food and culture was based on hunting. But later, as seen in one picture, scavenging for items like berries became a popular option too.
Valuable commodities: Walrus tusks drape over the side of a bin after a hunt
Hunter: A seal hunter is seen walking on land, his snow shoes helping him easily slide across the frozen land
Agriculture: Berry pickers composed of three women and two boys pose holding pails
Food on land: A herd of reindeer are pictured in Alaska's Cape Prince of Wales, another form of food for the men and women who turned this otherwise barren land into their sustainable home
Any weather: A child smiles beneath an outfit of furs in Alaska while inside a man is seated comfortably while smoking a pipe
Exciting welcome: People with dog teams meet the S.S. Corwin in Nome, Alaska in 1914
Mothers of the Arctic: Two women are photographed showing off their method of carrying their babies on their backs, both of which seen sleeping
Visiting the U.S: Eskimos from Port Clarence brought to the United States by the Reindeer Commission, Bureau of Ethnology, in 1894 are seen
Arctic fashions: A man and woman are seen ornately bundled, the man's top depicting what could be walrus tucks down his chest while the woman's collar mirrors an owl