The United States of America known as the United States or America, is a country composed of 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, various possessions. At 3.8 million square miles, the United States is the world's third or fourth largest country by total area and is smaller than the entire continent of Europe's 3.9 million square miles. With a population of over 327 million people, the U. S. is the third most populous country. The capital is Washington, D. C. and the largest city by population is New York City. Forty-eight states and the capital's federal district are contiguous in North America between Canada and Mexico; the State of Alaska is in the northwest corner of North America, bordered by Canada to the east and across the Bering Strait from Russia to the west. The State of Hawaii is an archipelago in the mid-Pacific Ocean; the U. S. territories are scattered about the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, stretching across nine official time zones. The diverse geography and wildlife of the United States make it one of the world's 17 megadiverse countries.
Paleo-Indians migrated from Siberia to the North American mainland at least 12,000 years ago. European colonization began in the 16th century; the United States emerged from the thirteen British colonies established along the East Coast. Numerous disputes between Great Britain and the colonies following the French and Indian War led to the American Revolution, which began in 1775, the subsequent Declaration of Independence in 1776; the war ended in 1783 with the United States becoming the first country to gain independence from a European power. The current constitution was adopted in 1788, with the first ten amendments, collectively named the Bill of Rights, being ratified in 1791 to guarantee many fundamental civil liberties; the United States embarked on a vigorous expansion across North America throughout the 19th century, acquiring new territories, displacing Native American tribes, admitting new states until it spanned the continent by 1848. During the second half of the 19th century, the Civil War led to the abolition of slavery.
By the end of the century, the United States had extended into the Pacific Ocean, its economy, driven in large part by the Industrial Revolution, began to soar. The Spanish–American War and World War I confirmed the country's status as a global military power; the United States emerged from World War II as a global superpower, the first country to develop nuclear weapons, the only country to use them in warfare, a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council. Sweeping civil rights legislation, notably the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and the Fair Housing Act of 1968, outlawed discrimination based on race or color. During the Cold War, the United States and the Soviet Union competed in the Space Race, culminating with the 1969 U. S. Moon landing; the end of the Cold War and the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 left the United States as the world's sole superpower. The United States is the world's oldest surviving federation, it is a representative democracy.
The United States is a founding member of the United Nations, World Bank, International Monetary Fund, Organization of American States, other international organizations. The United States is a developed country, with the world's largest economy by nominal GDP and second-largest economy by PPP, accounting for a quarter of global GDP; the U. S. economy is post-industrial, characterized by the dominance of services and knowledge-based activities, although the manufacturing sector remains the second-largest in the world. The United States is the world's largest importer and the second largest exporter of goods, by value. Although its population is only 4.3% of the world total, the U. S. holds 31% of the total wealth in the world, the largest share of global wealth concentrated in a single country. Despite wide income and wealth disparities, the United States continues to rank high in measures of socioeconomic performance, including average wage, human development, per capita GDP, worker productivity.
The United States is the foremost military power in the world, making up a third of global military spending, is a leading political and scientific force internationally. In 1507, the German cartographer Martin Waldseemüller produced a world map on which he named the lands of the Western Hemisphere America in honor of the Italian explorer and cartographer Amerigo Vespucci; the first documentary evidence of the phrase "United States of America" is from a letter dated January 2, 1776, written by Stephen Moylan, Esq. to George Washington's aide-de-camp and Muster-Master General of the Continental Army, Lt. Col. Joseph Reed. Moylan expressed his wish to go "with full and ample powers from the United States of America to Spain" to seek assistance in the revolutionary war effort; the first known publication of the phrase "United States of America" was in an anonymous essay in The Virginia Gazette newspaper in Williamsburg, Virginia, on April 6, 1776. The second draft of the Articles of Confederation, prepared by John Dickinson and completed by June 17, 1776, at the latest, declared "The name of this Confederation shall be the'United States of America'".
The final version of the Articles sent to the states for ratification in late 1777 contains the sentence "The Stile of this Confederacy shall be'The United States of America'". In June 1776, Thomas Jefferson wrote the phrase "UNITED STATES OF AMERICA" in all capitalized letters in the headline of his "original Rough draught" of the Declaration of Independence; this draft of the document did not surface unti
The Nunamiut or Nunatamiut are semi-nomadic inland Iñupiat located in the northern and northwestern Alaskan interior around Anaktuvuk Pass, Alaska. Early Nunamiut lived by hunting caribou instead of the marine mammals and fish hunted by coastal Iñupiat. After 1850 the interior became depopulated because of diseases, the decline of the caribou and the migration to the coast where whaling and fox trapping provided a temporarily promising alternative; the Nunamiut hunted caribou. When caribou numbers dwindled in the 19th century, some Nunamiut migrated towards the Mackenzie River delta. Around 1910, with caribou continuing to be insufficient to sustain the native hunting, Nunatamiut migrated further into the Siglit area, they were spurred by increased demand for furs by the Hudson's Bay Company and the possibility of jobs within the whaling industry. The Inuvialuit of the Siglit area were unhappy with the arrival of the Nunatamiut, afraid that the Nunatamuit would deplete the Inuvialuit's Bluenose caribou herd.
But the Nunatamiut, inland hunters of the Iñupiat region, were in high demand by the American whalers. The Nunatamiut who settled in the Siglit area became known as the Uummarmiut and intermarried with the local Inuvialuit. In 1938, several Nunamiut families returned to the Brooks Range, around Chandler Lake and the Killik River. In 1949, the Chandler Lake Nunamiuts moved to Anaktuvuk Pass. Anaktuvuk Pass is the only Nunamiut settlement. A federally-recognized Alaskan village is located Anaktuvuk—the Village of Anaktuvuk Pass, the Naqsragmiut Tribal Council; the Nunamiut were visited after World War II by author Helge Ingstad. He stayed for a period in the Brooks Range in northern Alaska among the Nunamiut, afterwards wrote Nunamiut - blant Alaskas innlandseskimoer. During the last few years of his life, he worked on categorizing and annotating the large quantity of photos and audio recordings he had made while living with the Nunamiut in 1950; the effort resulted in a booklet, Songs of the Nunamiut, with an accompanying CD containing the audio material.
This is an valuable contribution to the preservation of the Nunamiut culture, because it turned out that much of what he had gathered in the mid-20th century was now lost locally and was only preserved in his recordings. According to archaeologist Lewis Binford, the Nunamiut depend on meat more so than any other living hunter-gatherer group; the annual cycle of Nunamiut life revolves around the annual migrations of caribou. Spring: The main caribou migrations happen in March and April, when caribou move north through Anaktuvuk Pass to feed on the plains. Summer: The plains thaw and become a marshland swarming with blackflies and mosquitoes. Autumn: The caribou hunting cycle repeats in September and October when caribou retreat south again. Winter: There are about 72 days of total winter darkness starting around November 15; the native language of the Nunamiut is a dialect of Iñupiaq. In the late 1960s, the University of California, Berkeley sent undergraduate linguistics student Dennis Schmitt to the Nunamiut to study their dialect.
There are few native speakers today. The Nunamiut speak English, their culture is contrasted by strong collectivist and individualist tendencies, both of which are a reflected in their "uncertainty language game". This involves one of five statements as part of a response: "I don't know", "maybe", "probably", "I guess", "might be". Choosing the neutral "maybe" over "yes" or "no" reflects the cultural importance of a collectivist community, it reflects behavior avoidance of an individual making a false statement. Documentary- 50 Years of Northern Light, a look at Anaktuvuk Pass as reflected by the village church building. Directed by Caven Keith, 2011 Documentary- Tradition Meets Modernity in Native Alaska, Wil Carson uses filmmaking to explore the changes in traditional Nunamiut village life, 1998 Faces of the Nunamiut: Tourist Art and Traditional Knowledge in Northern Alaska- National Science Foundation grant Gates of the Arctic National Park Sights Page- the establishment of Gates of the Arctic National Park and Preserve in 1980 placed Anaktuvuk Pass, the Nunamiut's historic land, in the middle of a national park.
Interview with Dennis Schmitt-Dennis Schmitt, Arctic explorer, discoverer of Warming Island, researched the Nunamiut dialect in the 1960s, under Noam Chomsky Mask making exhibit North Slope Borough School District- public school system Restore Nunamiut Kayak-The University of Alaska Museum and the Simon Paneak Memorial Museum, Anaktuvuk Pass, are restoring the only remaining Nunamiut kayak. Simon Paneak Memorial Museum- created by the Nunamiut people, located in Anaktuvuk Pass, the newsletter of the Simon Paneak Memorial Museum Endowment Campaign A heritage of whales and whaling among the Nunamiut Inupiat- ancient days, traditional times, commercial whaling, whaling today
Edward S. Curtis
Edward Sheriff Curtis was an American photographer and ethnologist whose work focused on the American West and on Native American peoples. Curtis was born on February 1868, on a farm near Whitewater, Wisconsin, his father, the Reverend Asahel "Johnson" Curtis, was a minister and American Civil War veteran born in Ohio. His mother, Ellen Sheriff, was born in Pennsylvania. Curtis's siblings were Raphael called Ray. Weakened by his experiences in the Civil War, Johnson Curtis had difficulty in managing his farm, resulting in hardship and poverty for his family. Around 1874, the family moved from Wisconsin to Minnesota to join Johnson Curtis's father, Asahel Curtis, who ran a grocery store and was a postmaster in Le Sueur County. Curtis soon built his own camera. In 1885, at the age of 17, Curtis became an apprentice photographer in Minnesota. In 1887 the family moved to Seattle, where he purchased a new camera and became a partner with Rasmus Rothi in an existing photographic studio. Curtis paid $150 for his 50% share in the studio.
After about six months, he formed a new partnership with Thomas Guptill. They established a new studio and Guptill, Photographers and Photoengravers. In 1895, Curtis met and photographed Princess Angeline known as Kickisomlo, the daughter of Chief Sealth of Seattle; this was his first portrait of a Native American. In 1898, three of Curtis's images were chosen for an exhibition sponsored by the National Photographic Society. Two were images of Princess Angeline, "The Mussel Gatherer" and "The Clam Digger"; the other was of Puget Sound, entitled "Homeward", awarded the exhibition's grand prize and a gold medal. In that same year, while photographing Mt. Rainier, Curtis came upon a small group of scientists who were lost and in need of direction. One of them was George Bird Grinnell, considered an "expert" on Native Americans by his peers. Curtis was appointed the official photographer of the Harriman Alaska Expedition of 1899 as a result of his friendship with Grinnell. Having little formal education Curtis learned much during the lectures that were given aboard the ship each evening of the voyage.
Grinnell became interested in Curtis's photography and invited him to join an expedition to photograph people of the Blackfoot Confederacy in Montana in 1900. In 1906, J. P. Morgan provided Curtis with $75,000 to produce a series on Native Americans; this work was to be in 20 volumes with 1,500 photographs. Morgan's funds were to be disbursed over five years and were earmarked to support only fieldwork for the books, not for writing, editing, or production of the volumes. Curtis received no salary for the project, to last more than 20 years. Under the terms of the arrangement, Morgan was to receive 25 sets and 500 original prints as repayment. Once Curtis had secured funding for the project, he was able to hire several employees to help him. For writing and for recording Native American languages, he hired a former journalist, William E. Myers. For general assistance with logistics and fieldwork, he hired Bill Phillips, a graduate of the University of Washington; the most important hire for the success of the project was Frederick Webb Hodge, an anthropologist employed by the Smithsonian Institution, who had researched Native American peoples of the southwestern United States.
Hodge was hired to edit the entire series. 222 complete sets were published. Curtis's goal was not just to photograph but to document as much of Native American traditional life as possible before that way of life disappeared, he wrote in the introduction to his first volume in 1907, "The information, to be gathered... respecting the mode of life of one of the great races of mankind, must be collected at once or the opportunity will be lost." Curtis made over 10,000 wax cylinder recordings of music. He took over 40,000 photographic images of members of over 80 tribes, he recorded tribal lore and history, he described traditional foods, garments, recreation and funeral customs. He wrote biographical sketches of tribal leaders, his material, in most cases, is the only written recorded history, although there is still a rich oral tradition that preserves history. His work was exhibited at the Rencontres d'Arles festival in France in 1973. Curtis had been using motion picture cameras in fieldwork for The North American Indian since 1906.
He worked extensively with the ethnographer and British Columbia native George Hunt in 1910, which inspired his work with the Kwakiutl, but much of their collaboration remains unpublished. At the end of 1912, Curtis decided to create a feature film depicting Native American life as a way of improving his financial situation and because film technology had improved to the point where it was conceivable to create and screen films more than a few minutes long. Curtis chose the Kwakiutl tribe, of the Queen Charlotte Strait region of the Central Coast of British Columbia, for his subject, his film, In the Land of the Head Hunters, was the first feature-length film whose cast was composed of Native North Americans. In the Land of the Head-Hunters premiered at the Casino Theatre in New York and the Moore Theatre in Seattle on December 7, 1914; the silent film was accompanied by a score composed by John J. Braham, a musical theater composer who had worked with Gilbert and Sullivan; the film was made only $3,269.18 in its initial run.
The photographer Ella E. McBride assisted Curtis in his studio beginning in 1907 and became a
Alaska is a U. S. state in the northwest extremity of North America, just across the Bering Strait from Asia. The Canadian province of British Columbia and territory of Yukon border the state to the east and southeast, its most extreme western part is Attu Island, it has a maritime border with Russia to the west across the Bering Strait. To the north are the Chukchi and Beaufort seas—southern parts of the Arctic Ocean; the Pacific Ocean lies to southwest. It is the largest U. S. state by the seventh largest subnational division in the world. In addition, it is the most sparsely populated of the 50 United States. Half of Alaska's residents live within the Anchorage metropolitan area. Alaska's economy is dominated by the fishing, natural gas, oil industries, resources which it has in abundance. Military bases and tourism are a significant part of the economy; the United States purchased Alaska from the Russian Empire on March 30, 1867, for 7.2 million U. S. dollars at two cents per acre. The area went through several administrative changes before becoming organized as a territory on May 11, 1912.
It was admitted as the 49th state of the U. S. on January 3, 1959. The name "Alaska" was introduced in the Russian colonial period when it was used to refer to the Alaska Peninsula, it was derived from an Aleut-language idiom. It means object to which the action of the sea is directed. Alaska is the northernmost and westernmost state in the United States and has the most easterly longitude in the United States because the Aleutian Islands extend into the Eastern Hemisphere. Alaska is the only non-contiguous U. S. state on continental North America. It is technically part of the continental U. S. but is sometimes not included in colloquial use. S. called "the Lower 48". The capital city, Juneau, is situated on the mainland of the North American continent but is not connected by road to the rest of the North American highway system; the state is bordered by Yukon and British Columbia in Canada, to the east, the Gulf of Alaska and the Pacific Ocean to the south and southwest, the Bering Sea, Bering Strait, Chukchi Sea to the west and the Arctic Ocean to the north.
Alaska's territorial waters touch Russia's territorial waters in the Bering Strait, as the Russian Big Diomede Island and Alaskan Little Diomede Island are only 3 miles apart. Alaska has a longer coastline than all the other U. S. states combined. Alaska is the largest state in the United States by total area at 663,268 square miles, over twice the size of Texas, the next largest state. Alaska is larger than all but 18 sovereign countries. Counting territorial waters, Alaska is larger than the combined area of the next three largest states: Texas and Montana, it is larger than the combined area of the 22 smallest U. S. states. There are no defined borders demarcating the various regions of Alaska, but there are six accepted regions: The most populous region of Alaska, containing Anchorage, the Matanuska-Susitna Valley and the Kenai Peninsula. Rural unpopulated areas south of the Alaska Range and west of the Wrangell Mountains fall within the definition of South Central, as do the Prince William Sound area and the communities of Cordova and Valdez.
Referred to as the Panhandle or Inside Passage, this is the region of Alaska closest to the rest of the United States. As such, this was where most of the initial non-indigenous settlement occurred in the years following the Alaska Purchase; the region is dominated by the Alexander Archipelago as well as the Tongass National Forest, the largest national forest in the United States. It contains the state capital Juneau, the former capital Sitka, Ketchikan, at one time Alaska's largest city; the Alaska Marine Highway provides a vital surface transportation link throughout the area, as only three communities enjoy direct connections to the contiguous North American road system. Designated in 1963; the Interior is the largest region of Alaska. Fairbanks is the only large city in the region. Denali National Park and Preserve is located here. Denali is the highest mountain in North America. Southwest Alaska is a sparsely inhabited region stretching some 500 miles inland from the Bering Sea. Most of the population lives along the coast.
Kodiak Island is located in Southwest. The massive Yukon–Kuskokwim Delta, one of the largest river deltas in the world, is here. Portions of the Alaska Peninsula are considered part of Southwest, with the remaining portions included with the Aleutian Islands; the North Slope is tundra peppered with small villages. The area is known for its massive reserves of crude oil, contains both the National Petroleum Reserve–Alaska and the Prudhoe Bay Oil Field; the city of Utqiagvik known as Barrow, is the northernmost city in the United States and is located here. The Northwest Arctic area, anchored by Kotzebue and containing the Kobuk River valley, is regarded as being part of this region. However, the respective Inupiat of the No
Animism is the religious belief that objects and creatures all possess a distinct spiritual essence. Animism perceives all things—animals, rocks, weather systems, human handiwork and even words—as animated and alive. Animism is used in the anthropology of religion as a term for the belief system of many indigenous peoples in contrast to the more recent development of organised religions. Although each culture has its own different mythologies and rituals, "animism" is said to describe the most common, foundational thread of indigenous peoples' "spiritual" or "supernatural" perspectives; the animistic perspective is so held and inherent to most indigenous peoples that they do not have a word in their languages that corresponds to "animism". Due to such ethnolinguistic and cultural discrepancies, opinion has differed on whether animism refers to an ancestral mode of experience common to indigenous peoples around the world, or to a full-fledged religion in its own right; the accepted definition of animism was only developed in the late 19th century by Sir Edward Tylor, who created it as "one of anthropology's earliest concepts, if not the first".
Animism encompasses the beliefs that all material phenomena have agency, that there exists no hard and fast distinction between the spiritual and physical world and that soul or spirit or sentience exists not only in humans, but in other animals, rocks, geographic features such as mountains or rivers or other entities of the natural environment, including thunder and shadows. Animism may further attribute souls to abstract concepts such as words, true names or metaphors in mythology; some members of the non-tribal world consider themselves animists. Earlier anthropological perspectives, which have since been termed the "old animism", were concerned with knowledge on what is alive and what factors make something alive; the "old animism" assumed that animists were individuals who were unable to understand the difference between persons and things. Critics of the "old animism" have accused it of preserving "colonialist and dualist worldviews and rhetoric"; the idea of animism was developed by the anthropologist Sir Edward Tylor in his 1871 book Primitive Culture, in which he defined it as "the general doctrine of souls and other spiritual beings in general".
According to Tylor, animism includes "an idea of pervading life and will in nature". That formulation was little different from that proposed by Auguste Comte as "fetishism", but the terms now have distinct meanings. For Tylor, animism represented the earliest form of religion, being situated within an evolutionary framework of religion which has developed in stages and which will lead to humanity rejecting religion altogether in favor of scientific rationality. Thus, for Tylor, animism was fundamentally seen as a mistake, a basic error from which all religion grew, he did not believe that animism was inherently illogical, but he suggested that it arose from early humans' dreams and visions and thus was a rational system. However, it was based on unscientific observations about the nature of reality. Stringer notes that his reading of Primitive Culture led him to believe that Tylor was far more sympathetic in regard to "primitive" populations than many of his contemporaries and that Tylor expressed no belief that there was any difference between the intellectual capabilities of "savage" people and Westerners.
Tylor had wanted to describe the phenomenon as "spiritualism" but realised that would cause confusion with the modern religion of Spiritualism, prevalent across Western nations. He adopted the term "animism" from the writings of the German scientist Georg Ernst Stahl, who, in 1708, had developed the term animismus as a biological theory that souls formed the vital principle and that the normal phenomena of life and the abnormal phenomena of disease could be traced to spiritual causes; the first known usage in English appeared in 1819. The idea that there had once been "one universal form of primitive religion" has been dismissed as "unsophisticated" and "erroneous" by the archaeologist Timothy Insoll, who stated that "it removes complexity, a precondition of religion now, in all its variants". Tylor's definition of animism was a part of a growing international debate on the nature of "primitive society" by lawyers and philologists; the debate defined the field of research of a new science: anthropology.
By the end of the 19th century, an orthodoxy on "primitive society" had emerged, but few anthropologists still would accept that definition. The "19th-century armchair anthropologists" argued "primitive society" was ordered by kinship and was divided into exogamous descent groups related by a series of marriage exchanges, their religion was the belief that natural species and objects had souls. With the development of private property, the descent groups were displaced by the emergence of the territorial state; these rituals and beliefs evolved over time into the vast array of "developed" religions. According to Tylor, the more scientifically advanced a society became, the fewer members of that society believed in animism. However, any remnant ideologies of souls or spirits, to Tylor, represented "survivals" of the original animism of early humanity. In 1869, the Edinburgh lawyer
Alaska Natives are indigenous peoples of Alaska, United States and include: Iñupiat, Aleut, Tlingit, Tsimshian, a number of Northern Athabaskan cultures. They are defined by their language groups. Many Alaska Natives are enrolled in federally recognized Alaska Native tribal entities, who in turn belong to 13 Alaska Native Regional Corporations, who administer land and financial claims. Ancestors of Alaska Natives migrated into the area thousands of years ago, in at least two different waves; some are descendants of a third wave of migration in which people settled across the northern part of North America. They never migrated to southern areas. For this reason, genetic studies show they are not related to Native Americans in South America. Throughout the Arctic and the circumpolar north, the ancestors of Alaska Natives established varying indigenous, complex cultures that have succeeded each other over time, they developed sophisticated ways to deal with the challenging climate and environment, cultures rooted in the place.
Historic groups have been defined by their languages, which belong to several major language families. Today, Alaska Natives comprise over 15% of the population of Alaska. Below is a full list of the different Alaska Native peoples, which are defined by their historic languages. Within each culture are many different tribes. Ancient Beringian Alaskan Athabaskans Ahtna Deg Hit'an Dena'ina Gwich'in Hän Holikachuk Koyukon Lower Tanana Tanacross Upper Tanana Upper Kuskokwim Eyak Tlingit Haida Tsimshian Eskimo Iñupiat, an Inuit group Yupik Siberian Yupik Yup'ik Cup'ik Nunivak Cup'ig Sugpiaq ~ Alutiiq Chugach Sugpiaq Koniag Alutiiq Aleut The Alaska Natives Commission estimated that there were about 86,000 Alaska Natives living in Alaska in 1990, with another 17,000 who lived outside Alaska. A 2013 study by the Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development documented over 120,000 Alaska Native people in Alaska. While the majority of Alaska Natives live in small villages or remote regional hubs such as Nome and Bethel, the percentage who live in urban areas has been increasing.
In 2010, 44 % lived compared to 38 % in the 2000 census. The modern history of Alaskan natives begins with the arrival of Europeans. Unusually for North America it was the Russians, coming from Siberia in the eighteenth century, who were the first to make contact. British and American traders did not reach the area until the nineteenth century, in some cases missionaries were not active until the twentieth century. Arriving from Siberia by ship in the mid-eighteenth century, Russians began to trade with Alaska Natives. New settlements around trading posts were started by Russians, including Russian Orthodox missionaries; these were the first to translate Christian scripture into Native languages. In the 21st century, the numerous congregations of Russian Orthodox Christians in Alaska are composed of Alaska Natives. Rather than hunting the marine life, the Russians forced the Aleuts to do the work for them; as word spread of the riches in furs to be had, competition among Russian companies increased and they forced the Aleuts into slavery.
Catherine the Great, who became Empress in 1763, proclaimed good will toward the Aleut and urged her subjects to treat them fairly. The growing competition between the trading companies, merging into fewer and more powerful corporations, created conflicts that aggravated the relations with the indigenous populations. Over the years, the situation became catastrophic for the natives; as the animal populations declined, the Aleuts too dependent on the new barter economy created by the Russian fur trade, were coerced into taking greater risks in the dangerous waters of the North Pacific to hunt for more otter. As the Shelikhov-Golikov Company and Russian-American Company developed as a monopoly, it used skirmishes and systematic violence as a tool of colonial exploitation of the indigenous people; when the Aleut revolted and won some victories, the Russians retaliated, killing many and destroying their boats and hunting gear, leaving them no means of survival. The most devastating effects were from disease: during the first two generations of Russian contact, 80 percent of the Aleut population died from Eurasian infectious diseases.
These were endemic among the Europeans, but the Aleut had no immunity against the new diseases. Geopolitical reasons drove the Tsarist government to expand into Indigenous territory in present day Alaska, spreading Russian Orthodoxy and consuming the natural resources of the territory along their way, their movement into these populated areas of Indigenous communities altered the demographic and natural landscape. Historians have suggested that the Russian-American Company exploited Indigenous peoples as a source of inexpensive labour; the fur trade led the Russian American Company to not only use Indigenous populations for labour, but to use them as hostages to acquire iasak. Iasak, a form of taxation used by the Russians, was a tribute in the form of otter pelts, it was a taxation method the Russians had found useful in their early encounter with Indigenous communities of Siberia during the Siberian fur trade. Beaver pelts were customary to be given to fur traders upon first contact with various communities.
The Russian American Company used military force on Indigenous families as they were taken hostage and held until the male community members brought forth furs. Otter furs on Kodiak Island and Aleutian Islands enticed the Russians to start these taxations. Robbery and maltreatment in the form of corporal punishment and the withholding of food was present upon the arrival of fur traders. Catherine the Great dissolv
The walrus is a large flippered marine mammal with a discontinuous distribution about the North Pole in the Arctic Ocean and subarctic seas of the Northern Hemisphere. The walrus is the only living species in the family genus Odobenus; this species is subdivided into three subspecies: the Atlantic walrus which lives in the Atlantic Ocean, the Pacific walrus which lives in the Pacific Ocean, O. r. laptevi, which lives in the Laptev Sea of the Arctic Ocean. Adult walrus are recognized by their prominent tusks and bulk. Adult males in the Pacific can weigh more than 2,000 kg and, among pinnipeds, are exceeded in size only by the two species of elephant seals. Walruses live in shallow waters above the continental shelves, spending significant amounts of their lives on the sea ice looking for benthic bivalve mollusks to eat. Walruses are long-lived, social animals, they are considered to be a "keystone species" in the Arctic marine regions; the walrus has played a prominent role in the cultures of many indigenous Arctic peoples, who have hunted the walrus for its meat, skin and bone.
During the 19th century and the early 20th century, walruses were hunted and killed for their blubber, walrus ivory, meat. The population of walruses dropped all around the Arctic region, their population has rebounded somewhat since though the populations of Atlantic and Laptev walruses remain fragmented and at low levels compared with the time before human interference. The origin of the word walrus is thought by J. R. R. Tolkien to derive from a Germanic language, it has been attributed to either the Dutch language or Old Norse, its first part is thought to derive from a word such as Dutch walvis'whale'. Its second part has been hypothesized to come from the Old Norse word for'horse'. For example, the Old Norse word hrossvalr means'horse-whale' and is thought to have been passed in an inverted form to both Dutch and the dialects of northern Germany as walros and Walross. An alternative theory is that it comes from the Dutch words wal'shore' and reus'giant'; the species name rosmarus is Scandinavian.
The Norwegian manuscript Konungsskuggsja, thought to date from around AD 1240, refers to the walrus as "rosmhvalr" in Iceland and "rostungr" in Greenland. Several place names in Iceland and Norway may originate from walrus sites: Hvalfjord and Hvalsnes to name some, all being typical walrus breeding grounds; the archaic English word for walrus—morse—is thought to have come from the Slavic languages, which in turn borrowed it from Finno-Ugric languages. Compare морж in Russian, mursu in Finnish, morša in Northern Saami, morse in French. Olaus Magnus, who depicted the walrus in the Carta Marina in 1539, first referred to the walrus as the ros marus a Latinization of morž, this was adopted by Linnaeus in his binomial nomenclature; the coincidental similarity between morse and the Latin word morsus contributed to the walrus's reputation as a "terrible monster". The compound Odobenus comes from odous and baino, based on observations of walruses using their tusks to pull themselves out of the water.
The term divergens in Latin means ` referring to their tusks. The walrus is a mammal in the order Carnivora, it is the sole surviving member of the family Odobenidae, one of three lineages in the suborder Pinnipedia along with true seals and eared seals. While there has been some debate as to whether all three lineages are monophyletic, i.e. descended from a single ancestor, or diphyletic, recent genetic evidence suggests all three descended from a caniform ancestor most related to modern bears. Recent multigene analysis indicates the odobenids and otariids diverged from the phocids about 20–26 million years ago, while the odobenids and the otariids separated 15–20 million years ago. Odobenidae was once a diverse and widespread family, including at least twenty species in the subfamilies Imagotariinae and Odobeninae; the key distinguishing feature was the development of a squirt/suction feeding mechanism. Two subspecies of walrus are recognized: the Atlantic walrus, O. r. rosmarus and the Pacific walrus, O. r. divergens.
Fixed genetic differences between the Atlantic and Pacific subspecies indicate restricted gene flow, but recent separation, estimated at 500,000 and 785,000 years ago. These dates coincide with the hypothesis derived from fossils that the walrus evolved from a tropical or subtropical ancestor that became isolated in the Atlantic Ocean and adapted to colder conditions in the Arctic. From there, it recolonized the North Pacific Ocean during high glaciation periods in the Pleistocene via the Central American Seaway. An isolated population in the Laptev Sea is considered by some authorities, including many Russian biologists and the canonical Mammal Species of the World, to be a third subspecies, O. r. laptevi, is managed as such in Russia. Where the subspecies separation is not accepted, whether to consider it a subpopulation of the Atlantic or Pacific subspecies remained under debate until 2009, when multiple lines of molecular evidence showed it to represent the westernmost population of the Pacific walrus.
While some outsized Pacific males can weigh as much as 2,000 kg, most weigh between 800 and 1,700 kg. An occasiona