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The Aleuts

The AleutsTheir the self-name is the Unangan or the Anangin, probably originates from the Antangik, which means "person" or the Angangik, which means "living", "inhabitant". The Russians in the middle of the XVIII century gave the ethnonim the Aleuts. His modern interpretation could be various: the Aleut, the Islander (in the Chukotian), the Alyghuk, the Sea (in the Aleutian), the Alyve, the Eleve, "to tie, wind" (in the Chukotian), the Allitkhukh, "community", "group", "army", "command".

The Aleuts were moved on the Commander islands (the Russian territory) in 1825 by administration of the Russian-American company from east islands of the Aleutian ridge. According to the census there were 702 of the Aleuts (including the mixed the Russian-Aleutian population). The Aleuts belong to the Arctic local race, but occupy the detached position, because they are allocated, in so-called, island group of populations. The Commodore Aleuts have presented the European mixture, but, as a whole, they are similar to east groups, though they form two subpopulations: the Berings and the Mednovian.

Language of the Aleuts belongs to the Eskimo-Aleutian language family. The Commodore Aleuts language specificity determined by the insular -type of the settling and isolation from east relatives since 1867.Their language divided into two dialects. The Atkhinsky dialect is present on the Bering island, without significant changes of the Aleutian language grammar and lexicon. The special language of Creole type, with the mixed the Aleutian-Russian structure was created on the Medny Island, which the Russians do not understand at all and the Beringians can understand with a great difficulties.

The early ethno cultural history of the Aleuts is connected to the Eskimos closely. The division of the uniform Eskimo-Aleutian commonality has taken place between 2600 years AD to 6000 years AD at the continental culture stage. Because the Eskimos and the Aleuts lexicon connected with the sea hunt is various. That connected to the developing of various territories of the Beringia and the American North by the Eskimos and Aleuts ancestors. Their formation on Aleutian islands is more preferable nowadays. The most ancient archeological finds indicate the genetic connection of local population with the Asian cultures.

The Aleuts historic-cultural development depended on the policy of the Russian-American company who had influenced a life supporting and commodity ratio of their economy. Until 1867,the cultural traditions were in accordance with the common Aleutian (fur trade, a sea hunt, the provisions stocking, traditional elements of material culture) or partly modified (a dogs team, borrowed from Kamchatka). The Russians had the significant influence on the Aleuts. The second stage of the Commodore Islands history began when the American Trade Company has rented the islands for the period of 20 years (1871-1920The Aleuts). This period is characterized by partial infringement of cultural continuity that was connected to an intensification of commodity relations, increase of a share of the imported goods with the preservation of former kinds of trade activity. From 1891 the domestic companies rented the Commodore Islands, but previous tendencies of their culture development has remained, especially in the material culture sphere.

The modern period of a history of the Aleuts Commodore Islands begins in 1920th. During this period the state undertook several actions against the depopulation processes in the islands, which happened in the second period of their history. They are an economic reorganization and the island faunafauna revitalization, the overcoming of island isolation, the integrative development of local economy, a welfare policy. The alien population prevalence on the islands promotes integration processes and territorial mobility that is typical for the modern aboriginal population of the North.

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