How the name ‘Eskimo’ originated?

The name ‘Eskimo’ comes from the language of the northern Red Indians and means ‘a person who eats raw meat’. It is an appropriate name because the Eskimos live mainly by hunting and fishing and in winter do not always cook the animals they catch.

This is because it is impossible to find any fuel for a fire in the icy waste that they inhabit. The only form of fire they have is produced by burning the oil of seals or whales in shallow, saucer-shaped lamps, made from pottery or stone. These lamps are used primarily to give light but the Eskimos can also boil their meat and fish over them. These foods are also frozen or dried.

There is another reason why the Eskimos sometimes eat raw meat: in this way they get the greatest possible nourishment. The Eskimos make up for the lack of vitamins from vegetables by eating the kidneys and liver of their prey raw. These organs have an abundant store of all the vitamins needed by the human body.


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