Known as “the shore of two oceans,” the Chukotka Autonomous Region is remotely located in extreme Northeast Russia and is the closest territory to the US, separated by the Bering Strait.
In arctic northern Russia, industrialized resource extraction and climate change are presenting a double threat to the Nenets, an indigenous people native to Siberia. The Nenets depend heavily on their reindeer herds, using them for food, clothing, tools, transportation, and more as they migrate more than a thousand kilometers across the tundra every year. Nenets herders move seasonally with their reindeer, traveling along ancient migration routes. The covers of the Nenets' conical-shaped tents, called choom or mya, are fabricated from reindeer hide and mounted on heavy poles. At night, the sleds are arranged in half-circles around the choom. The Yamal Peninsula: a stretch of peatland that extends from northern Siberia into the Kara Sea, far above the Arctic Circle. To the east lie the shallow waters of the Gulf of Ob; to the west, the Baydaratskaya Bay, which is ice-covered for most of the year. Yamal in the language of the indigenous Nenets means "the end of the world." Under Stalin, Nenets communities were split into groups known as brigades, and forced to live on collective farms and villages called kolkhozy. Each brigade was obliged to pay reindeer meat as taxes. Children were separated from their families and sent to government-run boarding schools, where they were forbidden to speak their own language.17 PHOTOS
Mongolian Throat Singers
The partials of a sound wave made by the human voice can be selectively amplified by changing the shape of the resonant cavities of the mouth, larynx and pharynx.
Female Mongolian Throat Singer
Inuit Traditional Throatsingers from Arviat, Nunavut CANADA.
Tumivut - Inuit Throat Singing - The Competiton Song at Aboriginal Day 2010 at The Forks in Winnipeg Manitoba Canada
Eskimo Hunters 1949
Research team develops software to help identify an individual’s geographic origins
Instead of thinking of populations as separate entities, people should consider genetic differences as a continuum, he added. Some locations close together on a map can show a dramatic change in a portion of DNA, reflecting evolutionary adaptations among individuals from different regions.
The "Original" Melting Pot
The diversity of the original American Indian settlers was not quite as great as that of the 18th, 19th and early 20th centuries when waves of European, Asian and (unwilling) African immigrants arrived on American shores.
However, the First Americans did have more far-flung origins that were ever suspected. For example, Brace's studies have revealed that the Blackfoot, Iroquois, and other tribes from Minnesota, Michigan, Ontario, and Massachusetts descended from the Jomon, a prehistoric people of Japan.
The Inuit in the far north and tribal groups who once lived down the Eastern seaboard into Florida appear to be a later branch from the trunk of the Jomon family tree. The Athabaskan-speaking people from the Yukon and northern-western Canada, who spread as far south as Arizona and northern Mexico (the Navajos and Apaches), appear to trace their origins to China. "Their craniofacial configuration allies them more closely to the living Chinese than to any other population in either hemisphere," say Brace.
Johanna Nichols, a Professor of Slavic languages and literature at the University of California at Berkeley. She says that new linguistic evidence from indigenous languages throughout the New World strongly suggest that humans have been in the Americas since as early as 40,000 BCE. She says that it is only along the west Coast that languages appear to have come from immigrants who arrived after the ice age, 14,000 years ago.
Nichols also has some radical ideas about the direction in which the country was settled. Breaking with the traditional view of migrations, she says that the interior of North America was colonized not only from Siberia but also from the south.
To bolster her argument for an early settlement date, Nichols points to findings from the Monte Verde site in southern Chile. It has been dated at 12,500 years old, which means the area was occupied during the last ice age. And, the Monte Verde people would have needed at least 6,500 years to travel from Alaska to Chile. Yet, that only takes us back to about 19,000 years ago. Here is where her study of language diversity provides the rest of the explanation for the 40,000 BCE settlement date. Her research suggests a very high degree of language diversity, and that, says Nichols, is something that happens only with time. She maintains that the approximately 150 distinct Native American language families we know of today must have required at least 35,000 years to develop.
Beneath this diversity, there are deep linguistic similarities that link across the Pacific Ocean.
"From the Sierra and the Andes mountains all the way to the Atlantic, American languages share distinctive features," says Nichols. "They share grammatical features that are rare elsewhere, which gives the hemisphere a distinctive signature." One of these features is a pronoun system with (n) in the words for (I) and (we) and (m) in the words for (you). It is found on both the American Pacific coast and the south Asian coast.
Zheng He's Inheritance
Charlotte Harris Rees Chinese Charts of the Americas from Ming back to Xia Speech for Library of Congress 5/16/05 2005
Fu Sang is clearly marked where America is. There is no mistaking the directions on these maps because they show where the sun rises and sets. There is a frozen area in the far north. By comparing this map to our current world map it is easy to see that North and South America do indeed form a type of semi-circle.
History of Alaska
The history of Alaska, as part of the United States, began in 1867, but settlement of the region dates back to the paleolithic period (around 12,000 BCE). The earliest inhabitants were asiatic groups who crossed the Bering Land Bridge into what is now western Alaska. Many, if not most, of the pre-Columbian peoples of the Americas crossed the land bridge before migrating south. At the time of European contact by the Russian explorers, the area was populated by the Inuit and a variety of other Indigenous groups.
The name "Alaska" is most likely derived from the Aleut word Alyaeska, meaning greater land as opposed to the Aleut word Aleutia, meaning lesser land.
To the Aleuts, this distinction was a linguistic variation distinguishing the mainland from an island.
Most of Alaska's documented history dates from European settlement, starting with Vitus Bering, a Danish navigator in the service of the Russian Navy aboard the St. Peter. However, Aleksei Chirikov, commanding the St. Paul, made landfall first at the present-day site of Sitka on July 15, 1741. The Russian-American Company soon began hunting the otters and helping to colonize much of coastal Alaska, but the colony was never profitable, due mainly to high shipping costs.
William H. Seward, the U.S. Secretary of State, engineered the Alaskan purchase in 1867 for $7.2 million. The nearby Yukon Territory in Canada and Alaska itself were the site of a gold rush in the 1890s, and they remained a significant source of mining even after gold reserves diminished. On July 7, 1958 President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed the Alaska Statehood Act into law which paved the way for Alaska's admission into the Union as the 49th State on January 3, 1959.
The "Good Friday Earthquake" of March 27, 1964, registering 9.2 on the Richter scale, killed 131 people and leveled several villages. Oil revenues helped reestablish the population and infrastructure of the State after deposits were discovered in 1968, and after the Trans-Alaskan Pipeline was completed in 1977. In 1989, the Exxon Valdez hit a reef in the Prince William Sound, spilling between 11 and 35 million US gallons (42,000 and 130,000 m³) of crude oil over 1,100 miles (1,600 km) of coastline. Today, more than half of Alaskan land is owned by the Federal Government. The fates of the large reserves of wild frontier in the State are under debate, as is the highly political conflict over oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. [source]
Alaska First Nation people and Slavery
In the past the Tlingit were avid practicers of slavery. The outward wealth of a person or family was roughly calculated by the number of slaves held. Slaves were taken from all peoples that the Tlingit encountered, from the Aleuts in the west, the Athabascan tribes of the interior, and all of the many tribes along the Pacific coast as far south as California. Slaves were bought and sold in a barter economy along the same lines as any other trade goods. They were often ceremonially freed at potlatches, the giving of freedom to the slave being a gift from the potlatch holder. However, they were just as often ceremonially killed at potlatches as well, to demonstrate economic power or to provide slaves for dead relatives in the afterlife. Treatment of slaves seems to have differed from individual to individual, and both stories and historical records give examples of slaves being treated very kindly as well as very cruelly.
Since slavery was an extremely important economic activity to the Tlingit, it came as a tremendous blow to the society when emancipation was enforced in Alaska some time after its purchase from Russia. This forced removal of slaves from the culture incensed many Tlingit who were not so disturbed by its outlawing as much as by the fact that they were not repaid for their loss of property. In a move traditional against those with unpaid debts, a totem pole was erected that would shame the Americans for not having paid back the Tlingits for their loss, and at its top for all to see was a very carefully executed carving of Abraham Lincoln, whom the Tlingits were told was the person responsible for freeing the slaves. This has since been frequently misinterpreted as intending to honor Lincoln, but it was in fact done as a way to shame the US government into repaying the Tlingits for a profound loss of wealth. [source]