Alutiiq

From Academic Kids

The Alutiiq (plural: Alutiit), also called Pacific Yupik or Sugpiaq, are a southern, coastal branch of Alaskan Yupik. They are not to be confused with the Aleuts, who live further to the southwest, including along the Aleutian Islands. They traditionally lived a coastal lifestyle, subsisting primarily on ocean resources such as salmon, halibut, and whale, as well as rich land resources such as berries and land mammals. Before European contact with Russian fur traders, the Alutiiq lived in semi-subterranian homes called barabaras. Alutiiq people today live in coastal fishing communities, where they work in all aspects of the modern economy, while also maintaining the cultural value of subsistence.

The Alutiiq language is relatively close to that spoken by the Yupik in the Bethel, Alaska area, but is considered a distinct language with two major dialects. The Koniag Dialect is spoken on the Alaska Peninsula and on Kodiak Island. The Chugach Dialect is spoken on the Kenai Peninsula and in Prince William Sound. With a population of approximately 3,000, and the number of speakers in the mere hundreds, Alutiiq communities are currently in the process of revitalizing their language.

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