Population — 1719 people (according to 2001).
On the territory of “Beringia” park Eskimo live in the villages of Chaplino and Sireniky. The Eskimo who live on the Chukchi Peninsula are the northeastern most indigenous nation of Russia.
Name — yuk — “a man”, yugyt or yupik — “real man”. People also used local names: ung’azig’mit or ung’azig’sty – people of Old Chaplino (Ung’azik — an old community on Chaplino Cape), sirenigmit – people of Sireniky, navukagmit — people of Naukan). The Yupik Eskimo language is divided into the Sireniky, Chaplino, and Naukan dialect. Eskimo people are the successors of the ancient culture of the Bering Sea district.
The main economic was based on sea mammal hunting. People ate meat and fat of whales, seals, and other sea mammals. The fat also helped to warm and lit the home. Eskimo made tools and weapons of sea mammal bones. They used their skins to cover the house and kayaks, sew clothes and boots. Whales were killed with harpoons and later with harpoon-guns. The walrus was the main trade of hunting. Different kinds of seals were hunted, too.
To move on the water indigenous people used kayaks. Kayak (anyapik) is a light, fast and stabile boat. Its wooden frame is covered with walrus skin. Kayaks were mainly used to hunt sea mammals. For travel Eskimo people used the dog sledge.
Communities were situated along pebble spits, close to hill tops as they were very suitable to observe the movement of the sea mammals. Such places were for instance Avan and Kivak. The most ancient dwellings made of stone with deep floors were found in Naukan.
The Clothes of Asian Eskimo tightly closed and were made of reindeer and seal skin. Man’s dress consisted of tight seal skin pants, short reindeer fur shirts, fur trousers, and fur boots. To protect fur clothes from moisture people used a fabric summer dress (kamleya), or sometimes a coat made of walrus intestines. Eskimo made their waterproof footwear of reindeer skin. Women’s pants were wider than men’s ones. As a cover fur overalls with wide sleeves (k’al,yvagyk) that reached to the knees were worn above them. Women had the same footwear as men did. Yet, women decorated their clothes with embroidery and fur.
The main food base is sea mammal meat: walrus, bearded seal, and ringed seal. People cured meat in meat-pits and mixed it with fat or boiled it. Whale blubber (mantak) was a delicacy. In winter, Eskimo ate frozen or dried fish. Sometimes they exchanged sea mammal skins with reindeer meat. During the summer time and even in autumn, people collected seaweed, berries, and different roots.
Many festivals had been devoted to sea mammal hunting. The most famous one is the whale feast which took place at the end or beginning of the hunting season (in autumn) or (in spring). As an example, there is a Whale Day in New Chaplino in August. On thisday Sea mammal hunters go out onto the sea to hunt a whale and the community has sport competitions and traditional dances.
Carving is the earliest art form of the Eskimo arctic culture. Music (aingananga) was mainly vocal. Its distinctive feature is throat singing where people imitate sounds of their natural surroundings. Dance music was closely connected with poetry and dance performances. The hand-held drum (yarar – chuk) is a kind of private or family sacred thing (it was used by shamans) and take the central place in Eskimo music. Eskimo ball is the symbol of the Sun, the fertility and one of the most popular souvenirs.
The Eskimo dance group “Ergyron” is well known in Russia and in other foreign countries. Children study the Eskimo language till 11th grade. Yet there is a problem with the native language – nobody wants to speak it. There are some text books and dictionaries of Eskimo language in schools and some broadcasting in Eskimo language is aired by the state-owned radio station “Chukotka”.