Yup'ik & Siberian Yupik have substantial differences, including language.
*Siberian Yupik are sometime grouped with the Inupiaq.
Yup'ik may be divided into two groups by dialect: Yup'ik and Cup'ik
Yup’ik & Cup’ik (real people)
Location Southwestern Alaska above the Aleutians to the southern portion of the Norton Sound just beyond the Yukon Delta. Includes Nunivak and St Matthew’s Islands. This area largely coincides with the current Yukon Delta National Wildlife Refuge, Wood-Tikchik State Park, Togiak National Wildlife Refuge and Nunivak Island National Wildlife Refuge.
Language The groups are named after the 2 main yup’ik dialects: yup’ik & cup’ik. Note-most Inuit ‘k’s are replaced with ‘q’ as in quspuq and qayaq.
Social Organization Survival based. Social rank linked to skill. Male group leaders were the successful hunters (nukalpiit). Women raised children, prepared food & sewed.
Housing Men quasgiq, also ceremonial center. Women ena, ½ the size of men’s house. Partly Subterranean entrance; may have sea mammal intestine window.
Beliefs Men lived together & women lived together to learn what they needed for their respective roles. Shamans had powers, either good or evil. Good shamans healed, sought spirits for help and asked for items needed.
Travel Moved with animal migration and seasonal plants. Most current ‘fixed’ villages were seasonal camps.
Contact with Europeans At first contact roughly 17,000 people.
Historic Change Still depend on subsistence hunting, fishing & gathering. Elders tell stories to pass on culture and knowledge & survival skills.
Clothing Skins of land, sea and air animals. Fish skin & mammal intestines used for waterproof gear. Grass used for insulation and thread.
Trade Seal oil main trade item. Herring & eggs also valued inland. Received moose, caribou, and furs-mink, marten, beaver & muskrat.
Tools & technology Geared toward marine and river use. Women: uluaq, stone seal oil lamp, sewing tools made of stone, bone and ivory. Men: spears, harpoons, ice cane, snow goggles, bow and arrows. Decorated with spiritual symbols for good fortune.
Traditions Ceremonies contained singing and dancing and focused on relationships between people, animals and the spirit world.
Other/general Many similarities to Inupiaq-also considered ‘eskimos’.
Siberian Yupik (real people)
Location St. Lawrence Island
Language Siberian Yupik
Social Organization Family connections respectful. Labor split by Gender
Housing As for Inupiaq except round.
Food & Diet Birds & eggs important. Whales & sea mammals hunted in coastal villages. Herring, crab & halibut caught. Salmon, cod, inconnu & whitefish caught when ice formed.
Beliefs Lives revolve around whale, walrus, seal, polar bear, caribou & fish. Reincarnation and recycling of all animal (including human) spirits. Connected to treatment of hunted animals and release of their spirit. Names of recently deceased given to newborn.
Travel Umiaq/Angyaq, large open skin boat. Kayak, small one person closed skin boat. A flat sled or small sleds attached in the bottom to move across ice. Interior or land travel-basket sled and snowshoes.
Contact with Europeans Numbered approx. 1500 prior to European contact. Increased the importance of trade.
Clothing Outer & inner pullover tops (parkas & kuspuks) and outer and inner pants, boots and socks (kamiks). Fur in on inner garment, out on outer garment, primarily caribou. Women do NOT carry baby in parka here. Various skin for gloves-fur in and connected with leather strap. Intestines for waterproof gear.
Trade Respectful & meaningful –integral with the culture.
Tools & technology Bow drill, tool kit with stone, wood, bone and ivory tools for butchering, tanning, carving etc. Hunting tools, kept separate: harpoons, lances, lines, bows, arrows, spears, spear throwers and seal bladder floats. Birds: bolas and snares. Fishing: nets, traps and hooks.
Traditions Competitive games for strength, singing duals and trading
Other/general Many similarities to Yup’ik, & Inupiaq, also considered ‘eskimos’. Often grouped with one or the other depending on the focus and intent of the categorization.