noun \ˌa-lē-ˈüt, ˈa-lē-ˌ; ə-ˈlüt\

Definition of ALEUT

:  a member of a people of the Aleutian and Shumagin islands and the western part of Alaska Peninsula
:  the language of the Aleuts

Origin of ALEUT

First Known Use: 1780


noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Any native of the Aleutian Islands and the western portion of the Alaska Peninsula. The name Aleut, used in 1745 by Russian fur traders from the Kamchatka Peninsula, refers primarily to the people of the Aleutian Islands, who call themselves Unangan or Unangas, but also by extension to the Pacific Yupik, who call themselves Sugpiaq. Aleuts speak two main dialects and are physically and culturally closely related to the Eskimo. Traditional Aleut villages were located on the seashore near fresh water, where the people hunted marine mammals, fish, birds, caribou, and bears. Aleut women wove fine grass basketry; stone, bone, and ivory were also worked. After the arrival of the Russians in the 18th century, their population declined drastically. Aleut descendants numbered more than 15,000 in the early 21st century.


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