This photo was taken in November 2006 near a town called Nes in the Nenets Autonomous District in Northwest Russia. The Nenets people are indigenous people in Russia that live in the Arctic region. Think of what it would be like to open your door to spy a reindeer in the morning!
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Image courtesy of Julia Vishnevets

Arctic Cultures


Inuit people live in the chilly northern parts of Canada, Alaska (USA), Siberia (Russia), and Greenland. There are many different groups of people in this large area. Most have similar ways of living in the Arctic. Inuit traditionally hunted for seals, whales, polar bears, caribou, birds and other animals from the Arctic ocean and Arctic tundra. The magical appearance of the aurora in the night sky, the long dark winters, and the icy Arctic Ocean inspired the myths of the Inuit people. Learn more about Inuit culture by clicking on the links below.


Norse people were originally from the northern part of Europe. More than a thousand years ago, groups of Norse explorers and warriors called Vikings settled in other places in the Arctic such as Greenland, Iceland, and northern Russia. Today, many people living in these countries are relatives of the Norse. The Norse got to these new places by boat. Norse people knew how to make very strong boats. The Norse people, including the Vikings, were known to be excellent storytellers. Explore some Norse myths in the links below.

Norse Myths

The Earth: Midgard
The Sea: Aegir
The winds: Njord
The Thunder: Thor
The sky: Tyr
The Sky: Odin
The Aurora: Freya
The Northern Lights: The Valkiries
The Sun: Freyr
The Planet Venus: Sif
The Milky Way: Bifrost
The Norse Family Tree

Inuit Myths

The Sun: Malina
The Moon: Anningan
The Sea: Sedna

Last modified June 18, 2007 by Lisa Gardiner.

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