Note to the reader: You’re going to catch me using the term “Mongol-type” now and again. This is my way of dancing around the term “Mongoloid.” Mongoloid, strictly speaking, is simply an old word denoting the common physical heritage of peoples descended from those earliest, Ice Age ancestors of Inuit. These are certainly Asiatic in appearance, but they nevertheless differ from other Asian physical types making up most of China, Southeast Asia, Thailand, etc. The Mongol-type peoples span the circumpolar world. We are natural nomads. We have always liked to spread ourselves out. And you can find our kind in Arctic North America, Greenland, Siberia, Mongolia, and the Asiatic steppes. We are mixed in with other gene-lines in Korea, northernmost China, Japan, Russia, and even Eastern Europe.

We share: 1. A short, stocky build, with unusually high bone and muscle density. 2. Beautiful, epicanthus-shielded eyes, thick and streamlined and somewhat differing from those found in other Asiatic peoples. 3. Smooth, nearly hairless skin, of a pleasing bronze-coffee colouration. 4. A so-called “Mongolian mark,” a bluish mark we are born with over the tailbone, fading as adolescence approaches. I remember having fun talking to a Korean storeowner, who knew of the mark from Korean children; but I never could get her to understand where the Arctic was.

Anyway, “Mongoloid” has taken on a negative connotation in modern times, thus my substitute: “Mongol-type.” On with the article.

About 2,500 years ago (approximately 500 B.C.), this was the state of humanity: The first of the great religions, those that were to inspire all others afterward, had recently sprung up (coincidentally, around the same time).

Judaism appeared in Judea. Taoism and Confucianism popped up in China. Buddhism and Jainism in India. Zoroastrianism (which introduced the idea of ultimate good versus ultimate evil) in Persia. Mystery religions (which would later influence Rome) appeared in Greece. Pythagoreanism in Italy. The first Rationalist Philosophy in Ionia.

The superpower of the day was the Persian Empire, which owned everything from the Aegean Sea to Egypt to the borders of India. The Greeks, ever a collection of warring city-states and traders up till then, were just about to prove themselves; their total population of 2.5 million was about to defeat great Persia (population 14 million), upping their profile forever after. Further west, Rome and Carthage were on the rise, and would soon square off against one another, setting the stage for the Roman Imperium to come centuries later.

Eastern Siberia was heavily populated with nomadic peoples of Mongol-type form, the distant, Ice Age cousins of Inuit. As soon as they acquired horses, those that resided in northern Asia began to cause trouble for the Chinese (the Chinese, as with much of Asia at the time, were of a different, non-Mongol stock), raiding at will. This would presage a time of future conflict and disaster, and eventually introduce the rest of the world to the Mongol-type peoples in a nasty sort of way.

Meanwhile, in Arctic North America, the more direct ancestors of Inuit were beginning to become aware that it was getting colder. Much colder. The Alaskan ancestors of Inuit were adapting to this cold-shift in their own ways, and the different methods of adaptation taken up by various groups were forming distinct cultures. There were now many different cultures of Mongol-type people, as there are today.

In the far east of the continent, one of the cultures that would have the roughest go of things was the Dorset, or those that Inuit would later call the “Tunit.” The Tunit (I’ll run with the Inuit term) did not adapt as well as others to the temperature shift. Like every other Mongol-type culture in North America up till then, the Tunit relied upon chasing inland animals, such as caribou — one of the things that kept everyone nomadic. The Tunit population began to dwindle (or at least, it did not increase) as food became scarce.

Another Mongol-type culture that was moving into the east would become known to archaeologists as the “Thule.” These people would become Inuit, and it was these that would flourish by making a radical shift to a new kind of living: dependency upon sea mammals.

Concluded in Part Three