Alaskan Athabaskans

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Alaskan Athabaskans
210 gwichin hunter summerclothing.jpg
Gwichyaa Gwich’in Athabaskan hunters with summer dress at Fort Yukon, 1847
Total population
6,400[1]
Regions with significant populations
Alaska
Languages
Northern Athabaskan languages, American English (Alaskan variant), Russian (historically)
Religion
Shamanism (largely ex), Christianity

The Alaskan Athabascans,[2][3][4][5] Alaskan Athabaskans,[6][7] Alaskan Athapaskans[8] (Russian: атабаски Аляски or атапаски Аляски[9]) are an Alaska Native peoples of the Athabaskan-speaking ethnolinguistic group. They are the original inhabitants of the interior of Alaska. In Alaska, where they are the oldest, there are eleven groups identified by the languages they speak. These are the Dena’ina or Tanaina (Ht’ana), Ahtna or Copper River Athabaskan (Hwt’aene), Deg Hit’an or Ingalik (Hitʼan), Holikachuk (Hitʼan), Koyukon (Hut’aane), Upper Kuskokwim or Kolchan (Hwt’ana), Tanana or Lower Tanana (Kokht’ana), Tanacross or Tanana Crossing (Koxt’een), Upper Tanana (Kohtʼiin), Gwich'in or Kutchin (Gwich’in), and Hän (Hwëch’in). The Alaskan Athabascan culture is an inland creek and river fishing (also coastal fishing by only Dena'ina of Cook Inlet) and hunter-gatherer culture. The Alaskan Athabascans have a matrilineal system in which children belong to the mother's clan, with the exception of the Yupikized Athabaskans (Holikachuk and Deg Hit'an).[10]

Formerly the word Tinneh (nowadays Alaskan Dene; cf. Dene for Canadian Athabaskans) was employed to designate the Alaskan Athabaskans, this word being taken from their own language and signifying simply men.[11]

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