Like the American Aleuts, the inhabitants of the Commander Islands call themselves unangan/unangas, which means “the coastal people” or “those living by the sea.” They often use the Russian word “Aleuts,” changing it to the plural according to the grammar rules of their language. Thus, the inhabitants of Medny Island of the Commander Islands (Mednovtsy) say Aleuuta-n, those of the Bering Strait – Aleuutas.

General information
The Aleuts dwell in the north of the Pacific coast, on the territories of the United States and Russia. In the U.S., they occupy the territories of the Aleutian Islands, the Pribilof Islands, and the western coast of Alaska. In the Russian Federation, the Aleuts live on the Commander (Komandor, Komandorskiye) Islands, the largest of which are Bering Island and Medny Island.
Surrounding society and the main economic society of the region of residence

The isolation of the Commander Islands determined the life of Commander Aleuts and their main economic activity, sea hunting. Uncontrolled coastal and sea fishing, as well as poaching, led to a decrease in the number of the Northern fur seal and an almost complete extermination of the sea cow. At present, the Commander Islands are part of the territory of the Southern Kamchatka and Commander Nature Reserves. The marine fauna and unique ecosystems of the islands are under protection, and any anthropogenic activity there is limited.

Spiritual culture

In the mythological worldview of the Aleuts, “east” and “up/top” were the sacred directions associated with the creator Agugukh. At dawn, Aleut men would go up on the roofs of their houses and face east to greet the day and “take a sip of the light,” as they would call it. The Aleuts were not afraid of water and worshipped it, considering it the source of life. Prior to any important task, they would always plunge into the ocean.

Supplementary materials
Other materials describing the life, culture and history of the people
Interactive Atlas of the Indigenous Small-Numbered Peoples of the North, Siberia and the Far East