The eastern Eskimo are dolichocephalic, the western are less so, and the Aleuts brachycephalic. On the North Pacific coast, and in spots down to the Rio Grande, are short heads, but scattered among these are long heads, frequent in southern California, but seen northward to Oregon, as well as in Sonora and some Rio Grande pueblos.
Under the American regime seal fishing off the Aleutians save by the natives has never been legal, but the depletion of the Pribilof herd, the almost complete extinction of the sea otter, and the rapid decrease of the foxes and other fur animals, have threatened the Aleuts (as the natives are commonly called) with starvation.
Sporadic efforts to Christianize the Aleuts were made in the latter half of the 18th century, but little impression was made before the arrival in 1824 of Father Ivan Venyaminov, who in 1840 became the first Greek bishop of Alaska.
It is stated that before the advent of the Russians there were 25,000 Aleuts on the archipelago, but that the barbarities of the traders eventually reduced the population to one-tenth of this number.
The number of Aleuts in 1890 was reported as 968; the total population of the archipelago in 1900 was 2000.
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