A woman from the Ainu people. The Ainu are an indigenous group of people who live on the island of Hokkaido in Japan as well as in Russia (Kuril Islands and Sakhalin).

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Ainu couple. The Ainu language. For more information, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ainu_language

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Chikabumi Ainu woman with child, about 1930 The Ainu are an indigenous people in Japan (Hokkaidō) and Russia (Sakhalin and the Kuril Islands).

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Ainu woman with bear cub. The Ainu revere bears, believing their gods can incarnate as bears to watch over them. In early December, a bear cub would be raised among them, fed and loved. Then it would be sacrificed, using special arrows, so that its soul could return to the gods in the heavens with their prayers.

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