Its name Kuril Islands received on behalf of the people who inhabited them before the arrival of the Russians and the Japanese. They called themselves the Ainus. "Kuru" in the language of these people meant "man" and the meaning differed little from the "Ainu". The Cossacks of the first Russian expeditions began to call them "Kuril Islands" or "Kurultai", hence then and gave name to the whole archipelago.
The culture of the Ainu traced by archaeologists for at least 7,000 years. Their appearance, language and customs they differed from the Japanese in the South, and from local residents (residents of Kamchatka in the North: they are characterized numorology type of face, thick hair, bushy beard, expressed vegetation on the entire body. Russian explorers so called Ainu "shaggy". The origin of the Ainu unclear to this day.
The word "Kuru" was consonant with the Russian "reek" because over the volcano, which many in the Kuril Islands, is constantly smoke. However, we must remember that all the same word that gave the Islands their present name is not Russian, and Ainu origin.
It is interesting
1. "Kuru-MISI" ("earth people") - the so-called Ainu these Islands. Each island Kuril Ainu dubbed separately, and the word Ainu language used in the names of Islands and geographical features so far: Paramushir - "wide island", Onekotan - "old settlement", Ushishir - "earth"bays, Chiripal - "birds", Urup - "salmon", Iturup great salmon", Kunashir - "the black island", Shikotan - "big village".
2. Party of the second Kamchatka expedition S. Krasheninnikov described Kurylev: "This nation growth medium, black hair, a roundish face and sagol, but comely much of other peoples. Beards have big bushy, hairy body, what is a notable difference from the Kamchadals. Male hair superedi shave to the top and back of Rosstat, what with the Japanese are similar... They are much nicer to other people, and then permanent, prevously, ambitious and humble. Speak quietly, not interrupting each other's speech as a sedentary Koryaks. Old people have great reverence. Live together very lovingly, especially as hot to his kinsmen... Dress wear from the skins of sea birds, also Fox, beaver and other marine animals... swing... sew what pellucida, so... rare Kuril Park will see that not one of the flaps of different animals and birds was made on... Eat more sea animals and fish foraged few."
English soroptomists captain snow, long time forced stayed the Ainu on Iturup, described them: “the Ainu broad-shouldered, slim, strong, and if they wash and brush, it can be considered handsome. Exaggerated glory of their polosatosti, no doubt, owes their contrast with smoothskin, hairless Chinese and Japanese. They have light skin and European eyes, limbs and figure perfectly formed, the voice is very nice... Although they have a lot of work, but they are full of fun and love for fun”.