In northern Asia are found other aborigines, such as the Ainus of Japan and the so-called hyperborean races (Chukchis, &c.), but no materials are at present forthcoming for their history.
This theory may have been nothing more than an instance of the Greek tendency to assign a northern or "hyperborean" home to deities in whose character something analogous to the stormy elements of nature was found.
By some authorities Ainu colonists are supposed to have been the first settlers, and to have arrived there via Yezo; by others, the earliest corners are believed to have been a hyperborean tribe travelling southwards by way of Kamchatka.
The close connexion of the Hyperboreans with the cult of Apollo may be seen by comparing the Hyperborean myths, the characters of which by their names mostly recall Apollo or Artemis (Agyieus, Opis, Hecaergos, Loxo), with the ceremonial of the Apolline worship. No meat was eaten at the Pyanepsia; the Hyperboreans were vegetarians.
At the festival of Apollo at Leucas a victim flung himself from a rock into the sea, like the Hyperborean who was tired of life.
Although the Hyperborean legends are mainly connected with Delphi and Delos, traces of them are found in Argos (the stories of Heracles, Perseus, Io), Attica, Macedonia, Thrace, Sicily and Italy (which Niebuhr indeed considers their original home).
Outside the precinct of Apollo, on the south, was an open place; between this and the precinct was a house for the priests, and within it, in a kind of court, a set of small structures that may perhaps be identified as the tombs of the Hyperborean maidens.
ABARIS, a Scythian or Hyperborean, priest and prophet of Apollo, who is said to have visited Greece about 770 B.C., or two or three centuries later.
In his hymns he celebrated Opis and Arge, two Hyperborean maidens who founded the cult of Apollo in Delos, and in the hymn to Eilythyia the birth of Apollo and Artemis and the foundation of the Delian sanctuary.