Friday, August 30, 2013

Visited by Inuit Hunters

We were staying cosy indoors, enjoying our movies, when we heard an engine sound outside. Sensation - other human beings!!

In east Greenland there really aren't that many people at all with as far as I'm aware no permanently occupied settlements within about 200 miles of Kangerdlugssuaq Fjord.

We'd seen evidence of at least one hunting party with the narwhals by Turner Island but on wet Wednesday we were to meet some in person.

They were a cheerful bunch - or seemed to be, as none of the trio spoke English and I'm gathering that there wasn't much Danish either. But then this is Greenland, where locals are Inuit and that's their culture, not anything European.

They were sheltering from the bad weather outside the fjord and had heard us practicing with the guns. They came aboard and went below where they had some of our rather good home baked bread over a coffee and chat with Siggi.

Then they explained their hunting technique which is to use the kayaks as they are silent and means they can get up close to whales. Then they use the stick to throw the harpoon head which has attached to it via a line a buoy which stops the animal from diving.
After this demo there were friendly waves all round and they pottered off to stay overnight in the so-called abandoned village:
And then we were on our own again.

These three hunters were the only other people we saw in two weeks between leaving Isafjordur and arriving at Tasiilaq, and we weren't to see them again.

As it was to turn out, it would have been rather good idea if they had stuck around a bit longer...


Anonymous said...

Blue nylon jackets do not conjure up images of an Inuit - but that's globalisation for you.

JP said...

How to earn the cash to buy global products is a big issue for the Inuit - hence the serious considerations they make to mining requests.