This was a visit to the community
center at the hamlet of Pond Inlet, also called Mittimatalik
meaning "the place where Mittima is buried", or literally and
even better "Where is Mittima"?
The people who live here are
predominantly Tununirmiut Inuit. We were presented with
demonstrations of a number of Inuit traditions such as throat
singing in several competitive variants, drum dancing and events
from the Inuit Games by some of the residents in traditional
dress which was greatly enjoyed by the audience.
The community was particularly
pleased as they had recently been allowed to kill a Bowhead
Whale in a "traditional" hunt (such hunts are rationed around
the communities in turn). It transpired that the whale was
dispatched by an explosive harpoon that had been supplied to the
community by Fisheries Canada, it was fired from a motorized
boat. It was their first such hunt and kill since 1910 so you
can't blame them for being excited about it.
Bowhead whales are one of the
most endangered of all whale species, clearly the whole question
of conservation of whales and traditional hunting rights are not
Pond Inlet website
These are pictures
from a cruise to the High Arctic in August 2010, from Resolute
Bay Canada to Kangerlussuaq in Greenland.
Pictures copyright Paul Ward.
Pentax digital equipment.