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Pond Inlet, Baffin Island, Nunavut - Tununirmiut

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 settled.

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.

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