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Kulusuk - House and Grave - East Greenland


I like this picture as it sums up much of the way of life of the modern Inuit.

There was something about the houses that seemed odd, but it was so obvious that I missed it for a while. The houses have no fences or land around them that belongs to the householder. Almost anywhere else in the world especially where people live near to each other, they build fences to show what they consider to be their space and keep others out. In Greenland there is no such thing as personal land ownership, people live in the houses but don't own the land. For a hunter gatherer society, personal land ownership is anathema and the Inuit still have many of the values of the hunter gatherer despite the 21st century.

There's the lone un-named grave keeping the ancestors near (I can just imagine saying "I'm just popping out to have a word with grandad") and the wooden a-frame structure which is a fish drying rack. The sled dogs complete the ambience.

Picture copyright Paul Ward 2009. Pentax digital equipment.

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