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Ammassalik / Tasiilaq - Museum, Sledge - East Greenland


A traditional Inuit sledge that would be made from driftwood as there are no trees on Greenland. Held together with ties and knots made of sealskin strips, this gives a flexibility over uneven surfaces when the sledge would bend and flex with the surface rather than trying to remain rigid and so putting undue pressure on the structure. In such circumstances a flexible construction is easily the strongest.

The sledge is placed on seal skins and hanging on the back is a pair of polar bear skin trousers which (shock horror) when I asked the curator about, he went and picked up to hand to me so I could feel them properly - how many museums would that happen in?!

I am a little suspect about how there are so many regular timbers available and wonder from what date this would be "traditional", also as to how the wood would be cut and drilled.

Picture copyright Paul Ward 2009. Pentax digital equipment.

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