Inuit Resourcefulness

Outstanding trip to Tasiilaq, in east Greenland. On a walk through town the other day, these polar bear skins:

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Nothing is wasted around here and all hunting is strictly sustainable.

Consider the seal: As food, seal meat is protein rich for tough Arctic winters, and you’ll find it served dried, stir fried, roasted, as steaks or in suaasat, a seal soup with rice and onions. Beyond food for the family, seal parts feed the sled dogs, who are every bit as essential to an Inuit family as your car. Before electricity, seal blubber lit the Inuit night, loaded into a carved soapstone, using cotton grass, moss or even dried rabbit dung as a wick. On winter hunting trips seal blubber is still used this way. The skin makes insulating clothes. Bones are carved into tools and tourist trinkets here, at Workshop Stunk:

tunkSmall

Stunk2Small

My new friend Hans Ulriksen carved a tupilaq for me, a traditional avenging totem, from seal bone.

TupilaqSmall

Here, preparing a narwhal tusk.

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