Antarctic Peninsula

Region: Arctic

Destinations: Greenland

The Inuit

​Inuit, the word means “men” in the Inuit language, are traditionally subsistence hunters, living primarily from products from whales, Walrus, Caribou, Musk Oxen, Arctic Fox, Polar Bear and seals. As of 2012, a whopping 89 percent of the total population of Greenland was Inuit. This means that there are an estimated 51,000 Inuit people living in this country, and the vast majority of them live in the southwestern corner. However, there are three distinct major Inuit groups: Inughuit, Tunumiit and Kalaallit. Approximately 10 percent of the Inuit people live in remote regions, and each group speaks its own language. 

The Inuit Diet

In Greenland, about 11 percent of the residents are not Inuit. This means that the each Inuk who lives in Greenland has the potential to be exposed to new dining options, but even this has not considerably altered their traditional diet. Anthropologists and other researchers have determined that the Inuit diet has stayed mostly the same throughout the centuries, and it consists primarily of meat and fish because it is hard to gain access to vegetables and fruit in cold, remote areas. 

Inuit Folklore 

Every culture throughout human history has developed some type of folklore, and most of these stories were meant to explain away fears about the unknown. For example, some modern Americans believe in Bigfoot, but most people are convinced that this creature does not exist. For the ancient Inuit people, their mythological creature to fear and stand in awe of was called the Qallupilluk. This word translates into monster, and tales about its horrific actions were used to keep children from wandering far away. According to the early legends, Qallupilluk lived under the water, and this twisted mixture of a humanoid figure/monster was said to drag children to an icy grave. 

 

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