Ittoqqortoormiit is one of the most remote places, where people are living, in the world. The population is sometimes going up and sometimes down. There used to be two settlements more, one to west-northwest further inside the fjord. Once when it was inhabited it was a place with good hunting possibilities. In the old days there were a lot of hunting animals. The other settlement was at the mouth of the huge fjord’s north side, where there used to be a weather station. Now it is abandoned. But these places are still used by hunters, for seal, polar bear and, in the spring time, narwhal hunting.
Ittoqqortoormiit (in Westgreenlandic: Ittoqqortoormiut) is situated in East Greenland at 70 degrees North and is a hunting society. Some people work in the service sector. The summer is only two months long. The fjord gets free of sea ice from June or July. The sea ice comes back in October or November. So soon the whole fjord will be covered with ice. There is sea ice most of the year.
As mentioned before, the hunting of seals, polar bears, narwhals and musk-oxen is the most important way of living. The musk-oxen are hunted two times a year, in the months of March and August. The hunt of musk-oxen is restricted, so by drawing lots some hunters get licenses to hunt them. Not only full time hunters but also “free time hunters” can apply. In August, the musk-oxen hunt is done by use of speedboats. The winter hunt is done from dogsleds.
The town is situated in a spectacular nature and in the longest fjord in the world. It is a huge fjord with a lot of hunting animals. In spring a lot of birds of many kinds are laying eggs, both sea and land birds.
Will Ittoqqortoormiit always be inhabited?
This question rises often: “Will Ittoqqortoormiit always be inhabited?” That is something that politicians (in Nuuk) have to answer, sooner or later. There is very likely the potential of minerals. But will they start mining? The future of the town Ittoqqortoormiit is uncertain if it will live of hunting only.
Faces from the Scoresby Sund Exhibition
For those interested in experiencing the Inuit culture, the Faces from the Scoresby Sund Exhibition in Greenland provides you a winning option. The exhibition features a wide collection of intimate and moving Inuit portraits taken during the 1970s, granting visitors a closer look into the daily routines and hunting rituals of this indigenous Arctic people. Founded by Dutch biologist Ko de Korte, who took the photographs himself while finishing his doctoral thesis in Greenland, the exhibition presents the portraits in two locations: Two thirds of the photos are in the Uummannaq Children’s Home until September 2018, while the remaining third is in Ittoqqortoormiit without an end date. From August to October, Oceanwide Expeditions runs a variety of Scoresby Sund cruises that visit Faces of the Scoresby Sund. The exhibitions are free of charge, though only open by request. Please contact us for details.
Cruise to Ittoqqortoormiit
We have a number of Greenland cruises that will take you to visit the cultural melting pot of Ittoqqortoormiit.