Education in Greenland

Greenland – education

Schooling for all, even in small isolated settlements, has been a reality in Greenland for several generations. Since the introduction of home rule in 1979, it has been a central political goal to create an education system on Greenlandic conditions. The language of instruction is thus Greenlandic, while Danish is the first foreign language. In the absence of a teacher, however, Danish can also be the language of instruction. In the first half of the 1990’s, approximately 1/3 of the trained teachers in primary schools was Danish. The language policy has been debated for decades, and the prioritization of Greenlandic in primary and lower secondary school has led to the language in the early 2000’s. stands stronger than ever in the post-war period.

The nine-year compulsory education is fulfilled in the primary school, which consists of a one-year preschool and an eight-year primary school. Most students then move on to the two-year continuation school, which is divided into a general and an extended line that gives access to a three-year high school education. The continuation school can be followed by a one-year course school. The upper secondary school applied for by 26% (1994) is not a home rule matter in terms of pedagogical supervision, the content and structure of teaching and the examination.

Higher education, which frequently takes place in Denmark, is found in Greenland, among other places. in the form of pedagogical education, teacher education, see Ilinniarfissuaq, and university education, see Ilisimatusarfik. In addition, there are various vocational training offers of 2-4 years duration, a folk high school, a workers’ college and various forms of leisure education.

OFFICIAL NAME: Kalaallit Nunaat (Land of Greenland)

CAPITAL CITY: Nuuk (Godthåb)

POPULATION: 55,847 (Source: COUNTRYaah)

AREA: 2,180,000 km²

OFFICIAL LANGUAGE (S): Greenlandic, Danish

COIN: Danish Crown



INDEPENDENCE: home rule 1979, self-government 2009

POPULATION COMPOSITION: Greenlanders (Inuit and Greenland-born Danes) 89%, Danes and other 11% (2015)

GDP PER residents: $ 43,365 (2014)

LIFE EXPECTANCY: men 69 years, women 74 years (2014 est.)


Greenland is the world’s largest island; 2,180,000 km2. Greenland is located in North America, northeast of Canada, but historically, politically and economically it is closely linked to Europe.

  • Find two-letter abbreviation for each independent country and territory, such as GL which stands for Greenland.

In the late 900-t. parts of the southwest coast were colonized by northerners, and from the 1720’s it was colonized by the Danish-Norwegian priest Hans Egede; since 2009, Greenland has had self-government in common with Denmark. Greenland is a member of the interpolar cooperation between Inuit, ICC.

Most of Greenland lies as largely untouched natural areas; see the Inland Ice and the National Park in North and East Greenland for a description of the natural geographical conditions. The ice-free area is nine times as large as Denmark.

The extent from north to south is 2670 km; Cape Morris Jesup in the north is only 730 km from the North Pole and is the world’s northernmost land area, while Cape Farewell in the south is on a par with Oslo. The climate is polar everywhere, albeit with large variations.

Greenland has been inhabited for millennia. The original cultures were based on catching sea animals, and the fishing industry still exists, but Greenland’s economy is now based on fishing, service industries and transfers from Denmark.

Greenland – ecclesiastical conditions

In the Norse period, Greenland constituted an independent diocese with churches, monasteries and its own bishop; there is nothing to suggest that the church had contact with the Inuit. Around 1500, the last northerners and thus Christianity had disappeared from Greenland. In 1721, Hans Egede began his Evangelical Lutheran missionary work in West Greenland. After leaving Greenland, he was given the title of Bishop of Greenland in 1740, an honorary title given to his son Poul Egedereceived in 1779. From 1733, German fraternal missionaries also worked in the country, often in a conflict-filled relationship with the Danish mission. In the following generations, both Danish and German missionaries baptized an increasing number of Greenlanders. The missionary work resulted in 1905 in a scheme by law of the church and school system, although the mission in East and North Greenland had not yet been completed. A revival, occurring in the early 1900’s, gained greater significance nationally than in ecclesiastical terms.

In 1905-23, Greenland belonged to Zealand, then to the bishop of Copenhagen, but with its own deputy bishop in Nuuk from 1980. From 1993, the country has been an independent diocese with its own bishop; from 2009 belonging to the Greenland Self-Government with regard to legislation and financing. The Church of Greenland consists of 17 parishes (parishes), each with an average of five churches or school chapels, which are served by priests and catechists; the catechism has both priestly and teacher functions (see catechesis). The churchyard, which was previously close to 100%, has dropped significantly everywhere by the end of the 1900’s. The church in particular has lost ground in the youth. The elderly still apply in large numbers for worship and participate in the – albeit receding – polyphonic hymn singing. In the late 1900-t. there has been a constant shortage of priests despite various attempts to make the priest education more Greenlandic.

Greenland – constitution

The Constitution of Greenland appears partly from the Constitution of the Kingdom of Denmark of 5 June 1953, partly from the Act on the Greenland Self-Government of 12 June 2009. Section 1 of the Self-Government Act states: “Greenland’s Self-Government has the legislative and executive power within acquired areas. “Courts established by the self – government have the jurisdiction of Greenland in all areas of jurisdiction.

The Self-Government Act replaced the Greenland Home Rule Act of 29 November 1978, which after a guiding referendum in Greenland came into force on 1 May 1979. At the same time, the Greenland National Council, which had only administrative powers, was repealed.

Both the Home Rule Act and the Constitutional Character of the Self-Government Act are emphasized by the fact that, unlike all other laws, they begin with a preamble. In the Self-Government Act it has the following wording: We Margrethe the Second, by the Grace of God Queen of Denmark, do verily the Folketing has adopted and We by Our consent confirmed the following law: In recognition that the Greenlandic people are a people under international law with the right to self-determination, the law is based on a desire to promote equality and mutual respect in the partnership between Denmark and Greenland. The law is accordingly based on an agreement between the Naalakkersuisut and the Danish government as equal parties.

In the Home Rule Act § 1, sec. 1 and 2 read: “Greenland constitutes a special community within the Danish kingdom. The Greenland Home Rule Government handles Greenlandic affairs within the framework of the national unit in accordance with the rules in this Act. The Greenland Home Rule Government consists of a representation elected in Greenland, called the County Council, and an administration headed by a National Government. ”

In practice, Greenland constitutes an autonomous part of the kingdom with a factually and geographically delimited legislative competence for the home rule, which can neither be changed nor repealed unilaterally by Denmark; the constitutional status of home rule, on the other hand, can be discussed, as in the case of the Faroe Islands; see Faroe Islands – Constitution.

However, the Home Rule Government is developing in an increasingly independent direction, collecting both taxes and duties and making expropriations in Greenland in accordance with its own county council laws. Following an indicative referendum in 1982, the Home Rule Government decided to seek withdrawal from the EC. This happened in 1985 following the conclusion of a new agreement between the government, the National Government and the EC Council of Ministers on the inclusion of Greenland as an associated overseas territory and following the conclusion of a ten-year framework agreement on fisheries, which has since been renewed.

Greenland, together with the Faroe Islands, is still covered by Denmark’s membership of NATO, and the Home Rule Government participates in practice in a number of international organizations as a member of the Danish government delegations.

The Greenlandic County Council, Inatsisartut, consists of 31 members who are elected for 4 years at a time by ordinary and direct county council elections. The county council usually meets twice a year, spring and autumn, in meetings of 4-6 weeks duration, but extraordinary county council meetings can be convened.

The County Council has legislative powers in the areas taken over by the Home Rule Government: governance for Greenland and the Greenlandic municipalities, taxes and duties, the Danish National Church and other denominations, fishing, hunting, agriculture and reindeer husbandry, conservation, national planning, business and competition legislation, social conditions, labor market conditions, education and culture, business conditions in general, health care, rental legislation, etc., goods supply, internal passenger and freight transport, environmental protection as well as communication and infrastructure.

The County Council appoints the chairman of the National Board and approves the appointment of the National Board, Naalakkersuisut, which consists of 7 county board members. The County Council can remove the National Government by a vote of no confidence, but this can in turn call new elections to the County Council. The members of the National Board are responsible for their performance of office and can be punished for intentionally submitting incorrect information to the County Council.

Greenland – economy

After Greenland’s colonial status had been abolished in 1953, the Danish government began a new Greenland policy, according to which Denmark was to finance and build a modern society in which Greenlanders could continue to practice their traditional business. The new Greenland policy entailed significant, centrally managed investments in infrastructure, which were predominantly carried out by Danish labor, forced evictions and closures of settlements, as well as a clear investment in the fishing industry as the driving force of the economy.

When the home rule scheme came into force in 1979, Greenland achieved, among other things, control of fiscal policy, while monetary and exchange rate issues remained a national concern. However, the Danish state’s influence on Greenland’s economy remains considerable. Thus, the block grant from Denmark in 2005 amounted to DKK 3006 million. DKK (excluding the value of the judiciary and defense), which corresponded to 60% of the home government’s income.

The Danish effort has made Greenland a relatively rich society, which is based on a large public sector with a high and due to the settlement structure costly service level and with community ownership of important means of production. However, the fishing economy is vulnerable to fluctuations in volume and price. Overfishing has proven to be a major problem. In 1972, the first fishing quotas were set, and since 1985, the Home Rule Government has set catch quotas by law. In addition, fishing capacity has been sought to be regulated, although fisheries policy has also been sought for employment reasons. Following a recession in 1990-93, the economy has been booming from 1994 to 2001, with an average annual growth rate of 5%; declines in shrimp prices have since slowed. The official unemployment rate since 2000 has been approximately 7%, but the hidden one is estimated to be about five times as large. approximately 20% of the workforce is made up of Danes, which is primarily a consequence of the still existing difference in the level of education between Denmark and Greenland. The most promising alternatives to fishing are mining and tourism, but both sectors are limited by the climate and the sparse infrastructure, which entails high costs.

In 1973, Greenland joined the EC together with Denmark, but withdrew in 1985 after a referendum. Since then, Greenland has been an associate member, which entails exemption from customs duties for Greenlandic fish products in the EU as well as a cash annual payment, according to the 1995-2000 agreement approximately 38 million ECU, in exchange for giving EU vessels access to a certain quota of fishing in Greenlandic waters.

The low degree of self-sufficiency with regard to e.g. Consumer and investment goods make Greenland very dependent on imports. In this context, the single-stranded export structure is an independent problem, as export earnings and thus import opportunities are very sensitive to changes in catch volumes and in the world market price of shrimp in particular.

The largest trading partner is Denmark, which in 2003 accounted for 95% of Greenland’s exports and supplied 60% of imports. Imports are relatively widely distributed, while exports largely consist only of fish and shrimp. Greenland’s total exports in 2003 were DKK 2,285 million. DKK, of which fish and fish products 93%, and imports were 3031 mill. kr.

Greenland – social conditions

The social area has traditionally been regulated by Greenlandic political and administrative bodies, but based on the same social policy principles as in the rest of the Commonwealth. In 1980, the newly established home rule took over the social sphere as one of the first tasks. The financing is primarily based on the local government’s and the municipalities’ tax revenues as well as on the general block subsidy from the state. In some areas, eg the child institution area, there is income-regulated user financing. The social safety net is fine-grained, but based on principles of least possible intervention and help for self-help.

Income-graded national pension is given from the age of 63. Since the mid-1990’s, the national government has sought to promote pension savings, e.g. through collective agreements. Social expenditure is generally rising due to the expansion of social assistance and an increasing proportion of older people with the right to a pension and limited benefits. With the changes in the family pattern, this implies a growing need for elderly institutions, which, however, is counteracted by the fact that more elderly people can continue to be employed.

The number of newborns was declining through the 1990’s despite expanded access to maternity leave for both women and men. Since 2000, the birth rate has stabilized. Public childcare facilities are found especially in the big cities with coverage rates of up to 80% of all 0-6 year olds. However, the expansion is weakened by a lack of trained educators. The childcare offers are matched by a female employment rate of 75.

Actual unemployment funds do not exist. In the event of unemployment, public assistance corresponding to 90% of the salary as unskilled can be obtained. However, a maximum of 13 weeks per. year. The extent of unemployment is difficult to calculate in Greenlandic society, where many are self-employed fishermen. Unemployment remains higher for men than for women due to men’s affiliation with seasonal occupations such as fishing and construction, but the gap appears to be narrowing.

The modernization of society since the 1950’s has changed family conditions especially in the cities but also in the settlements. Multigenerational families have been replaced by nuclear families with two working parents; self-sufficiency in wage labor and rising consumption. In connection with the norm changes in society and the violent process of change in general, one has, among other things. been able to observe widespread alcohol abuse as well as violence, suicide among young people, high abortion rates and neglect in relation to children. A growing political awareness gathered about these problems with the implementation of national projects and actual strategies aimed at sexual abuse of children, suicide and alcohol abuse, etc.

Greenland – health conditions

Until the 1950’s, the state of health in Greenland was characterized by high child mortality and a high incidence of infectious diseases, including widespread tuberculosis. There has been a gradual change in the disease pattern in line with the changed social and economic conditions, which led to better housing standards and expansion of health care.

Around 2010, men’s expected life expectancy was 67 years, women’s 73 years. This is 8-10 years shorter than in Denmark and corresponds to life expectancy in countries such as Turkey, Vietnam, the Philippines and Thailand. In the same period, the mortality rate in the first year of life was 15 per. 1000 live births, ie. five times as large as in Denmark.

Cardiovascular disease and cancer are the most common causes of death, and in particular the mortality from cerebral haemorrhage/blood clot in the brain is high in comparison with Western European countries. Lung cancer is the most common form of cancer in both men and women, which is due to the fact that smoking has been widespread for many years. However, the proportion of smokers has fallen from approximately 80% of the adult population in 1993 to less than 60% in 2014, and smokers smoke less. The number of new cases of tuberculosis is still high compared to Denmark, but mortality is minimal. Obesity is a rapidly increasing problem, and diabetes now occurs more frequently than in Denmark.

Suicide accounts for 11% of all deaths, which is ten times as much as in Denmark. In Denmark, the incidence of suicide increases with age, while suicide is a youth phenomenon in Greenland. Young women more often than young men express having had suicidal thoughts, while consummated suicides are significantly more frequent among young men. Accidents are also a relatively common cause of death.

The average alcohol consumption was significantly higher than the Danish in the years 1962-92, but has for the past 20 years been on a par with the Danish consumption, which is high in international comparison. The drinking pattern is characterized by the fact that there are relatively many who do not drink, and consumption is concentrated around pay days, weekends and festive occasions. Alcohol is still one of Greenland’s biggest public health problems, also because many have grown up in families with high alcohol consumption.

The Greenlandic healthcare system is fully publicly funded, including medicine, contraception and basic dental treatment. The expenses per. per capita to the health service in 2010 was 86% of the expenditure in Denmark; This distinguishes Greenland/Denmark from most other Arctic countries, where health expenditure in the northern regions is higher than in the south. Thus, in the northern territories of Canada more than twice as high as in southern Canada, and in the northernmost counties of Norway 30% higher than in the southern part of the country. With the health reform in 2011, the previous 17 health districts were merged into five. The intention is that the majority of the medical service and emergency preparedness will take place at the five regional hospitals with Dronning Ingrids Hospitalin Nuuk as a central hospital for the whole country. Patients with certain more complicated diseases can be treated outside Greenland, for example at Rigshospitalet in Denmark. In the larger settlements there is a nursing station, in the smaller ones a health assistant has a daily consultation. The settlements are regularly visited by a doctor from the regional hospital. In 2010, 165 doctors were employed in Greenland, many of them with short-term employment. This corresponds to approximately half as many doctors per. per capita as in Denmark.

Greenland – administration

After the introduction of self-government in 2009, the executive branch is called Naalakkersuisut and the National Government Chairman Naalakkersuisut siulittaasuat. The central administration is headed by professional directorates under the political leadership of a member of the Naalakkersuisut. Self-government expenses are financed by taxes and other current transfers. If. Section 5 of the Self-Government Act provides the Danish state Greenland Self-Government with an annual subsidy, which is regulated annually.

Public administration in Greenland is divided into three sectors: the municipal, the self-governing and the state sector.


The municipal tasks are not defined in any law, but as in Denmark are based on section 82 of the Constitution on municipal self-government. A number of Landsting Acts on case processing in the public administration (1994), on publicity in the administration (1994) and on the Landsting’s ombudsman (1995), all of which are influenced by Danish publishers, regulate the exercise of the administration’s activities. Greenland’s large extent and great distances, the often relatively small local population, and the lack of management-trained staff have been a condition for the exercise of local administration.

In the Greenlandic structural and task reform in 2009, 18 municipalities were merged into four: Sermersooq, Qaasuitsup, Qeqqata and Kujalleq. The stated purpose of the structural reform was to move even more citizen-related task areas in the Greenland Self-Government to the municipalities. In connection with the local government reform, a number of local councils were also merged. After the election in April 2008, there were 26 district councils with 106 members.

The intention of the reform was to equip the municipalities to solve larger tasks and concentrate knowledge. They were to take over a number of responsibilities from the Self-Government. In its report, the Structural Committee of 2006 delivered the following recommendations:

  • The number of municipal council members should not exceed 17
  • There must be joint management across professional boundaries (in the municipalities)
  • There must be increased use of video conferencing
  • As tasks and responsibilities are transferred to the municipalities, the administration in the Self-Government must be reduced accordingly
  • Establishment of local service centers, where citizens have access to the entire public administration – using the Internet
  • Simplification of legislation so that requirements, rights and competencies for citizens, municipalities and Self-Government will appear clearer
  • The tax and debt collection area is centralized in the Self-Government
  • Residential institutions, the disability area, public pensions, maternity benefits, housing insurance, child allowance and maintenance are transferred to the municipalities
  • The area authority over the open land is transferred to the municipalities
  • Electricity, heating and water supply, the ports, the residential area and the construction area are handed over to the municipalities
  • Negotiation of contracts for subsidies for goods supply, shipping and air traffic is handed over to the municipalities


The Greenland Home Rule Government handles a number of typically government tasks. But due to the country’s small population, the Self-Government also solves tasks that in many other countries are solved decentrally. These tasks include the collection of taxes, the recovery of arrears to the public sector, the health service, the raw materials sector and contracts in the field of infrastructure.

The Ombudsman for Inatsisartut (before 2009 called the County Council) is a Greenlandic lawyer and elected by Inatsisartut to handle complaints against public authorities. The Ombudsman can criticize and recommend the authorities to change their decisions. The Ombudsman mainly deals with complaints from citizens who believe that an authority has made a mistake. In addition, the ombudsman also takes up cases himself, for example after press coverage, just as the ombudsman visits the Greenlandic municipalities and inspects institutions.

The state

The government sector in Greenland concerns areas that are still managed and financed by the Danish state. The Danish state’s highest representative in Greenland is the National Ombudsman, who is the liaison between the Self-Government and the Danish government. The National Ombudsman handles, among other things. family law matters, holds parliamentary elections and conducts official visits from Denmark and abroad.

The Danish state has continued (2014) the legislative and administrative competence with regard to the state constitution, citizenship, the Supreme Court, foreign, defense and security policy as well as monetary and monetary policy.

Greenland – legal system

After the introduction of the Home Rule Government in 1979, Greenland’s legal system consists of three components, namely the Greenland Home Rule Act and the rules laid down by the Home Rule, Danish rules issued by the national authorities and a few Greenlandic customs.

Within the competence of the Home Rule Government, see Greenland in more detail (Constitution), after three readings the County Council issues either County Council laws (in the case areas self-financed by the Home Rule Government) or County Council ordinances (in the areas subsidized by Denmark). Landsting Acts and Landsting Ordinances are assumed to have the same constitutional legal force as Danish laws passed by the Folketing. Pursuant to the rules of the County Council, the Greenland Home Rule Government also issues executive board executive ordersmv. The county council’s laws and regulations are confirmed by the county council chairman and published in Nalunaarutit, where the county council’s executive orders are also printed. The Prime Minister’s Office regularly publishes a special Greenlandic Law Register, which provides information on applicable law in Greenland, including both the home rule authorities’ own laws and executive orders within the home rule’s competence and Danish legislation in areas that are national affairs.

The Act of 24 June 2005 on the Greenland Government’s conclusion of international law agreements also created a legal basis for the Greenland Government to enter into agreements on its own with third countries and international organizations within the areas taken over by the Home Rule Government. However, the agreements are concluded “on behalf of the Kingdom” and under the name “Kingdom of Denmark as far as Greenland” is concerned; they bind the kingdom as a whole, and any international law liability for non-compliance with an agreement will therefore rest with the whole kingdom. The law also contains the quite extensive restriction that the national government can not enter into international law agreements that affect defense and security policy, or which must apply to Denmark as a whole, or which are negotiated within an international organization of which Denmark is a member.

Matters not taken over by the Home Rule are national affairs. In those areas, a number of Danish laws and executive orders have been applied in Greenland, issued by the Folketing and the Danish administrative authorities after consultation with the Home Rule Government. Danish laws, etc., which apply to Greenland, are only published in Lovtidende, but are also reprinted in Nalunaarutit.

Finally, from ancient times there are a few special Greenlandic customs regarding the distribution of use and fishing rights to the scarce natural resources.

According to section 8 of the Home Rule Act, the raw materials area in Greenland is subject to joint Danish-Greenlandic competence. The principle of the Greenland Minerals Scheme is that private ownership of land and resources in Greenland is not recognized, and that all questions about feasibility studies, exploration and utilization of Greenland’s mineral resources are made by agreement between the Government and the National Council in the Joint Council, which means that both parties have veto in these matters. Profits from raw material utilization are accordingly divided equally between the parties. The practical administration of the case area is handled by the Mineral Resources Administration, which has been transferred from the Ministry of Energy to the Home Rule Government and located in Greenland.

The judicial authority in Greenland consists of the Greenland High Court, the Court of Greenland and 18 jurisdictions with district courts. The judges in the district courts are trained in the judicial district judge training or have a corresponding legal education. If a case is legally complicated, the case can be referred to the Court in Greenland. The court in Greenland handles cases that are complicated or principled. The Greenland High Court hears the cases that are appealed after they have been decided by a district court or the Court in Greenland.

Police and courts are still under the Ministry of Justice, but it is assumed that the Home Rule Government can also take over the judicial and coercive enforcement authority.

Greenland – defense

Greenland Command is responsible for the Armed Forces’ service locations and activities in Greenland, including associated inspection ships and inspection cutters, the Danish personnel at Thule Air Base and the Patrol Service North and Northeast Greenland. The command is located in Grønnedal (Kangilinnguit) in Ivigtut Municipality. The total staff is 100. Of these, 14 are attached to the Sled Patrol SIRIUS with its main station in Daneborg in Northeast Greenland. Every month, the Air Force posts a Challenger CL-604 inspection aircraft to Kangerlussuaq (Søndre Strømfjord) under Luftgruppe Vest. The aircraft performs fisheries inspection, ice reconnaissance,search and assertion of sovereignty by The North Pole and Hans Ø.

Greenland – libraries and archives

Public book collections were organized in South Greenland from 1829 (Godthåb) and in North Greenland from 1804 (North Greenland Reading Society, Godhavn). An overall plan for the library service was available in 1925, and in 1933 it succeeded in raising money for four libraries, which then grew.

Nunatta Atuagaateqarfia, The Greenland National Library, Nuuk, is in accordance with a county council ordinance from 1979 the national library for the whole of Greenland and the public library for Nuuk Municipality. In addition, it is the National Library and Scientific Library. The National Library purchases and distributes Greenlandic literature to all 17 municipal libraries and 55 rural libraries.

Archives concerning the local Greenlandic administration have been preserved from the 1750’s. In 1958, it was decided to ensure their preservation by moving to Denmark, but paradoxically, a large part was lost in the event of shipwreck. The remaining archives were carefully registered and returned to Greenland after the establishment in 1982 by the Greenland National Museum and Archives.

Greenland – print mass media

Greenland has only two nationwide newspapers, Atuagagdliutit Grønlandsposten (AG) and Sermitsiak. Both newspapers are bilingual and based in Nuuk. The periodicity has been fluctuating. All other newspapers are local weekly and monthly newspapers.

Atuagagdliutit was founded as a monthly newspaper in 1861 and was then published in Greenlandic; it became bilingual by merging in 1952 with the Danish-language Grønlandsposten, founded in 1942 to cover an information need among the Danish-speaking population that had been cut off from the mother country by World War II. Sermitsiak, founded in 1958, was originally in Greenlandic, but quickly became bilingual.

Greenland’s small local weekly and monthly newspapers, Sivdlek Sisimiut Aviisiat in Sisimiut and Iluliarmioq in Ilulissat, despite modest circulation, usually between 600 and 1000, have played a significant role in the local conversion process.

Greenland – electronic mass media

While the first radio broadcasts were made by a local telegraph manager as early as 1926, radio was first introduced as a mass media in Greenland in 1942, when the county sheriff decided to establish transmitters in Godthåb (Nuuk). In 1957 a new radio house was built in Nuuk, and in 1958 KNR, Kalaallit Nunaata Radioa, was founded.

Originally it was sent on medium and shortwave. Nuuk got its first FM transmitter in 1954, while a nationwide FM network was only established from 1970. Today it is also transmitted via satellite, internet, cable and regional microwave network. Both TV and radio are broadcast in both Danish and Greenlandic, just as there are news services on both teletext and internet. KNR defines itself as “the Greenlanders’ own historian” and has helped to bring the population together about both the country’s many different living conditions and about common major and significant events in the country’s recent history. Video has been very popular, and the video rental per. per capita among the highest in the world. KNR is financed through grants from the National Treasury, advertising, sponsored programs and income from other activities and is managed by a board appointed by the Government of Greenland,

Companies, associations and the like can, upon application, obtain a permit from the Naalakkersuisut to carry out nationwide or local program activities, just as municipalities can obtain a permit to carry out local program activities. Nuuk-FM was the first commercial advertising radio.

Greenland – museum system

The first Greenlandic museum, established in 1968 in Nuuk, contains objects from all over the country (see Greenland’s National Museum and Archive). A few years later, local history museums were established in some of the larger cities, for example in Qaqortoq 1972, Ilulissat 1973 and Maniitsoq 1974. In the 1980’s further growth took place, and in 1996 in addition to the museum in Nuuk there were 14 approved local museums (only in Ivittuut, Kangaatsiaq and Ittoqqortoormiit municipalities there are no museums).

The rapid construction of such a costly museum system must be seen in the context of the population’s need to understand and interpret the historical course on its own terms. However, creating sights for the benefit of the tourism industry has also been part of the intention.

The local museums register the development in modern Greenland, and some of them carry out ethnological research; in addition, a number of professionally trained archaeologists are employed. In recent years, several of the museums have chosen to supplement the local history work area with a specialty, eg “Knud Rasmussen” (Ilulissat), “trade, industry and shipping” (Sisimiut) and “fishing” (Aasiaat).

Greenland – visual art

In the old Inuit world, art was an integral part of everyday life and religious life, and a concept of art in the Western European sense only appeared late. This was expressed, for example, by the fact that many sculptures did not have a standing surface, as they were not intended for erection, but also by the fact that the Greenlandic word for art in the Western European sense, erqumitsuliaq, means ‘something strange that is cooked’; the word was only formed after the meeting with the Europeans. The function and the available materials made the sculpture dominate; in general, the term was realistic, grotesque, or more stylized. No named artists are known from this time. Matthias Ferslew Dalager (1769-1843) was the first Greenlander to study at the Academy of Fine Arts in Copenhagen, but the time was not yet ripe for a painting in Greenland. Only with the Danes’ growing interest in the Inuit world did drawing, graphics and painting begin to emerge in the mid-1800’s. Myth, everyday life and nature were reproduced in a narrative naive-expressive style that has since characterized much of Greenlandic art. The artists now stepped out of anonymity, first artists and painters such as Israil Gormansen (1804-57),Aron from Kangeq and the sculptors Gerth Lyberth (1867-1929) and Johannes Kreutzmann (1862-1940), who both worked with painted wooden figures. When the spirit man Mitsuarnianga was persuaded in 1905 to create two assembly-like tupilak figures, the connection between art, magic and everyday life had changed completely. Since then, numerous tupilak figures, amulets and masks have been made for sale, and today there is a large crowd of folk artists in this field.

The village of Kangaamiut has always occupied a special position in Greenlandic sculpture; from here stems Peter Rosing (1871-1938) and Esra Bertelsen (1889-1954), who renewed the special tradition of small sculptures, often grotesque as later with Aron Berthelsen (b. 1933). Soapstone, driftwood, tooth and bone are widely used. The Kristoffersen family from Nuuk counts many sculptors and sculptors, from more recent times especially Simon Kristoffersen (1933-90), who was the first to perform a group of figures in large format. An incipient national feeling inspired into the 1900’s. to a naturalistic landscape art, initiated by the lithographer Lars Møllerand continued by his son Steffen Møller (1882-1909) and the brothers Peter (1892-1965) and Otto Rosing (1896-1966). Several Greenlanders received an art education, often at the Art Academy in Copenhagen, but from 1972 also at the Graphic Workshop, now the Art School, in Nuuk. It was founded by Hans Lynge, one of Greenland’s most important artists and creator of the first official portraits and memorial stones. Jens Rosingis known for a large number of stamps with Greenlandic motifs. With Lynge and Rosing as well as artists such as Kaale Rosing (1911-74), who renewed the graphics, Kristian Olsen (Aaju) (b. 1942) and Thue Christiansen (b. 1940), modern art began to take shape, and the narrative became more degree subject to color and line. The period from the 1960’s onwards was marked by a search for the particularly Greenlandic, and nature and the old myths and legends became repeated motifs, not least in the many public decorations that after the introduction of home rule were created for schools, churches and town halls by artists like Aka Høegh, Kistat Lund (b. 1944), Anne-Birthe Hove (b. 1954) and others Jessie Kleemann (b. 1959) also work with the Greenlandic identity in video and performance, while Pia Arke (b. 1958) interprets nature in a new way in landart projects. Recent years have shown great openness to international art, including Nordic art in particular, and this has led to a movement towards abstraction and concept art, for example with Lise Hessner (b. 1962). Graphics still play a major role with artists such as Frederik Kristensen (b. 1952) and Arnannguaq Høegh (b. 1958).

Art life in Greenland is still very much connected to Nuuk. Here is the Art School, where under the leadership of the visual artist Arnannguaq Høegh (b. 1958) seeks to establish an actual art education. Most people currently travel to Denmark to seek education, eg Bodil (Buuti) Pedersen (b. 1955), who has made a number of decorations and, among other things. continues the tradition of art stamps. In Nuuk is also Katuaq, Greenland’s Culture House (1997), which with its elongated, wavy shape is inspired by the northern lights. At the annual Nuuk Snow Festival, held since 1994, companies, groups and individual artists compete to create huge snow sculptures. At Ilulissat Art Museum there are paintings by the local artist Hans Jacobi (1905-95) and the Dane Emanuel A. Petersen. Across the country, the old tradition of cutting stitches.

Greenland – suit

The traditional West Greenlandic costume was predominantly made of sealskin, but reindeer, dog and bird skins were also used. The suit consisted of fur and trousers in two layers with matching leather boots (kamiks). The men also wore special waterproof suits for kayaking and fishing. After colonization began in the 1720’s, the costume section gradually changed; the fur jackets became shorter, and the men’s trousers became longer, while the women’s became shorter with correspondingly longer kamiks. European fabrics were increasingly used for anoraks and trousers, and glass beads began to be sewn on women’s clothing.

The modern Greenlandic costume is composed of Greenlandic and European materials and styles. The men’s suit consists of a white cotton anorak, black trousers and short, black sealskin skirts or black shoes. The women wear a colorful fabric anorak with pearl collar and cuffs as well as sealskin trousers with leather embroidery. The sealskin scarves consist of a long inner boot with rich floral embroidery and lace and a shorter outer boot with leather embroidery. The Greenland costume is often referred to as the national costume and is used for special events such as the Greenlandic national day, weddings and confirmations.

Greenland – literature

Greenlandic literature includes both an oral tradition dating back to pre-colonial times and modern European-inspired written literature, which began in the late 1800’s.

Myths and legends

The myth and legend story served several purposes. In addition to its incomparable entertainment value in the long dark winter, it helped to keep the tradition alive and carry knowledge, perception of nature and outlook on life from generation to generation.

The myths tell, among other things. about the origin of life, about deities who punished humans for their taboos, and about life after death. The legends tell of unusual people and events such as murder and revenge, strife, hunger and hunting trips. The great Arctic nature and the extreme living conditions strongly inspired imaginative, grotesque and sometimes liberating humorous stories.

Poems were used to express emotions or tell a good story. Jealousy was used in song battles between two people – a kind of legal showdown, and magic formulas were uttered to ward off dangers or lure prey. Since the mid-1800’s. large parts of the oral tradition have been written down so that it is available in book form – also in Danish translation.

The colonization

The cultural influence from outside began with the colonization of the 1720’s. The missionaries created a Greenlandic written language and taught the Greenlanders so that they could read the Greenlandic Bible and hymn translations – virtually the only literature that existed in Greenlandic until 1861, when the publication of the magazine Atuagagdliutit (today Atuagagdliutit Grønlandsposten) began. The magazine brought entertaining and informative articles and gained not only great importance as reading material, but also as the place where the ordinary Greenlander began to express himself in writing. The first Greenlandic contributions to hymn poetry date from the latter half of the 1800’s. (Rasmus Berthelsen, Andreas Hansen (1860-1909)).

The modern literature

Modern Greenlandic literature is a clear reflection of the development of society. The beginning of the 1900’s was a time of upheaval – culturally, politically and professionally; in these years modern folk poetry began. The pioneers in Greenlandic literature (Henrik Lund, Jonathan Petersen, Josva Kleist) wrote hymns, spiritual songs and patriotic songs as well as societal poems as contributions to the current debate on Greenlandic identity. They criticized their countrymen for disregarding national values ​​by becoming too dependent on the new that came from outside, but at the same time blaming them for their conservatism and unwillingness to take advantage of what the new age brought with it.

From this period come some short stories and epic poems with motifs from very old days (Peter Gunde (1895-1931), Peter Olsen (1892-1930)). The first two Greenlandic novels, Mathias Storch’s Sinnattugaq (1914, then A Greenlander’s Dream, 1915) and Augo Lynges’ Ukiut 300-nngornerat (1931, then 300 years later, 1989), are political novels of the future that share the feature that their Visions of Greenland’s future are based on a Western European pattern of society with Greenland’s distinctiveness.

In the 1920’s, Danish teaching at the seminary in Godthåb was intensified, and lighter texts from Danish literature began to be included in the teaching. The Danish romantic poetry, eg NFS Grundtvig, provided inspiration for several poems from the 1930’s and 1940’s, which talk about the legacy of the ancestors and depict nature in emotional terms.

In the period 1930-50, five novels, four small plays, a collection of poems and several songs for the Greenlandic songbook were published. With these publications, a tradition was created for stories from the life of the prisoner and themes from the Greenlandic fairytale world to be included in modern literature (Frederik Nielsen, Hans Lynge, Pavia Petersen, Kristen Poulsen, Karl Heilmann).

Greenland’s reorganization in 1950 led to major changes in Greenlandic society, which was also reflected in the increasing literary activities of the following years. The tendency to be inspired by the old prisoner culture was not only continued, but also actualized (Uvdloriánguak Kristiansen 1927-98, Otto Rosing, Otto Sandgreen, Villads Villadsen, Ole Brandt, Frederik Nielsen and others).

Much new and unknown had been pushed into Greenlandic everyday life, and on that basis it is obvious to perceive the often quite romanticized depictions of “the good old days” as a kind – consciously or unconsciously – the search for a cultural point of view. These representations of the old captive culture often contain passages that have great cultural-historical interest and value, e.g. because for the first time they reflect the Greenlanders’ own view of Greenlandic history.

From the end of the 1960’s and in the time until the introduction of home rule in 1979, a number of politically inspired poems were published that turned against the unfortunate effects of the new system and the Danish dominance. This protest poetry, which at times assumed a very harsh and polemical style, arose among Greenlandic students in Denmark (Aqqaluk Lynge, Aqigssiaq Møller (1939-97), Moses Olsen, Ole Korneliussen and others). Even after the introduction of home rule, societal problems and the search for identity are recurring themes in many writers, both poets and prose writers (Kristian Olsen (Aaju), Hans Anthon Lynge, Mâliâraq Vebæk, Ole Korneliussen and others).

Since the 1980’s, the contemporary has come more to the fore, and the writers have become more extroverted. The short story and the poem are the dominant genres (Kelly Berthelsen et al.); especially the lyrics are used by the young people to thematize their own life situation. The oral Greenlandic horror story has developed into a printed genre all the way up to novel format (Otto Steenholdt et al.).

After the turn of the millennium, there is also an increase in confessional literature, which contributes to an elaboration of taboo societal problems, but which also adds new expressions to the literature of the individual’s feelings (Vivi Lynge Petrussen (b. 1961) and others). Large parts of Greenlandic literature are now available in Danish translation.

Greenland – myths and legends

The Greenlanders divided their stories into old and newer, which Knud Rasmussen translated into “myths” and “legends”. The difference was that one could only account for the kinship of the main characters of the more recent narratives. Moreover, they could be retold more freely than the ancients, whose valuable knowledge of the ancestors must not be distorted and thus lost. The resemblance between some of the ancient tales from Greenland and tales from the Inuit in North America testifies to common origins, which is confirmed by archaeological finds.


The Greenlandic researcher HJ Rink, who in 1853-68 worked as a civil servant in South Greenland, and later Knud Rasmussen collected a huge number of Greenlandic stories.

Rink believed that the poverty and passivity of Greenlanders in his time was due to the Christian mission’s suppression of their traditional cultural heritage. In line with the contemporary interest in national identity and in the hope of strengthening their self-esteem, Rink therefore encouraged the Greenlanders to write down their stories, of which he published a part in both Greenlandic and Danish with the Greenlanders’ own illustrations. A smaller selection was published in English.

In 1902-32, Knud Rasmussen collected a large amount of material from all over Greenland, and much of it was written down by Greenlanders. Some have been published in Myths and Legends from Greenland (1-3, 1921-25), and Knud Rasmussen’s translations are more true to the original wording than Rinks, which was often pieced together by several related narratives.

The material in West Greenland in particular is characterized by elements from the colonial period; the pre-Christian worldview appears most clearly in the stories from East and North Greenland, where the actual colonization only took place around the year 1900.

The traditional worldview

Behind the visible world of human beings was a “different”, invisible world, which especially the Angakoks, the spirit men, who possessed a special “inner light”, could see and travel. Many myths and legends are about this invisible world and its numerous beings, the inuat (singular inua), who conditioned the living conditions of the visible world. Inuacan be translated to ‘its life’ or ‘its person’, and for example the weather inua was a rather erratic creature that often raged in storms and hindered the catch. The Inua of the weather never takes shape in the stories, whereas the moon’s Inua, the Moon Man, who also had a decisive influence on the lives of Greenlanders, is clearly drawn. His vain search across the sky for his attractive sister, the Sun, brought about the change of seasons and tides, as well as the sexual maturation of seals, just as he was the source of the angakok apprentice’s inner light. Sometimes he appeared in person during a breather to punish taboo violations. Another clear figure was the Mermaid. She lived in her house, which was the mother cave of the larger seals, on the bottom of the sea. She also reminded in the tales of the taboos that had to be observed if the sea creatures were to be reborn. Stories about angaka cooks and their auxiliary spirits depict the rules of conduct that secured both parties against the confusion of their respective worlds. In other tales that take place mostly in the visible world, the themes are diverse, but amulets and witchcraft are often crucial to the course of action.

In addition to serving as a pastime in the dark times of the year, the Greenlandic tales thus explained why the world was as it was, how one should live in accordance with its course, and how one could exploit its many possibilities for one’s own and others’ benefit or harm.

In modern times, the Greenlandic myths and legends are no longer transmitted orally, but they still have an important place in the Greenlanders’ identity and as a source of inspiration for modern Greenlandic artists.

Greenland – theater

Greenland’s first and only professional theater group, Silamiut, was formed in 1984 in Nuuk with financial support from the Greenland Home Rule Government. The Greenlandic actor education took place 1975-93 at the Tuukkaq Theater in Fjaltring in West Jutland. Here they worked on further developing the old Greenlandic song and storytelling tradition’s dynamic interplay between words and mime based on Odin Theatre’s working method. The result was an experimental, physically expressive, Greenlandic-language theater, whose themes were frequently picked up in the Greenlandic legend. The Silamiut Theater builds on this tradition, but also makes children’s and musical theater. To strengthen verbal theater, Silamiut has initiated a collaboration with the Greenland Writers’ Association on script development.

Both Tuukkaq and Silamiut Teatret have toured at home and abroad. In addition to Silamiut, there are several amateur theater groups. Since the 1960’s, there have also been a number of Danish touring companies in Greenland.

Greenland – dance

In the traditional Greenlandic drum songs, ingerutit, dance is often included, as the singer in addition to the drum accompanies himself with dance movements. Drum dancing, tivaneq, is performed standing with slightly separated legs, and (almost) without moving the feet. The dance consists of body twists and bends in connection with drumming from side to side. The range and intensity of the movements follow the singer’s temperament. In East Greenland, women lead the drum in a square pattern with calm, dignified movements.

In addition to the drum dance, a joy dance is known, qutsaserneq, in which rapid stomping movements are included in a special rhythm, tukkartorneq.

I 1600-1800-t. reached European, folk dances, called kalattuut, Greenland, via the whalers. Here they found quick stomps, performed by men, whereas the women made sliding steps. The dances were accompanied by violins, later also by diatonic accordion, harmonium, possibly. clarinet and drum. In our time, piano, electric organ, guitar, banjo, bass and chromatic accordion are used. Kalattuut is couple, row and quadrille dances in fast tempi. Known steps are used such as chassis, hurray and two steps; and the preferred dances are polkas, e.g. saqisaaq and akulikitsooq, and tour dances, e.g. arfineq pingasooq. Next to kalattuut, the changing Euro-American popular dances are danced.

Greenland – music

The original music in Greenland was songs of the drumming tradition, inngerutit, which is characterized by the soloist singing, drumming and often dancing at the same time (see Inuit (music)). The drum songs had great social significance for the Greenlanders, and this was one of the reasons why they were opposed by missionaries and partly by merchants. Today they are only sung by a few singers in East Greenland and Thule.

The missionaries wanted to replace the traditional hymns with hymns, which were largely successful. Danish and German hymns were translated and sung in Greenlandic. The German Brethren, the Herrnhuters, placed great emphasis on pluralism, which became Greenlandic popular property up to our time. From the mid-1800’s. came Greenlandic composers. In particular, Rasmus Berthelsen, Josva Kleist, Jonathan Petersen, Abraham Abrahamsen (1900-46), Jakob II Egede (1901-88), Pâvia Petersen and in recent times, among others. Johan Kleist (Aavaat) (1927-95). Since 1761, more than 60 Greenlandic hymn books and several melody books have been published, including Tugsiutit erinait, nu Tussiaqattaarutit(from 1907, last release in 1993). Many of the composers were organists who composed mostly in European tradition.

The secular vocal music consisted mostly of Danish songs with translated lyrics. The performance was Greenlandic with slow tempi and polyphony in a rich common singing tradition. Songbooks have been published in many editions and editions. In particular, Erinarsuutit must be mentioned exclusively with texts (from 1908, latest edition 1987) and with text and music (1911, latest edition 1992). Greenlandic composers include Henrik Lund, Peter Olsen (1892-1930), Frederik Nielsen (Fari), Hans Lynge, Villads Villadsen, Rasmus Lyberth, Karl Johan Lyberth (Juaaka) (b. 1952) and Malik Høegh (b. 1952) .

After World War II, Greenlandic music has undergone a rapid development, especially the worldly instrumental. A strong influence from American popular music such as country & western was, among other things, conveyed by Greenland Radio. Electric instruments were introduced with extensive use of guitar. In the 1950’s, American swing and country music took on a Greenlandic form in the so-called Vaigat music, ie song accompanied by guitar, accordion and bass, which arose around the Hawaiian guitarist Jens Hendriksen (1928-2001). The singer Laarseeraq Svendsen (1926-1975) was the big singing star in the 50’s and 60’s, in collaboration with an extremely creative music environment around Greenland Radio. Godhavnsvalsen also gained popularity in the desired programs of the time on Danmarks Radio.

The rock group Sume recorded the first Greenlandic LP in 1973 and formed a school with politically powerful lyrics by Malik Høegh. The songs, in the opinion of many, helped to make the idea of ​​greater independence and the introduction of Home Rule a popular cause. A large number of Greenlandic records and CDs have followed, most of them from the Greenlandic record company ULO. The vast majority of releases include rock music such as Zikaza, Ole Kristiansen (b. 1965) and Inneruulat in the 1980’s and in the 1990’s pop rock as Mariina and hip hop as Nuuk Posse, but also traditional drumming, jazz music, experimental music (Polar Jungle Orchestra) and choral songs have been released.

Another main direction includes vocal soloists with guitar accompaniment. Here, highly valued singers such as Rasmus Lyberth, Ulf Fleischer and Karl Johan Lyberth (Juaaka) meet. Finally, the prominent position of music at cultural events, from 1973 ICC events and since 1976 Aasivik summer events, where all styles, including drumming, can be heard.

After being marked by the political development in Greenland in the 1970’s, the conditions of music have gradually changed towards the turn of the millennium, e.g. with the advent of new record companies such as Sermit Records, Melos Records and Atlantic Music. The market is dominated by rock and pop releases, but also hip hop and techno, for example in combination with traditional drumming, are gaining ground. Sheet music publishing of Greenlandic popular music is sparse, however, two sheet music books have been published with a number of pop and rock songs, Inuusuttut Nipaat, 1 and 2 (1991 and 1993).

In the new century, a number of Greenlandic musicians have tried their hand at the international market. The young songwriter Angu Motzfeldt (b. 1976) has distinguished himself with English lyrics and an international sound. The greatest popularity, however, has gone to the singer Julie Berthelsen, who with catchy pop music in English has gained a large audience in Denmark and the rest of Scandinavia. However, the Greenlandic-language music is still alive and well with a large number of local songwriters. Here, hip hop continues to mark itself as one of the most popular music styles with the Prussic group.

Greenland – film

Greenland was an early subject for expedition film, from Thomas Thomsen’s ethnographic recordings in Uummannaq in 1909 to Jette Bang’s aesthetic studies of people and nature from the 1930’s onwards. With George Schneevoigt’s first Scandinavian sound film Eskimo (1930), the German Arnold Fancks (1889-1974) expedition film SOS Eisberg (1932, SOS Isbjerg) and Friedrich Dalsheim’s Palos Brudefærd (1934), which was made in collaboration with Knud Rasmussen, won the fictional stories, while nature still played the main role. In the 1950’s, the Ministries’ Film Committee produced documentaries that showed the excellence of the industrial society, but for example Jørgen Roos questioned Sisimiut (1966) and other of his many Greenlandic films about the justification for the Danish presence. The criticism was sharpened in Per Kirkeby’s and Greenlandic Aqqaluk Lynge’s gripping film about forced relocation, When the authorities said stop (1973). The first Greenlandic-produced film, Narsaq – a young city in Greenland (1979), was financed by Narsaq Municipality and directed by Claus Hermansen.

Greenlandic Hans Anthon Lynge wrote the script for The Heart of Light (1997), which was announced as the first Greenlandic feature film, although it was directed by Danish Jacob Grønlykke. Greenland does not yet have production and training facilities, but several instructor talents – eg Inuk Silis Høegh (b. 1972), Laila Hansen (b. 1966) and Kunuk Platou (b. 1964).

Greenland – exploration

The European exploration of Greenland can be said to have begun with the first Norse colonists in the 900’s, and the island is still an important site for Arctic research.

Expeditions and mapping

Contact with the northern settlers in Greenland was lost during the 14th and 14th centuries, but not the Danish interest in re-establishing the connection and thus confirming the supremacy over the North Atlantic areas. In 1472 or 1473 Didrik Pining and Hans Pothorst were sent out by Christian I for that very purpose; they barely reached Greenland, but perhaps Newfoundland. Several planned expeditions the following century were abandoned; however, in 1579 Frederik II sent the Englishman Jacob Allday and in 1581 the Faroese Mogens Heinesen out to find the Norsemen, but they were stopped by the iceberg without reaching the coast of Greenland.

The new naval power England had completely different motives for navigating the area in the 1500’s, namely to find a sea route to the East north of America, the so-called Northwest Passage. On a voyage in 1576, Martin Frobisher almost accidentally rediscovered Greenland, and in 1585-87, his countryman John Davis made three voyages and reached along the west coast all the way to Upernavik.

West Coast

In 1605, Christian IV sent three ships out to claim Danish supremacy. The Dane Godske Lindenov (d. 1612) came ashore by the Fiskefjord, and he brought two Greenlanders back to Copenhagen. The English captain John Cunningham and the navigator James Hall, who was in Danish service, reached further north. Thus, the country from the Danish side was officially rediscovered. The success was followed in the following years by new expeditions, because the first expedition believed to have found gold. During one of them, Hall was killed in 1612 by Greenlanders. In 1616, William Baffin reached through Smith Bay, which was named after him, all the way up to Smith Sound. The interest in the area’s residents led to at least 50 Greenlanders during the 1600’s. was abducted by the expeditions and brought to Denmark to be shown; this was first banned in the 1700’s. At the same time, English and Dutch whalers had begun hunting along the west coast and trading with the population, and from them originated many of the area’s current place names. During the 1600’s and 1700’s. The conditions developed into a veritable trade war between Denmark and other countries, and from the beginning of the 1700’s a definite colonization and closer navigation of the west coast was initiated by the Danish side for economic reasons, but in close connection with the Christian mission. Colonization was abandoned in 1731 as economically unprofitable, but trade and the mission that At the beginning of the Danish side, a definite colonization and closer navigation of the west coast was initiated for economic reasons, but in close connection with the Christian mission. Colonization was abandoned in 1731 as economically unprofitable, but trade and the mission that At the beginning of the Danish side, a definite colonization and closer navigation of the west coast was initiated for economic reasons, but in close connection with the Christian mission. Colonization was abandoned in 1731 as economically unprofitable, but trade and the mission that Hans Egede had started ten years earlier, continued with herrnhutisk support.

At the same time, the search for the Northwest Passage continued. In 1818, John Ross reached Thule and was the first to make contact with the unknown polar Eskimos. Around 1850, the great American Franklin expedition disappeared in northern Canada in an attempt to find the Northwest Passage, and in the following years several expeditions were sent out to search for Franklin. They penetrated further and further north through Smith Sound, and in 1875-76 a British expedition under George Nares succeeded in reaching all the way into the Arctic Ocean and mapping the eastern part of the north coast. Thus, part of the north coast was known and the entire west coast with the exception of a stretch from Upernavik to Thule. The “Literary Expedition” 1902-04 advised on this under the leadership of Mylius-Erichsen with Knud Rasmussen,Jørgen Brønlund and Harald Moltke as participants, at the same time as it made the connection between the polar Eskimos and the West Greenlandic population.

East coast

The exploration here caused far greater problems due to the ice sheet, which blocked access to the country most of the year. From the Danish colonies in the southwest, Peder Olsen Walløe (1716-93) made a wife boat trip 1751-53 up the coast to 61 ° Several attempts to reach the east coast of Iceland with Danish ships in the 1780’s failed. The soul of these experiments was Lieutenant Christian Egede, and it was still a dream to find the missing northerners and their fabled Østerbygd who ran the work. The same dream lay behind WA Graahs umiak expedition 1828-30, which reached 65 1/2 ° ° latitude however, still without reaching the inhabited area at Ammassalik. It first succeeded under Gustav Holms andThomas Vilhelm Garde’s expedition in 1883-85, which found an unknown Inuit group, but at the same time finally had to establish that none of the old northerners were left on the east coast.

Meanwhile, the British had managed to reach the coast further north. In 1822, William Scoresby had found the fjord that came to bear his name, and mapped the coast to 75 ° In 1823, Douglas Charles Clavering and Edward Sabine pushed further north and encountered on Clavering Island an unprecedented Inuit tribe that became extinct later in the century.

The inaccessible Blosseville Coast between Ammassalik and Scoresbysund was mapped by GC Amdrup and Ejnar Mikkelsen 1898-1900 in the Carlsberg Foundation’s expedition to East Greenland. The Swede Alfred Nathorst continued north from Clavering Island in 1898 and mapped the great King Oscar Fjord. Carl Ryder investigated the entire Scoresbysundfjord in 1891-92. In 1906-08, the Denmark expedition put the finishing touches on the work when it reached the Northeast Rounding and some distance to the west and was able to establish that Greenland was an island. This expedition cost Mylius-Erichsen, NP Høeg Hagen and Jørgen Brønlund their lives.

What remained was to create a connection between the discoveries on the west and east coasts and to map the north coast. In the 1890’s, Robert Peary from Thule made several voyages and reached Peary Land across the ice. When Knud Rasmussen had established his station at Thule in 1910, he began a number of expeditions, the Thule expeditions 1912-33, which among other things. mapped the large fjords on the north coast and linked the connection to the east. Thus, virtually the entire coast of the country was known.

The ice sheet JAD Jensen (Bildsøe) (1849-1936) tried in 1878 and Alfred Nordenskiöld in 1883 to penetrate from the west. In 1888, Fridtjof Nansen chose to go the opposite way, up on the ice at Ammassalik and across the country to Godthåbsfjorden. The same path was followed by JP Koch 1912-13 from Northeast Greenland to Upernavik. Since then, more followed, and it was now clear that there was a cohesive ice sheet throughout the interior of the country.

Scientific research

When a colonization and mission had gained a foothold in the early 1700’s, people began to gather knowledge about the country’s people and nature. The missionary Hans Egede himself contributed with the publication of his Old Greenland’s New Perlustration or Natural History in 1741, which promoted a Danish ethnographic research in the 1700’s. The pioneer in the fauna was missionary Otto Fabricius, who in 1780 published his Fauna Groenlandica.

The first to carry out a systematic study of the minerals was the German geologist Karl Ludwig Giesecke, who stranded in Greenland during the English Wars of 1807-14. When the geologist H. Rink became an inspector in South Greenland 40 years later, he continued the thorough geological investigations.

Since the 1800’s. Extensive research has taken place in almost all areas. The geology has been supplemented with zoological and botanical studies, and also the mapping of the country has continued with modern aids, during Lauge Koch’s expeditions from the 1920’s to the 1940’s for the first time with aerial photography.

The geological surveys, organized since 1946 in the Greenland Geological Survey, have resulted in several mining projects of great economic importance. Studies of the sea around Greenland and of the wildlife, which have been carried out since 1879, have been of crucial importance for the development of the main occupation, fishing. Since 1946, this research has been organized in the Greenland Fisheries Survey, which in 1995 became part of the Greenland Institute of Nature. Since the late 1800’s. Systematic meteorological observations have been made in Greenland, which are of great importance for climate research and for European weather forecasts. Epoch-making for the understanding of past climate fluctuations have been the drill cores from the Inland Ice, which have been picked up since 1980 (seeInland ice).

In 1906, the botanist Morten P. Porsild (1872-1956) built a science station on Disko Ø (Qeqertarsuaq), which has since been the center of a multifaceted research, not least in botany.

The systematic exploration of Greenland’s prehistory began in the 1920’s with archaeological excavations in the Norse settlements (from 1921) and in the Inuit settlements (from 1929).

In 1878, to support scientific research, the Danish government set up the Commission for the Management of the Geological and Geographical Studies in Greenland, which was replaced in 1931 by the Commission for Scientific Studies in Greenland. Since 1879, it has published the monumental work Messages on Greenland, in which results of research in all areas have been published. Administratively, the Danish Polar Center, which was established in 1989, has acted as secretariat and co-coordinator for the scientific studies in Greenland, supplemented by Greenlandic initiatives under the Home Rule Government.

Greenland Education