The icy silence of Greenland

This feature has been published in Meridian Travel Magazine – 2019.

Ittoqqortoormiit – Finally, I asked if he paid respect to the animals he killed. While I was waiting for his answer, I looked outside. To the blue house on the bay. It could use a lick of paint. On the clothesline there was waving something what was a polar bear a week earlier.

Nanorpoq, “he killed a polar bear” the people here proudly say. Martin, the young man opposite me, killed three this year and with that, the score has reached thirty dead polar bears. Five more and then they have their quota on the east coast of Greenland. The polar bear has covered forty kilometers. From the other side of the fjord. “They’re waiting for the ice to return.” Scoresby had told me. Scoresby was the hunter of the clothesline. Named after the fjord where he lives, which originally was named after a Scottish researcher. The Inuit itself call it Kangertittivaqfjord.

“The bears are hungry during this period. They need the ice to hunt seals. Sometimes hunger drives them to the village and it ends in a fatal way anyway. Usually for the polar bear.” He had told me during the shooting instructions on Walrus Bay. The bay is a few kilometers from the village and is the base for all activities that cannot be done in the village: running, picking berries, trying out your new quad, barbecuing or, in my case, shooting lessons.

Images: Nicole Franken – Text: Anneke de Bundel

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