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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1946/30165

  • Between Kulusummiut and Qimmit: The relationship between East Greenlanders and Sled Dogs
  • This ethnographic research aims to generate a comprehensive understanding of the use of sled dogs in the community of Kulusuk, a rural village in East Greenland. Sled dogs, essential for human mobility in the Arctic, are integral to the traditional subsistence lifestyle and remain a significant element of Greenlandic culture. However, the increasing centrality of the wage economy in daily life is shifting traditional practices to new paradigms, reflecting processes of adaptation and cultural resilience. Sled dog use perfectly reflects this transformation, unveiling multiple meanings and a reconceptualization of the cultural heritage in the Arctic. Snowmobiles, new flows of goods and money, increasing tourism, and a shorter ice season are just a few factor hastening this reorganization. Some of these changes are impacting the way dogs are used, while others are threatening their survival altogether. The transition from a subsistence way of living into a market-related economy amplifies challenges for the use of dogs connected to hunting practices. If full-time hunting can no longer provide a stable income, tourism offers an innovative approach to sled dog use. Climate change brings unknown variables to the region, and the unpredictability of weather patterns is a constant concern for Greenlanders. The framework for this research was based on participant observations of sled dog practices. Interviews were used to generate relevant information addressing the inhabitants’ perceptions of sled dogs, climate change and tourism. The analysis of challenges and opportunities for East Greenlandic communities sheds light on the future socioeconomic dynamics related to mobility and heritage in this vulnerable area.

  • May 9, 2018
  • http://hdl.handle.net/1946/30165

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