The Native Greenlander: Folktales of Greenland [Paperback]

Aron of Kangeq (Author); Heinrich Rink (Editor)

ISBN: 9780996748087 | Published by: International Polar Institute | Year of Publication: 2020 | Language: English 192p, H175 x W140 (mm) 11

The Native Greenlander


This volume of folk tales collected by Heinrich Rink, by native Greenlanders, is the translation of the first book printed in Greenland. Rink began his career as an administrator based at the Moravian mission at Godthaab, on the southwest coast of Greenland. He used the press to produce both official notices and literary works. Rink was determined to collect legends and folk tales of Greenland natives and publish them, an ambition achieved in these volumes, published over a five year span. Rink collected oral tales from throughout Greenland, although mainly in the southern area he administered.

The remarkable oral tradition of the Inuit, unaffected by few outside influences, is traced through their history on the land. Many of the stories describe the clashes between the Norse and the Inuit. Rink recognized that some of the tales existed in the realm of pure myth, but that others represented recollections, passed from one generation to the next, of events of many centuries earlier.

Translated from Danish, this is the first English translation of these stories. Illustrations are by Aron of Kangeq, a sealer and walrus hunter who lived at the Moravian mission at the small trading station of Kangeq. His illustrations of the oral storytelling tradition have gained status as a symbol of the new artistic tradition developed in Greenland in the mid-19th century.

Reviews & Quotes

"Lovers of folk narrative who may wish to sample a less familiar—to many of us at least—storytelling tradition will find much to delight and much to ponder in the present book, which I warmly recommend for its fascinating storytelling and fine illustrations."
William Hansen
Journal of Folklore Research (01/05/2020)

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