Michael Novotny – The Arctic Hunters

Posted by Fabio 11 July 2019

Remote, far away from the haste of a modern life, far above the Arctic circle in northeast Greenland there lies one of the most isolated places in the northern hemisphere – a small settlement called Ittoqqortoormiit. Its inhabitants are mostly Inuit and they still keep living their lives the same way their ancestors did. Something may change, modern technologies and internet have already reached even this remote place, but they still hunt for a living. Seals, polar bears, walruses, narwhals or musk oxen are being chased by the local hunters using traditional dog sledges. It could sound cruel, but they just do what they have to do to survive. There is nothing else to eat and for thousands of years they haven’t had any connection with the outer world for reaching another food. Hunting is their life and keeps them alive.

While roaming through the vast freezing Arctic landscape covered in snow and ice, they’re one body and soul with their dogs. Even though snowmobiles are very usual in Ittoqqortoormiit nowadays, for the hunts or any longer journeys they still use dog sledges as their fathers did – dogs will always be more reliable and faithful than any combustion engine.

Their roots are very strong and even though the changes premeate Greenaldic society, the traditions are being held and still dominate local culture. As a mere observer who spent in this magical land only a meaningless time, I really hope the life will continue there as it always has – pure, simple and natural. The world needs more places like this. _Michael Novotny