The Greenlandic word for art is "Eqqumiitsuliorneq"

Inspiration from wildlife and the natural world

The Greenlandic word for art is "Eqqumiitsuliorneq", which translated directly means "to create things that look "strange".

The inspiration for Greenlandic arts and crafts often originates from wildlife and the natural world and  often intertwined with the traditional beliefs concerning the spirit world.

Wonderful magical figures

You can almost hear the sinister sounds emanating from the creature when you look into its staring eyes and monster-like body.

You will see it on the shelves or on the desk in one of the town's craft shops or at the local tourist office. The creature in question is the Tupilak, a small carved figure endowed with a powerful mythical magic.

Buying the figure is a must when in Greenland; it is unique and characteristic of the history of art and culture in Greenland.

"You will see it on the shelves or on the desk in one of the town's craft shops or at the local tourist office."

"Greenland's house of culture, Katuaq, in Nuuk is often the venue for major contemporary art exhibitions."

Wide range

However, there is more to find in Greenland in terms of both historical and contemporary arts and crafts.

The museums in various towns feature both permanent and temporary exhibitions of a more contemporary works. Greenlandic art ranges from the more traditional approach to modern art produced by well-qualified and experimental artists covering disciplines such as sculpture, painting, installations, the graphic arts and photography.

Greenland Cultural Center, Katuaq, in Nuuk is often the venue for major contemporary art exhibitions.

Nature's materials

Craftsmen utilise Greenland's own materials such as the wool from the musk ox, sheep's wool, sealskin, mussel shells, soapstone, fish skin, reindeer antlers, precious stones and much more in their works.

The tourist offices often have local Greenlandic crafts and souvenirs for sale, and a large number of shops and skin maker's workrooms which also sell their products.

In all towns there are offices that can issue CITES certificates that ensure tourists can take the Greenlandic tupilak back home with them.

"In all towns there are offices that can issue CITES certificates that ensure that tourists can take the Greenlandic tupilak back home with them."