World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article


Article Id: WHEBN0001300591
Reproduction Date:

Title: Kalaallit  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Eskimo, Greenland, Kalaallit, Greenlandic, Nuna asiilasooq
Collection: Aboriginal Peoples in the Arctic, Greenlandic Inuit People, Inuit Groups, Kalaallit
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia


Bishop Sofie Petersen,
first Inuit Lutheran bishop
Total population
51,349 (2012)[1]
Regions with significant populations
Kalaallisut and Danish[1][2]
Inuit religion, Evangelical Lutheran[1]
Related ethnic groups
other Greenlandic Inuit

Kalaallit make up the largest group among the Greenlandic Inuit, and are concentrated in Western Greenland. It is also a contemporary term in the Kalaallisut language for the indigenous people living in Greenland, also called the Kalaallit Nunaat.[3] The Kalaallit (singular: kalaaleq) are a part of the Arctic Inuit people. The language spoken by Inuit in Greenland is Kalaallisut.

Possibly adapted from the name Skræling,[4] Kalaallit historically referred specifically to Western Greenlanders. On the other hand, Northern and Eastern Greenlanders call themselves Avanersuarmiut and Tunumiit, respectively. About 80% to 88% of Greenland's population, or approximately 44,000 to 50,000 people identify as being Inuit.[5][6]


  • Regions 1
  • Art 2
  • See also 3
  • Notes 4
  • References 5
  • External links 6


Kalaallit are descended from the Thule people, but probably not from its predecessors in Greenland the Dorset people.[7] As 84% of Greenland's landmass is covered by the Greenland ice sheet, Kalaallit live in three regions: Polar, Eastern, and Western. In the 1850s some Canadian Inuit migrated to Greenland and joined the Polar Inuit communities.[8]

The Eastern Inuit, or Tunumiit, live in the area with the mildest climate, a territory called Ammassalik. Hunters can hunt marine mammals from kayaks throughout the year.[8]


The Kalaallit have a strong artistic tradition based on sewing animal skins and making masks. They are also known for an art form of figures called tupilaq, or an "evil spirit object." Traditional art-making practices thrive in the Ammassalik.[5] Sperm whale ivory remains a valued medium for carving.[9]

See also


  1. ^ a b c "Greenland." CIA World Factbook. Retrieved 6 Aug 2012.
  2. ^ "Inuktitut, Greenlandic." Ethnologue. Retrieved 6 Aug 2012.
  3. ^ Hessel, 8
  4. ^ Dorais, Louis-Jacques (2014). The Language of the Inuit: Syntax, Semantics, and Society in the Arctic. McGill-Queen's University Press. p. 139.  
  5. ^ a b Hessel, 20
  6. ^ Baldacchino, Geoffery. "Extreme tourism: lessons from the world's cold water islands", Elsevier Science, 2006: 101. (retrieved through Google Books) ISBN 978-0-08-044656-1.
  7. ^ [2]
  8. ^ a b Hessel, 11
  9. ^ Hessel, 21


  • Hessel, Ingo. Arctic Spirit. Vancouver: Douglas and McIntyre, 2006 ISBN 978-1-55365-189-5

External links

  • Kalaallit historical art collections, National Museum of the American Indian
  • Kalaallit archaeology art collections, National Museum of the American Indian
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.