Caribou hunting and utilization in West Greenland: Past and present variants

Kerstin PASDA

en Anthropozoologica 48 (1) - Pages 111-123

Published on 28 June 2013

This article is a part of the thematic issue Circumpolar archaeozoology in the new and old worlds. Arctic Hunter-Gatherers in Context.

In 2012, a series of interviews was carried out with Greenlandic hunters (26 to 86 years old) on caribou hunting and utilization in central West Greenland. As recently as 1950 AD, almost all parts of the caribou were utilized intensively. In the following decades, numerous uses disappeared, and a few new ones were added. A few Greenlanders reported that they had experienced the utilization of parts of caribou during their childhood that they had not used in the last decades. The intensive use of fat and caribou hides disappeared, whereas the exploitation of caribou as a tourist attraction was new. A portion of the earlier pattern of caribou utilization would be visible in an archaeozoological investigation, however a significant part would remain undetectable.


West Greenland, caribou utilization, ethnoarchaeology, archaeozoology.

Download full article in PDF format Order a reprint