Bishop Sofie Petersen,
first Inuit Lutheran bishop
|Regions with significant populations|
|Kalaallisut and Danish|
|Inuit religion, Evangelical Lutheran|
|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. 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, 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.
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.
The Northeast-Greenland Inuit are now extinct. Douglas Charles Clavering (1794–1827) met a group of twelve Inuit, including men, women and children in Clavering Island in August 1823. There are many remains of former Inuit settlements in different locations of the now desolate area, but the population died out before mid-19th century.
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 tupilak, or an "evil spirit object." Traditional art-making practices thrive in the Ammassalik. Sperm whale ivory remains a valued medium for carving.
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- "Inuktitut, Greenlandic." Ethnologue. Retrieved 6 Aug 2012.
- Hessel, 8
- Dorais, Louis-Jacques (2014). The Language of the Inuit: Syntax, Semantics, and Society in the Arctic. McGill-Queen's University Press. p. 139. ISBN 978-0-7735-8176-0.
Greenlandic kalaallit (“Greenlanders,” probably from medieval Scandinavian skrællingar, “pagans, savages”)
- Hessel, 20
- 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.
- Hessel, 11
- Clavering, Douglas Charles (1830). "Journal of a voyage to Spitzbergen and the east coast of Greenland, in His Majesty's ship Griper". Edinburgh New Philosophical Journal 9: 21–24.
- Hessel, 21
- Hessel, Ingo. Arctic Spirit. Vancouver: Douglas and McIntyre, 2006 ISBN 978-1-55365-189-5