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For the Inuk lawyer, see Kiviaq (lawyer).

Kiviak or kiviaq is a traditional wintertime Inuit food from Greenland that is made of little auks preserved in the hollowed-out body of a seal.

About 500 auks are packed into the seal skin intact, including beaks, feet and feathers. As much air as possible is removed from the seal skin before it is sewn up and sealed with seal fat, which repels flies. A large rock is then placed on top to keep the air content low.[1] Over the course of seven months, the birds ferment,[1] and are then eaten during the Greenlandic winter, particularly on birthdays and weddings.[2]

The process was featured in the third episode of the BBC's Human Planet in 2011.[1]

In August 2013 several people died in Siorapaluk from eating kiviak that was made from eider rather than auk. Eider does not ferment as well as auk, and gave those that ate it botulism.[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "TV review: Human Planet". The Guardian. 27 January 2011. Retrieved 28 January 2011. 
  2. ^ Freuchen, Dagmar (1960). Peter Freuchen's Adventures in the Arctic. New York: Messner. p. 81. 
  3. ^ "Greenland terducken from hell: the real bird-seal meal". The Fourth Continent. 2013-08-07. Retrieved 15 February 2014. 

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