Monday, 16 November 2015

- 1060 km north of the Arctic Circle.

Kullorsuaq is among the most isolated and poorest communities in Greenland. Over 1000 km above the polar circle, lost in the far north ice desert, it's hard to belive that this community has been continuously growing (yes !) to the present day - to almost half hundred inhabitants.

Kullorsuaq (old Kuvdlorssuaq) is located in the Qaasuitsup region, in northwestern Greenland, on an island at the southern end of Melville Bay.

Coordinates: 74°34′ N, 57°13′ W
Population: ~ 450

The church.

School youths.

Football with nearby communities is a must, weather allowing.

The settlement was founded in 1928 and became a trading station, growing in size after World War II when hunters from several small villages around moved into larger settlements.
Today, Kullorsuaq remains one of the most traditional villages in Greenland.

Fishing and hunting – including the fur seal, narwhal and walrus – still are the primary occupations in the region. The fish processing plant for Upernavik Seafood (a subsidiary of Royal Greenland) and the Pilersuisoq general store are the only organized employers in the settlement.

Pilersuisoq store. The shop is red, the church is white, the school is blue. Strong colors are easy to notice in the distance over the white snow.

Kullorsuaq helipad allows year-round connection to and from the remoteness of its high arctic location.

The name of the settlement means "Big Thumb"; the Devil's Thumb is a pinnacle-shaped rock in the center of the island, not far from the settlement.

Life in Kullorsuaq runs according to the glace cycles and the polar night. Between December and Mars, people live in total darkness, except for the moon and stars if the skies are clear; temperature can fall down to -35ºC, the sea is frozen and no ship can reach the village. The sunny months are also the best for fishing, and warmer days up to 5ºC allow for the melting of the ice and the arrival of ships with provisions and a few tourists.

Watercolour by Maria Coryell-Martin, 2013

Midnight sun in Kullorsuaq