Some of my students expressed curiosity in the everyday lives of Greenlanders. So when I can, I would like to introduce you to some of them. First, meet Barse Lyberth Svendsen, Artist ('Kusanartuliortoq') here in Sisimiut, Greenland.
This morning, as big fluffy snowflakes fell from the sky blanketing Sisimiut in its proper winter coat, we opened our workshop to anyone interested in learning about 3D scanning and digital heritage methods. Our first visitor was Barse. He brought with him some of the traditional art he produces from local materials. Barse had the opportunity to 3D scan a few of the pieces he sells, including a carved crochet needle, pendants, small carvings, and an ulu, a traditional Inuit knife. With Alice’s help, he now has 3D scans of these objects to put online. While waiting for the scans to process, we were able to get a bit of a life story.
Barse started his career as a bus driver. Twenty years ago, a back injury made that difficult. He turned to art and now has a shop where he sells traditional Greenlandic art. His work uses traditional material from the environment, including reindeer antlers, walrus and narwal tusks. Given the protected nature of these materials, the right to use them is reserved for Greenlanders only. He sources the material for his art from local hunters who are allowed to hunt a certain number of these animals each year. In addition to creating art, he teaches traditional art methods to communities in Sarfannguit and Itilleq, two settlements nearby.
I am an anthropology professor, writer, researcher and global traveler. This fall, I will be recording a research trip to Greenland as a virtual field trip for my students (and anyone else interested). Join us as we travel to the Arctic and learn about life in the far north.