Aasivissuit - Nipisat

Aasivissuit - Nipisat
Photo provided by Wojtek Fedoruk.

Aasivissuit-Nipisat, Inuit Hunting Ground between Ice and Sea, is a cultural landscape in West Greenland.

The inscribed area includes 7 key locations along annual migration routes from coast to inland in summer and then back again in late autumn. They show the interdependence between humans and their natural environment over time. The sites consist of both archaeological sites and settlements that are still in use. This landscape was settled about 4,200 years ago, with (Paleo-)Inuit sustaining themselves by marine and terrestrial hunting.

Map of Aasivissuit - Nipisat

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Wojciech Fedoruk

Poland - 08-Dec-18 -

Aasivissuit - Nipisat by Wojciech Fedoruk

During my trip to Greenland in 2012 I spent two days in Kangerlussuaq, Greenland’s biggest airport and usual entry point for most tourists. There is little to do in this small village (though there is small museum), although you can hike around or take a trip to continental glacier, located around 40 km from Kangerlussuaq (the road to the glacier is actually the longest in Greenland). Based on the map from the nomination file, the road crosses the core WHS area of Aasivissuit-Nipisat. Although the highlight of the trip is the glacier itself, the road is also interesting, with picturesque landscapes of small lakes, meadows (really green in the middle of July) and various stone forms. I remember our guide told us a lot about Innuits, their hunting habits and everyday life. On the road there were at least two Innuit tombs (see photo), dated 400 years back (I suspect they are marked on the official map as “place of worship”). Innuits buried their dead in sitting position and the body was then belayed by stones. On top there was always a flat stone, which also helped to differentiate burial mounds from orientation points. Such a construction of the tomb protected the buried body from wild animals.

I remembered this area as a nice natural landscape, perhaps other places in the core zone provide more artifacts of Innuit culture and justify inscription as cultural, not mixed site.