World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Etah, Greenland

Article Id: WHEBN0010670671
Reproduction Date:

Title: Etah, Greenland  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Northernmost settlements, Thule Air Base, Charles Francis Hall, Polaris expedition, Gordon Noel Humphreys, Harry Whitney, Inughuit, Cape Thomas Hubbard, Qaanaaq Municipality
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Etah, Greenland


Brother John's Glacier as seen from Foulke Fjord near Etah in Spring, 1938
Location within Greenland

Coordinates: 78°18′50″N 72°36′35″W / 78.31389°N 72.60972°W / 78.31389; -72.60972Coordinates: 78°18′50″N 72°36′35″W / 78.31389°N 72.60972°W / 78.31389; -72.60972

State  Kingdom of Denmark
Constituent country  Greenland
Municipality Time zone UTC-04

Etah is an abandoned settlement in the Qaasuitsup municipality in northern Greenland. It was a starting point of discovery expeditions to the North Pole and the landing site of the last migration of the Inuit from the Canadian Arctic.


The village was located on the shores of Foulk Fjord near Reindeer Point. The fjord is about 1.5 miles (2.4 km) wide and several miles long with 2,000 ft (610 m) cliffs on each side. Brother John's Glacier terminates at the eastern end of the fjord. At the foot of the glacier is Lake Alida, a small body of frozen fresh water. The northern end of Baffin Bay west of the former village, narrowing into Nares Strait between Greenland and Ellesmere Island, is usually frozen from October to July.


Last migration to Greenland

Etah lies on the ancient migration route from the north of the Canadian Arctic with several waves of ancient migrants passing through the area from the northbound Independence I and Independence II cultures 4,400 and 2,700 years ago, respectively, to the southbound Thule culture migrants less than a thousand years ago.

It is also the point where the last migration of the Inuit from Baffin Island reached the coast of Greenland in 1865.[1] An Inuit shaman (Greenlandic: angakok) named Qidlaq led the migrants from Baffin Island alongside the coast of Ellesmere Island for seven years, crossing the strait to Etah. The group split there, with some returning to Pond Inlet in Canada at a cost of many lives. Inhabitants of Pituffik, later relocated to Qaanaaq, are partially descended from this last group of Arctic migrants to Greenland.[1]

20th century

Etah was used in the past as a base camp for several Arctic expeditions, including Knud Rasmussen's expeditions to the northern coast of Greenland, Robert Peary's failed attempts at the North Pole, the ill-fated Crocker Land Expedition of 1913, the Humphrey Expedition of 1934-35, the MacGregor Arctic Expedition in 1937-38, and the Haig Thomas Expedition of 1938. Descendants of Peary and the local Inuit still live in Qaanaaq.[1]

Etah was once the most-northerly populated settlement in the world, while Annoatok, located approximately 24 km (15 mi) to the north, was only a seasonally-occupied hunting camp. The village was abandoned with the Inuit moving south to Pituffik due to the harsh climate. In 1984, a group of Greenlanders from Qaanaaq moved to Etah in an attempt to repopulate the village. The attempt failed, with the hunters unable to support themselves and their families with income from animal hides, as well as unable to sever connections with the settled life and the amenities of Qaanaaq.[1]

The huts of the former village are still standing. Today, Etah is seldom visited except by occasional hunter visitors in the summertime because of abundance of walruses and polar bears.


This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from World Library are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.