LAURA ARENA
Posted on May 11, 2016 by lorarena on Uncategorized

SLEDGE DOGS

One of the most iconic Greenlandic images I have is sledge dogs (dog sledding). Funny upon arrival I didn’t realize how important they are to the local community, not until I saw a local tourist map that has a red slashed lines for areas for sledge dogs which covered the entire periphery of Ilulisaat. On my first excursion I must of walked by more than dozens of sleighs left precariously along houses and on the side the road, as if they have been washed up by the sea without actually noticing them.

On the main road I came across a giant Santa’s sled, and thought to myself ‘oh that must be the dog sled’ as if there is only one in Ilulissat. I continued to walk further I came across a ghetto (excuse me for this reference but I do come from Brooklyn) of wolfs, discarded, bored, restrained and completely segregated. Something about these animals kept me at bay. These wild things completely policed, no snow and unemployed. Nothing worse than being wild and having nothing to do.

Later In the day I watched my first Greenlandic movie titled Qivitoq which was partially filmed in the very museum I am staying in. This film had a scene of a small Inuit child, who is lovingly portrayed throughout the film. In one scene he is sitting on top of an organ his chubby rosy cheeks howling with laughter at the folks dancing polka and then cut to him being malled by a large group of sledge dogs because he tripped and fell in the snow.

Today walking past the wolf ghetto I walked a bit faster. This ghetto more unkept and stranger than the day before. This time having to pass dogs on both sides all howling in unison, like a roll of thunder moving through a valley. How loud their howls and so many they were. I could barely stand their noise. And then I came across a puppy who came out to the street to greet me and I fell in love.

See photos of the puppy and the wolfs.