Many people associate Inuit with igloos. So it’s not surprising if you have ever wondered whether somewhere out there Inuit are still living in traditional ice-carved igloos!
As far as I know, even in the most remote parts of Greenland, Inuit don’t live in igloos anymore. Sometimes Greenlanders will get insulted if they are asked that question, because well… I guess it’s the equivalent of living in the stone age.
Greenlanders are very practical people, and igloos simply aren’t that practical. For one, igloos have to be rebuilt every winter because they will start melting come summertime. Modern housing with heating and electricity is so much more comfortable to live in!
The rainbow igloo
Yesterday, my friend Alliaq Kleist Petrussen took a few photos of this rainbow igloo that her father with other teachers and their students constructed in Sisimiut. It seemed like a bit of a project – first they had to collect about 1500 cartons of milk and rinse them out. Once clean, each carton was refilled with water dyed with food colouring. They are then left outside until each bottle freezes. In order to build it and chink them together, the builders used water mixed with snow as mortar.
According to Dorthe Ivalo, a blogger based in Sisimiut who helped to steer the igloo project, a whole class of students could fit into the igloo. And it was big enough so that a grown up man could stand inside. For more photos, you can check out her blog.
Thanks to Alliaq for her photos =)
PS Interested to know how a traditional igloo is built? Read this excerpt from ‘The White Dawn: an eskimo saga’ by James Houston.
Evening photos of the igloo below by Nuka Kristiansen.