Relationships Between Denmark And The Greenland

1892 words - 8 pages

The colonization of Greenland by Denmark was unusual as due to the political structure of Greenland, which consisted of no unified structure of power that spanned wider than individual households, as such there was no one to contend with Denmark when the seized power in the 18th century in an attempt to compete with Dutch tradesmen and whalers, the colonization of Greenland included 70-80 miles beyond the coast, thereby allowing Denmark to monopolize trade and fishing rights. Due the historical context the colonization of Greenland was peaceful with no military action being taken. The National Museum of Denmark in Copenhagen has a permanent Arctic exhibition and Ethnographic treasure collection that reflects Greenland's standing and past with Denmark. A text panel immediately upon entry to the exhibitions states “Danish expeditions, missionaries and merchants rediscovered Greenland in the 17th century” , this appears to be the attitude of Denmark towards the colonization of Greenland, due to the combination of the peaceful nature of colonization and the previous Norse settlements in Greenland during medieval ages and as such has been regarded as Danish-Norwegian territory since 1260 AD.

The Arctic exhibition is part of their overall “Peoples of the Earth” exhibition, the main exhibition is concentric, a series of rooms that surround a large temporary exhibitions hall, as you can see in the image 1 in the appendix. The concentric layout of the museum complements a thematic style of exhibition that tells the story of in Danish expeditions to Greenland, as well as the culture of Greenland. Three rooms are dedicated to the arctic exhibitions; these are rooms 170-172 on the floor plan presented in image 1, two of these three rooms are dedicated exclusively to Greenland, one with a focus on daily life and another on the Danish expeditions in particular Gustav Holm’s Women’s Boat Expedition (1883-1885), the final is a combination of items from Greenland and artifacts brought back by Knud Rasmussen from Canada. The collection is sorted into four primary categories: worshipping, weapons, utensils and costumes , primarily consisting of a three dimensional collection including costumes, art and both social history & ethnographic collections. Two-dimensional collections were also included in the form of black and white video footage showing a Umiaq women’s boat being used, projected on the wall next to an Umiaq that was brought back to Denmark during Gustav Holm’s expedition.

If the purpose of museums is to provide educational institutions that safeguard a cultures history and links that viewer to the past, a second purpose of museums is to create culture, “museums will be on the forefront of cultivating new kinds of identity and educating the population about them” Adreinne Kaeppler , representation of a culture is created through both exclusion and inclusion of artifacts within the collection that is visible to the audience, the National Museums owns...

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