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29 July 2011

Greenland Dog Sled Collectables

I love my dogs, Greenland and where I live in a house full of old dog sleds as furniture. So it will hardly come as a surprise to know that I have a collection of Greenlandic dog sledding memorabilia.

The part of the collection not yet fit to bring indoors, according to my girlfriend Jennifer, includes harnesses (east Greenlandic translation: aniili) made from rope, toy dog sleds, childrens' sleds, an old hunter's sled bag (puurardar), an ice chisel (door), whips (noqqartaali) and traditional homemade harnesses some with old gloves sewn in to prevent dog shoulders from chaffing. There are collars (nuujaali), traces (nuraalad) with toggles, sled uprights and slats, a floe edge hunting boat (umijaasar), oars (ipuli), an antiquated SIRIUS Patrol tent and various hunting bric-a-brac that includes rifle bipods (qamulid), knives (tsavii), rusty rifle barrels and a gaff (nitser).  The dog skulls are ones I have found.

In the video the small sled, with what looks like a cab on top, is the sled design used to push babies around in winter; a practical Greenlandic pram. Big or small, the sled lashing technique is the same.

The side windows in the Sirius Patrol tent are strategically placed in the best position to look out and check on resting dogs without having to go outside. Or, if dogs raise the alarm of an incoming polar bear it’s nice to know which direction the brute is charging from. The tunnel door design is a throwback to what Amundsen’s or Scott’s tents were lumbered with. The hole in the floor is for digging out snow to melt into drinking water or for taking a crap. I am given to believe that this design feature is not popular.

For more information about Gary and his dogs go to www.garyrolfe.com

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