Kaladlit Okalluktualliait…[Legends from Greenland]

Noungme [Godthaab, Greenland: Printed at the Inspectorate Press by L. Møller], 1859-1863. Volume 1. [8],136,[2]pp. plus eight lithographed plates of music, twelve woodcuts and coloured title page vignette.

Edited by the leading Greenland expert of the day, Danish Geologist and administrator, Henry Rink (Hinrich Johannes Rink), this set of collected folk tales of Greenland was printed on the first real press to operate in the region. There are four volumes in the set, of which volume one was recently donated to Memorial University Libraries. Many of the stories in the first volume describe the clashes between the Norse and the Inuit.

The illustrations in volume one were supplied by an Inuit named Aron of Kangeq, a sealer and walrus hunter who lived at the Moravian mission at the small trading station of Kangeq. Aron was stricken with tuberculosis (which was epidemic in Greenland in that era) and confined to bed. Having heard of his raw artistic talent, Rink supplied him with “paper, coloured pencils, and the necessary tools for woodcutting.”

More information about this work can be had at the William Reese Company website or in Knud Oldendow’s , The Spread of Printing…Greenland (Amsterdam, 1969), see especially pp.39-44.

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