Sunday, July 19, 2015

One of the most important things in a culture is its folklore — tales
that have been passed down over the centuries from family to family that shape
the morals and fabric of a society.
In Western society, these folktales have been watered down via Disney or the
Internet, but in a secluded country like Greenland, which was isolated for so
long from traditionally modern society, the tales are not only still told
verbally, but also performed.
The story telling isn’t just about the dance.
(Photo: A Broad Abroad)At the National Theatre of Greenland, I met the
principal, Makka Kleist, and her dance student Kimmernaq Kjeldsen.
"This is a very old culture," Makka told me.
Related: These Photos Show Why East Greenland Is a Hidden GemIt’s
believed that the ancient Inuit people migrated from Canada to Greenland more
than 10,000 years ago.
Because individual communities — mostly ranging in size from a few
families to 100 people — were so isolated and because of the frequent
occurrence of natural phenomena like the northern lights, many people believed
spirits lived among them.
The animism of the Inuit takes many forms — in song, storytelling, and
dance, particularly in the Uaarnernaq, or the Mask Dance, the oldest
expression of storytelling in the country.
To prepare for this dance, the dancers will paint their faces red, white, and
black before deforming their shape by sticking animal bones in their mouths.
The effect is creepy, odd, and surreal, as if the normal woman sitting next
to you an hour before is now part animal, part Bedlam inmate.
And then the dance begins and the effect is … chilling.
"The most important part of the dance is to teach children about fear," Makka
said.
"So children will learn how to deal with fear — and if they learn how
to do that, they will become strong human beings.
"Related: What Happens When Cabin Fever Hits Hard in GreenlandThe dances and
customs aren’t just relegated to the National Theatre.
Mikael Sorensen, a Danish chef and brewmaster at Daddy’s, a local bar
in Nuuk, is married to an Inuit and said, "People do this dance a lot during
family vacations, Christmas, holidays, or anniversaries.
One member of the family will disappear, come back in the mask outfit and
face, and scare the s— out of everyone — before throwing money
around and playing with the kids.
At my wedding the dancers showed up.
I had no idea what was going on — I was like, ‘What the
heck?’ and was about to throw them out and my wife was like,
‘No! No — it’s good!’"But the storytelling
doesn’t end with the dance.
It also involves local people.
Traditionally, a long time ago, before modern conveniences, when an Inuit
became elderly and was of no use or a burden on the community, he or she would
take the Long Walk — simply walk out into the glacial wilderness and
disappear.
While most are presumed dead, Makka added, "Sometimes they survive, and we
believe the ones that do gain supernatural powers, but most die within half a
year.
You cannot survive out there on your own.
"Related: Greenland — Where Polar Bear, Seal, and Fox Fur Are InThese
days, the Long Walk is rarely done and is reserved for people who have done
something abhorrent and shamed their family.
Mikael added, "Yes, I have heard of two people who did [the Long Walk] in the
last year.
I knew one of them personally.
He had a daughter with his girlfriend and then had sex with the daughter so
he was shunned and he left on the Long Walk.
No one has heard from him since.
"Let World traveling club Travel inspire you every day.
Learn more about our travel policy.
In a secluded country like Greenland, which was isolated for so long from
traditionally modern society, the tales are not only still told verbally, but
also performed.
.
Let World traveling club Travel inspire you every day.
Learn more about our travel policy.
In a secluded country like Greenland, which was isolated for so long from
traditionally modern society, the tales are not only still told verbally, but
also performed.

0 commentaires:

Post a Comment

Travel Club. Powered by Blogger.

Popular Posts

Popular Posts

.