A Plea for Sealskins in Greenland

We have reached the capital of Greenland, Nuuk, population 15,000. Wohoo! We were impressed with all of the large buildings as we drove from the airport to the city center. Then upon arrival we were wisked off to a reception where the featured entertainment was one of Greenland’s top pop stars singing and he sounded just like Dave Matthews. Included in the program was a speech by a representative of the Inuit people, who asked for a relaxation of the rules that prohibit importing seal skins and seal bone artifacts in the US.

Her point was simple: there are more than nine million seals swimming around Greenland, and the local people need to be able to hunt them and eat their flesh. Greenlanders love seal, one older woman told us that she loved eating seal, loved making clothing from seal, and just loved them a lot. This is the most popular food here, forget chicken, here Seal is What’s For Dinner. The smell that seal makes when you cook it is unforgettable, it is a stench you would not want in your kitchen. Still, not being able to bring any marine mammal artifacts into the US is a bummer for the locals who carve all sorts of lovely jewelry here and make fantastic coats.

Tonight there was a fashion show that showed us all sorts of cool clothing, boots, backpacks, jackets and hats made from sealskins. In the airport there were even chairs with sealskins on them. Their point is, there are plenty of seals, so stop trying to regulate us and let us share our seals with the rest of the world.