Family ties, Sisimiut, Greenland

2015 Jul 30

Tukumminnguaq Olsen stands by the monument to her relative in Sisimiut, Greenland

Meet Tukumminnguaq Olsen. You can call her Tuku, and this is her great grandfather, Gustav Olsen.

Tuku’s from Thule, West Greenland’s northernmost community, and this is a monument to her great grandfather which stands outside the church in Sisimiut. He was a Greenlandic missionary, and the plaque commemorates him and his wife, Ane-Sophia Olsen. “The first missionaries told us to get Christian names, to get rid of our culture, and to burn our drums,” Tuku tells me. “But he was a good missionary because we could keep our names and drums. We still have drum dancing in the north because of him.”

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