Reverse Colonialism - How the Inuit Conquered the Vikings

Publisert 2015-09-18

The stories about how representatives of the Western civilization colonized and pushed out other peoples are well documented often recounted. Maybe to the extent that it can sometimes be hard to imagine the reverse: The notion that traditional cultures historically given the distinction of «noble savages» – refering to their perceived peaceful temperament and harmonious relationship with the natural world –  were able not only to push out other traditional tribal cultures, but even the «notoriously fierce» Vikings.

What is little known is that in Greenland Scandinavian vikings were the first settlers. The huge island was uninhabited when they arrived. But in the later period of the Norse settlement, as they faced several problems – among them a colder climate and less trade with continental Europe – attacks from the Inuits were a likely contributor to driving the Vikings away.

There are also indications that the Inuits pushed the Dorset people to extinction. The Dorset inhabited the northernmost regions of the Canadian Arctic. The paradox seems to be that the Dorset and Viking cultures probably traded with each other for close to a century.

The Royal Canadian Geographic have a short and interesting article about this topic. We will also later return with more about this subject. There have been new archeological finds and interesting discoveries in saga research about the Norse presence in North America.

While controversial, it is an interesting topic you may peruse at the Canadian Geographical Compass Blog:


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