National clothes

By Verified Expert

You can tell by looking at someone’s national clothes, which part of Greenland they come from. The men’s clothes are very similar to each other, while the women are more different from one place to another.

National clothes on display at the National Museum of Greenland
National clothes – The national museum

East Greenlanders have the white anorak with beats on them, which you can see on the right side of the picture. Next, it’s the one with long white boots and shorts made of polar bear fur. This one is for the North West part of Greenland, while middle and South West Greenlanders wear the ones to the left. The Colorado of the anoraks has also a meaning. As young girls were pink, and as you get older it becomes red, then dark red, and if you are a widow it becomes blue.

Greenlandic people in their national clothes
The baptizing of my nephew

This is our family picture taken in September when we baptized my nephew. Most of us Greenlanders are Christians but we also have other religions. 

My family and I are from the capital, Nuuk which is in the more southern part of West Greenland, so we wear the last mentioned above for special occasions. On the women’s suit, there can be up to 70.000 beats.

Some buy their national clothes while some families make their own. Some of the towns in Greenland have a place where the locals can come and use the sewing machine if they don’t have their own or if they just want to work while having company.

Artisans making national costumes
Making Greenlandic clothes

To the right, you see my mom. She lives in Copenhagen and while she visited Nuuk, Greenland she went to this place to sew a sealskin vest for my nephew. 

One of Greenland’s dishes is the seal meat. We eat meat and fat. Back in the day they also used the fat oil to create light and heat,  while the bones were used for decoration or for tools. The skin is used to make boots and clothing. It is also used for some part of the national clothing.

Skin being stretched
Drying and stretching of a sealskind

This is how the skin is being dried. After the fat has been removed they wash the skin several times and then tie it up for drying. Thereafter it is ready to either used for decoration just like that or for production.

National costume on display
Modern fashion

Back in the days, they would use what could look like our national clothes for everyday life, but today we only use them for special occasions.  We wear the same modern clothes today, like in Europe and the US, etc. but we also have our own designers who are looking for modern clothing with a touch of Greenlandic symbols, and we are very proud to wear these as well.  

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