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Photographer and Author
Greenland Savissivik – many more dogs than inhabitants
Life is particularly tough in this far way village.
Savissivik is located in Greenland , Coordinates: 76°01′10″N 65°06′50″W
Savissivik (West Greenlandic; old spelling: Savigsivik) or Havighivik (Polar Eskimo) (IATA: SVR) is a settlement in the Qaasuitsup municipality in northern Greenland. Located on the northern shores of Melville Bay, the settlement had 66 inhabitants in 2010. The number of inhabitants has been decreasing over the last decades.
In the Greenlandic language, the name Savissivik means “Place of Meteoric Iron” or “Knives”, alluding to the numerous meteorite fragments that have been found in the area dating to about 10,000 years ago. The Cape York meteorite is estimated to have weighed 100 tonnes before it exploded. The iron from the meteorite is believed to have attracted migrating Inuit from Arctic Canada.
Greenland dogs have been used on many expeditions by explorers, the most famous being Fridtjof Nansen. Nansen recorded in his book På ski over Grønland, Greenland dogs being used as working dogs by the Greenland Native. Nansen was a successful polar explorer and used the dogs on his famous voyage across the arctic ocean in the equally famous ship Fram. Roald Amundsen used the Greenland Dogs as well on his expedition to the Antarctic. Amundsen carefully chose 97 Greenland dogs to accompany him and his team on his expedition to Antarctica and in his subsequent South Pole expedition. Both men started with more dogs than they technically needed to pull as sledge, intending to feed the weakest dogs to the strong ones during the voyage.