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The Diary of Johannes Hansen
Expedition to Eastern Greenland: 1884–1885
Johannes Hansen; Torben Hutchings, trans.



Adventures in New Lands

International Polar Institute
2016 • 128 pp. 4 1/4 x 7 1/2"
Arctic Studies

$19.95 Paperback, 978-0-9829155-9-2



A trip around Greenland to a distinct culture with no prior contact with the outside world.

The catechist Johannes Hansen, called Hanserak, a Greenlandic missionary, was part of Captain Gustav Holm’s well-known umiaq expedition to the east coast of Greenland (1884–1885), which passed the winter in Angmagssalik and discovered eleven Inuit communities. His diary is a series of extremely interesting sketches of the remarkable customs and practices of the native people and was reported in the pages of Atuagagdliutit, the first Greenlandic newspaper.

This work examines the people of eastern Greenland at the later stages of the 19th century in diaristic form, but with the compassion and empathy of a native. Material of this kind is very rare and significant for understanding the longer, mostly unknown, evolution of Greenlandic culture in the midst of Danish colonization.



JOHANNES HANSEN (1837–1911) was a West Greenland catechist and interpreter. Torben Hutchings is part-Danish, and based in Edinburgh, Scotland, having given up a career in chemistry to work in freelance translating and run a small market stall.



Wed, 18 Oct 2017 13:33:50 -0500