Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Greenland IV

Postcard from Greenland showing a man in a kayak. Kayaks were originally developed by the Inuit people of the Arctic, and the word itself is indeed Inuktitut, qajaq (ᖃᔭᖅ), meaning "man's boat" or "hunter's boat". The first kayaks were constructed from stitched animal skins stretched over a wood or whalebone frame – Inuit in the western Arctic used wood whereas those in the east used whalebone due to the lack of available trees in the tundra. They are most commonly made of modern materials nowadays, but continue to be used in traditional fishing and hunting practices.

Stamp on the left is from the 2012 definitive series featuring Queen Margrethe II. Stamp on the right is from a multiyear series on Greenlandic herbs featuring Fucus vesiculosus, or bladderwrack, issued in 2013. Bladderwrack is a common seaweed in the North Atlantic Ocean and was the original source of iodine, used to treat a variety of ailments.

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