The first immigrations

The first people to set foot in Greenland arrived around 4-5,000 years ago from North America. Different Inuit cultures have immigrated in several waves, and today’s Greenland population is descendants of the last immigration, the Thule culture, that arrived in around the 9th century AD.

Different Inuit cultures have immigrated in several waves.

Many of the Norse settlers’ ruins still remain in South Greenland and Nuuk.

The Norsemen

The Norse settlers and Erik the Red, who named the country Greenland, arrived in the country in 982 from Iceland. The Norse population disappeared from Greenland in around 1500 for reasons that have never been fully explained.

Many of the Norse settlers’ ruins still remain in South Greenland and Nuuk. They are now popular tourist destinations for an insight of the Viking period culture.

The explorers

Following the disappearance of the Norse population, British and Norwegian explorers came to Greenland in the 16th-17th centuries, followed by European whalers in the 17th-18th centuries.

This resulted in extensive trade, and the Europeans’ small glass beads were so popular among the Inuit that they have been used in the national costume since.

British and Norwegian explorers came to Greenland in the 16th-17th centuries.

Hans Egede converted the Inuit to Christianity.

The missionaries

In 1721, Hans Egede, a missionary from the joint kingdom of Denmark-Norway, arrived in what is today known as Nuuk in search for the Norse settlers whom he never found.

This formed the basis of Danish sovereignty over the country. During his stay, Hans Egede converted the Inuit to Christianity and now most Greenlanders are Lutheran-evangelists.

The country today

After being under the Danish colony for more than 250 years, Greenland finally attained Home Rule in 1979 and Self Rule in 2009.

With this, the country has assumed political decisions and competencies previously issued by Denmark, but Denmark still has control over  Greenland’s foreign affairs, security, jurisdiction, and financial and energy policies.

Greenland finally attained Home Rule in 1979 and Self Rule in 2009.