The collections of Greenland National Museum cover the entire 4,500 years of the history of Greenland. Explore unique ethnographic and archaeological collections from throughout Greenland in our fascinating, permanent exhibitions.
Here you can read about our collections and the repatriation process that has followed the introduction of Home Rule.
At Greenland National Museum you can focus on a single exhibition or spend hours exploring our entire fascinating collections.
You can experience prehistoric Greenland and the Stone Age people of the past: the Saqqaq, Independence, Greenland Dorset and Late Dorset cultures, the oldest of which arrived in Greenland 4,500 years ago. Due to their skillfully made stone tools, all of these cultures belong to the Arctic Small Tool Tradition.
You can also experience our unique ethnographic collections from Ammassalik and Avanersuaq from 1880-1920 in the exhibition Thule Culture – New People in Greenland. The exhibition includes the famous 15th century mummies from Qilakitsoq in northwest Greenland, as well as the well-preserved Pearyland Umiaq – the oldest virtually intact skin boat in the world.
The National Museum also has a large collection of Inuit methods of transport, including numerous skin boats and dog sledges. In addition, the museum has an extensive collection of art and photography. The late colonial period is primarily represented by traditional Greenlandic dress and small pockets in time that provide insight into the history and environment of Greenland past. Greenland’s cultural heritage is further explored in our extensive programme of temporary exhibitions.
In a Greenlandic context repatriation involves the National Museum of Denmark returning the cultural heritage of Greenland. Due to Danish colonisation of Greenland, Greenlandic artefacts were originally seen as the property of Denmark.
Before the first museum laws in Greenland were passed in 1981, the National Museum of Denmark was responsible for archaeological and ethnographic activities in Greenland and held large collections of artefacts from Greenland. In 1983 Denmark and Greenland signed a repatriation agreement regarding the National Museum of Denmark’s collections of the Greenlandic cultural heritage. The process of repatriation began in 1982, and as a result of the agreement the National Museum in Greenland has since received more than 35,000 artefacts.