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Greenland, the world’s largest island, lying in the North Atlantic Ocean. Greenland is noted for its vast tundra and immense glaciers. Although Greenland remains a part of the Kingdom of Denmark, the island’s home-rule government is responsible for most domestic affairs. The Greenlandic people are primarily Inuit (Eskimo). The capital of Greenland is Nuuk (Godthib). More than three times the size of the U.S. state of Texas, Greenland extends about 1,660 miles (2,670 km) from north to south and more than 650 miles (1,050 km) from east to west at its widest point. Two-thirds of the island lies within the …(100 of 3088 words)
The ancestors of the present-day Inuit, Greenland's indigenous people, first arrived in the country from the Canadian Arctic around 4,500 years ago, hunting land mammals such as musk ox. Successive groups of Inuit migrants continued to harvest the living resources of both land and sea, including caribou, seals, whales, and walrus. Norse farming settlements flourished in south and southwest Greenland, from approximately 985 for almost 500 years. Early English explorers, such as Martin Frobisher and John Davis in the sixteenth century, met with groups of Inuit along the west coast. Pursuing the Greenland right whale, European whalers became regular visitors to the coasts of Greenland starting in the seventeenth century. Greenland was a Danish colony between 1721 and 1953, and an integral part of the Danish Kingdom from 1953 to 1979. During these periods significant numbers of Danes lived and made there homes there, as some 7,000 continue to do today.
As a result of the interactions, intermarriages, and fleeting liaisons between these Inuit, Nordic, and other European migrants and sojourners, a society with a rich cultural heritage has evolved. Greenland is thus situated between the new and old worlds in both a geographical and cultural sense. Today, around 83 percent of Greenland's 58,000 residents are Inuit, a people who share a common language and culture with the Inuit in Canada, Alaska, and the Russian Far East; the remainder are primarily Danes. In 1979, the people of Greenland achieved Home Rule from Denmark. Presiding over an autonomous territory within the Danish Kingdom, the Greenland Home Rule Government has complete legislative power over Greenland's internal affairs.
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