Kulusuk is a settlement in the municipality of Sermersooq, in eastern Greenland. In January 2005, it was inhabited by a total of 310 people. It is located more or less at 65 ° 34′N 37 ° 11′W, on Kulusuk Island, which is also home to Kulusuk Airport, one of the 6 international airports in this country. In Greenlandic language, Kulusuk means ‘the belly of a white guillemot’.
The people of Kulusuk are unusual for an Inuit settlement, as many Danes live there because of the airport. Medical services are provided by a resident Danish nurse and a local assistant. The school, rebuilt around 2005, has around 70 students and has many highly qualified teachers. His church was built by the crew of a Danish ship that ran aground on the nearby coast, and the material from the same ship was used. A replica of the ship still hangs from the church organ. The cemetery is located about 200 m from the town center; however, there are no names on the crosses, in honor of the Inuit tradition, which made newborns be named after the deceased so that another generation could continue to live. There is a high unemployment rate and many inhabitants depend on tourism, rather than hunting and fishing. The town has a hotel, homonymous to the settlement, built in 1999 and which is the starting point for tourists in search of adventure.
Kulusuk is located in the northeast of the island of the same name at the exit of Ammassaliip Kangertiva. On the other bank is Tasiilaq, 21 km west.
The residents said earlier that there were ruins of the Grænlendingar in Kulusuk, which archaeological investigations have rejected. On the other hand, according to the statements of the residents, excavations showed that the place was previously well suited for whaling.
The Tunumiit used to live nomadically, which is why it is not known since when Kulusuk has been inhabited.
In 1909, Kulusuk was officially founded as a mission site. A 53 square meter yellow mission building was erected to house a church, a classroom and an apartment for the catechist and his family.
In 1920 there were 74 people living in Kulusuk, seven of whom were West Greenlanders. There were eleven hunters among the residents. Apart from the catechist, the population lived in three Greenlandic houses.
In 1925 a new school chapel was built. In 1930 the population had risen to 165 people, making Kulusuk the largest town in East Greenland at that time. In 1940 133 people lived in Kulusuk and in 1950 there were 197. In 1951 Den Kongelige Grønlandske Handel opened a shop in Kulusuk, although the place was officially not an Udsted.
When the Americans gave up the Ikkatteq airfield, they instead built an airport east of Kulusuk in 1958. In 1960 there were already 258 people living in the village. In 1966 a new school was built, which was expanded in 1976, as the population had risen to 390 by 1970. In 1967 a new shop was built. During this time, the inhabitants lived from sealing seals and fishing, although the number of catches was viewed as rather poor.
The actual name of Kulusuk is Qulusuk. Because the Danes could not pronounce the place name, the Q was replaced by a K. This means that Kulusuk is the only place in Greenland that has been officially renamed for this reason.
Infrastructure and supply
Kulusuk Airport is now East Greenland’s main transport hub. From here you can get to the other places in East Greenland as well as West Greenland and Iceland. In summer and autumn the sea is ice-free and can be used for shipping. Dog sleds and snowmobiles are used in the surrounding area. There is also a taxi company in Kulusuk.
Nukissiorfiit is responsible for the electricity and water supply in Kulusuk, while TELE Greenland connects the residents via telecommunication. Garbage is dumped, incinerated or shipped to Tasiilaq.
The school of Kulusuk, the Kulusumi Alivarpi, has about 50 students. After completing 7th grade, students have to go to a higher school, usually in Tasiilaq. In Kulusuk there is also, for example, a day care center, a nursing home, a service building, a post office, a meeting house, an infirmary and a church. There is also a hotel at the airport.
The football club TM-62 Kulusuk, which was founded in 1962 and took part in the final round of the Greenland football championship in 2007 and 2016, comes from Kulusuk.