Friday, 20 October

Building at NanoqBuilding at NanoqThe Nanoq Arctic Museum is located in the forests of Fäboda in the vicinity of Jakobstad, Finland. The museum was founded by the Finnish Arctic explorer Pentti Kronqvist.

 

Pentti Kronqvist, on the left-hand side in the pictureVisiting with Pentti Kronqvist (left)Pentti Kronqvist made multiple exploration trips, starting in the 1970s, to the arctic areas, including Alaska, Northern Canada, and Greenland. Over time, he acquired many Arctic items, skills and memories from the native Inuit (Eskimo) people.

That created a great interest amongst the locals in his hometown, so he decided to put it all together, creating the Nanoq Arctic Museum.

Polar bear on displayPolar bear on displayWhen I was on my visit to my home country, Finland, in the summer of 2015, I had the opportunity to visit the museum. It was late summer, and the museum was closed for the season. But in the off-season (as in-season), they do give private, on appointment only, tours to groups, I was lucky that Pentti himself was there and gave us a tour.

The museum is an exhibition village, naturally nestled in the Fäboda forest, containing multiple buildings, displaying everyday life in the Arctic areas. It felt as the village came to life, when the very knowledgeable and passionate Pentti told the history and purpose of each building and every item!

Arctic items on displayArctic items on displayThe Greenlandic word Nanoq means Polar Bear. The first group of buildings Pentti built before establishing a museum, he named the Bear's Lair. Over time, support grew for the project, and more buildings were added, with additional exhibition items. No loans were needed. All the money were donated, and and all the work was volunteer work.

Reindeer pulling an explorer gear sledReindeer pulling an explorer gear sledThe museum is not limited to material from Pentti's expeditions. It also includes both locally acquired art and culture, as well as from from other parts of the world, such as North- and South pole expeditions by other adventurers.

If you ever travel to Finland, this Arctic museum is definitely worth a visit!

Link to the Nanoq Arctic Museum web site