GREENLAND INUIT PAINTER/STORYTELLER ARON OF KANGEQ BORN
Aron was born in Kangeq, South Greenland, a mission station of the Moravian Brethren at the mouth of Godthåb Fjord. The Moravians generally did not use surnames and Aron became one of the brothers. Although a skillful hunter, around 1858 Aron became ill from tuberculosis and could no longer go out in a kayak. He then devoted himself to recording on paper the old oral traditions in texts, drawings, woodcuts and small watercolors. His illness forced him to be inactive for long periods, but in between he made up for this by a flurry of productivity. His work was eventually brought to the attention of Hinrich Rink, who had a strong interest in promoting Greenlandic art and culture. During the next 10 years, until January of 1869, over 160 of Aron’s pictures went by kayak post from Kangeq to Godthåb. On March 12, 1869, Aron, the forefather of modern Greenlandic art, Greenland’s “national artist,” died of Greenland’s “national disease,” tuberculosis.
Sources: “The 1860 Copley Armory collection of Aron from Kangeq, Greenland,” Eskimo-Art.org. Retrieved 8/11/2021, aron-from-kangeq.pdf (eskimo-art.org). Wikipedia Painting: Aron of Kangeq, pre-1869. Apparently, the scene depicted seems to be a woman attacked by a walrus while she was taking a bath in a stream. Public Domain. Source: Jens Peder Hart Hansen, Jørgen Meldgaard, Jørgen Nordqvist (Hrsg.): The Greenland Mummies. British Museum Publications, London 1991, ISBN 0-7141-2500-8.