Narsaq is the most striking agricultural town in Greenland situated in a fjord system known for hiking, mineral deposits and cowboy history.
MUSSE, MCCARTNEY AND NARSAQ’S COWBOYS
Although it may sound that way, Musse and McCartney are not country and western singers from the USA. They are just names given to a couple of the many horses, and like in any western town in the USA would, in the old days, be tied up out in front of the homes in Narsaq, when they were not used for sheep herding or transportation over the mountain.
Although the number of horses is not what it used to be in this most striking agricultural town in Greenland, many of the inhabitants identify to such a degree with sheep farming, cattle ranching and agriculture that they jokingly refer to themselves as cowboys.
With the passing of time, many of the sheep farmers have moved away from the town, but you can still see a number of lush, fenced gardens, a testament to the protection given to the sheep who would roam freely around in the streets. The gardens are the breadbaskets of the town, supplying the local population with potatoes, turnips, carrots, lettuce and strawberries in sizeable quantities.
KITCHEN GARDENS AND THE NORSEMEN OF NARSAQ
One day during the 1960’s, the desire to dig out some fresh dirt for a kitchen garden accidentally unearthed a Norse ruin right in the middle of town where the sheep were grazing next to the factory and the slaughter house. The manager of the factory found much more than a little dirt – Norse artifacts appeared with each shovelful, and before long, archeologists had unearthed a complete long house in the middle of town.
This long house is believed to be the very first place Eric the Red settled before moving to Brattalid at the end of the Tunulliarfik Fjord, where the settlement Qassiarsuk is located today. So it was in Narsaq in 1982, that that official celebrations commemorating the 1000th anniversary of the Norsemen’s arrival in Greenland took place.