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 (Known by single name) Qisuk

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(Known by single name) Qisuk

Birth
Greenland
Death 17 Feb 1898
Manhattan, New York County (Manhattan), New York, USA
Burial Manhattan, New York County (Manhattan), New York, USA
Plot Former location of remains 1898-1993
Memorial ID 26101271 View Source
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Inuit associate of explorer Robert E. Peary; father of the celebrated Minik Wallace.
From 1898 until 1993 the American Museum of Natural History retained the remains of Qisuk, one of six Artic Eskimos brought to New York City by Peary in 1897. Born in northwestern Greenland in the 1860's, he was a tribal leader who had assisted the explorer on his earlier polar expeditions. Agreeing to participate in an anthropolical study at the museum, he and the other Inuits, including his 7-year-old son Minik, were soon felled by tuberculosis and other urban diseases. A widower in his late 30's, he died at Manhattan's Bellevue Hospital, survived by Minik, who was later adopted by museum official William Wallace. Although the orphan had been deceived into thinking his father had been buried on the museum grounds, Qisuk's body had been treated like a biological specimen, and his skeleton put on display at the museum. When Minik discovered the truth several years later, he began a widely publicized but unsuccessful crusade to recover his father's bones. Qisuk's remains, and those of three other Eskimos who died during the study---Nuktaq, Atanqana, and Aviaq---were kept in museum storage for over 95 years. In 1993 author Kenn Harper finally succeeded in having the four returned to Greenland, where they were buried near Qaanaaq, in Thule. The plaque marking the gravesite bears the Inuit inscription "Nunaminqnut Uteqihut", ("They Are Home").


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