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London: The Arctic Culture & Climate at the British Museum


London's British Museum. No tour of London would be complete without a trip to the British Museum. The museum provides visitors with two million years worth of history from all around the world. Within it's 60 galleries, the collection's artefacts include the Rosetta Stone, an Easter Island sculpture, a sizeable collection of Egyptian mummies.

The Arctic: Culture and Climate runs until 21 Feb 2021, unless otherwise extended due to COVID related closures. The museum is closed until 2 December, 2020, but you can visit virtually on


Upon entering the Arctic: Culture and Climate exhibition at the British Museum, the first thing one notices is the large carpet underfoot. This carpet is a geography lesson of exactly where, and how large the Artic region is. With the North Pole at it's centre, the Arctic Circle spans out into Canada, Alaska, Denmark/Greenland, Iceland, Finland, Sweden and Norway. Four million people spread throughout these 8 countries, with 10% of the population indigenous to their regions. These 400,000 people belong to one or more of 40 cultural groups.

a top-down view of the Arctic
map borrowed from the British Museum website

The Sámi are the only indigenous peoples of northern Europe. There are 12 indigenous tribes in Russian and Siberia and the Aleuts, Alutiit, Yupiit and Inupiat in Alaska with the Inuit and Gwich' in Canada and Greenland.

Today's Arctic people are fully-participating global citizens, but many still rely on traditional methods and livelihoods to survive. As nothing grows on the tundra, the people are reliant on the animals of the region. Seals, reindeer and whales have always been vital to the survival of indigenous people and they continue to recognise the imperative balance between man and nature.

This small, but information-packed exhibition at the British Museum displays examples of the clothing, hunting, housekeeping and transportation of the indigenous people of the Artic. It honours Arctic cultures and customs and helps us understand the importance of living responsibly, protecting of the environment and pursuing a solution for global warming.

Joke: What feels totally British, but isn't?

Answer: Everything at the British Museum




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