Greenland in 31 historical maps
The name of this largest island (country) was given by early Norse settlers. In the Icelandic sagas, the Norwegian-born Icelander Erik the Red was said to be exiled from Iceland for manslaughter. Along with his extended family and his serfs, he set out in ships to explore an icy land known to lie to the northwest. After finding a habitable area and settling there, he named it Grœnland (Greenland), supposedly in the hope that the pleasant name would attract settlers. The name of the country in the indigenous Greenlandic language is Kalaallit Nunaat (“Land of the Kalaallit”). The Kalaallit are the indigenous Greenlandic Inuit people who inhabit the country's western region. The first separate maps of the island/country already appeared at the end of the 16th century. However, parts of its coastline (especially to the North) weren't based on true observations but purely fictionally drawn. It would last until the end of the 19th century before the complete coastline was actually charted.