Jan 30 2003
COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP)--A decision by Greenland's top civil servant to use an Inuit healer to chase away evil spirits in local government offices brought him some bad vibes from the Danish territory's political leaders.
"When you move into new premises, it's normal to air the room and give the walls some fresh paint," said Jens Lyberth, the Home Rule government's newly appointed manager. Lyberth hired Maannguaq Berthelsen, a healer, to "drive away the negative energy" from the government's offices in downtown Nuuk, Greenland's capital.
Berthelsen told Greenland Radio that she "contributed to restoring the respect for the special Greenland spirit that has been suppressed for too long."
Shortly after taking the job, Lyberth also urged the nearly 600 civil servants to use similar spiritual healing methods in an attempt to promote better harmony between Greenlanders and Danes.
Most Greenlanders belong to Denmark's Lutheran church but some ancient Inuit traditions--like folk-oriented drum dances--are practiced during community gatherings and parties where dancers use masks and face painting to focus on contemporary problems.