Ornament (Sacred)

Date – 2223

Place – Nuuk, Greenland

As the navigability of the world’s oceans and airways became more difficult due to the frequency of violent storms, Greenland and its economy became increasingly isolated. The convergence of the cold, low-salinity East Greenland Current with the warmer Irminger and Norwegian currents shifted as the ocean warmed and fish stocks quickly depleted.  The rich mineral deposits exposed as the permafrost thawed were soon extracted and the mining companies moved elsewhere. If it hadn’t been for the plastic washed up on its shores, thanks in large part to the Greenland Sea Gyre, Greenland may well have gone the way of St Kilda albeit on a much larger scale.  As it was, it became the centre of the world’s plastic-based economy in the 22nd century.

Physical access to the different polymers underpinning the plastic standard was only possible through the Berträndóttirs, a priestly-warrior class. Their ceremonies and rituals evolved to become highly technocratic but borrowed heavily from the earlier animist and then Christian ceremonies that previously had welcomed the fishing harvests. 

The original function of this object – dated to 2005 – is unknown. But, regarded as both a symbol of power and a symbol of prayer, sometime in the middle of the 22nd century it was attached to a wooden staff and used in the annual Yule that greeted the return of the sun. Cast into the sea by the Völva (a female seer) at the end of the ceremony, the staff biodegraded while this sacred ornament travelled the world on the oceans’ currents.

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