greenland's south-western coast was settled from 986 onwards by norwegians and icelanders, when 14 viking boats led by erik the red arrived. these settlements vanished during the 14th and 15th centuries, probably as a result of harshened climate, famine and conflicts with the inuit.
the island of greenland was originally claimed by norway. yet when the kingdoms of denmark and norway merged, denmark became the factual owner of it. nowadays greenland is an autonomeous country within denmark, and strives for larger self-government.