The sets for Atanarjuat were all authentic Inuit dwellings, made from traditional natural materials such as ice blocks, animal skins, rocks, sod, and snow. Igloos, for instance, were crafted from real snow blocks - not styrofoam as in some Southern productions about life in the Arctic!
The qaggiq is a large ceremonial igloo in which an entire Inuit community can congregate for celebrations, ajaja singing, and drum dancing.
In the film, the tension-filled headpunch showdown between Oki and Atanarjuat takes places in the qaggiq.
Like other aspects of the film, the sets represent thousands of years of Arctic know-how and experience put into action. Visual proof that traditional Inuit culture and skills are a living body knowledge.
Tents for the summer camp settings were made of sealskin. Long spiralled narwhal tusks were used as tent poles, like the one Atanarjuat carries in his pack while out caribou hunting. While filming on location in the Igloolik region, cast and crew camped in dwellings and conditions very similar to those of the characters in the film - living on the tundra just as their ancestors had hundreds of years ago.