“We are united by our common goals, and together we are part of a greater whole.”
Have you ever wondered what are these stones piled up as a human Figure mean?
Are they different from the other piled rocks ?
“According to the Canadian Encyclopedia inuksuks which have been found at sites that date from as long ago as 2400 BC, were formations of rocks used by people across the Arctic as markers for all kinds of purposes- navigational routes, good kayak landing spots, good hunting and fishing sites, locations of celebrations and caches of meat. These markers could be in many different formations.
Inunnguaq on the other hand were shaped like human beings and could venerate a person, mark a spot for people to meet, or have spiritual significance. "
Let’s look at this deeper....
Inuksuk can be found standing in northern Canada, Greenland, and Alaska (United States). This combined region, above the Arctic Circle, is dominated by the tundra biome and has areas with few natural landmarks.
At Inuksuk Point (Enukso Point) on Baffin Island, on the Foxe Peninsula, approximately 88.5 km from Cape Dorset on the Southwest of Baffin Island, Nunavut. there are more than 100 inuksuit. The site was designated a National Historic Site of Canada in 1969.
The inuksuk may historically have been used for navigation, as a point of reference, a marker for travel routes, fishing places, camps, hunting grounds, places of veneration, drift fences used in hunting, or to mark a food cache. The Iñupiat in northern Alaska used inuksuit to assist in the herding of caribou into contained areas for slaughter. Varying in shape and size, the inuksuit have ancient roots in Inuit culture.
Historically, the most common types of inuksuk are built with stone placed upon stone. The simplest type is a single stone positioned in an upright manner. The size of some inuksuit suggest that the construction was often a communal effort.
“The word inuksuk means "that which acts in the capacity of a human." The word comes from the morphemes inuk ("person") and -suk ("ersatz, substitute"). It is pronounced inutsuk in Nunavik and the southern part of Baffin Island In many of the central Nunavut dialects, it has the etymologically related name inuksugaq (plural: inuksugait).”
While the predominant English spelling is inukshuk, both the Government of Nunavut and the Government of Canada through Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada promote the Inuit-preferred spelling inuksuk.
The stones which make up the Inukshuk are secured through balance. They are chosen for how well they fit together. Looking at the structure it can be easily seen that the removal of even one stone will destroy the integrity of the whole.
The presence of an inukshuk might indicate a food source (like a food cache or a good fishing spot), serve as a warning marker (if an area was icy or unsafe), or act as a coordinate for travelers. Inuksuit were also used to herd and hunt caribou: women and children would chase caribou towards the rock piles while male hunters waited behind them with bows and arrows.
Inuksuit also served more symbolic purposes. Someone might construct an inukshuk to mark a sacred area or commemorate the loss of a loved one.
An inuksuk is the centrepiece of the flag and coat of arms of the Canadian territory of Nunavut, and the flag of Nunatsiavut. The Inuksuk High School in Iqaluit is named after the landmark.
“In 1999, Inukshuk was the name for the International Arctic Art & Music Project of ARBOS in the Canadian provinces of Quebec, Ontario, Nunavik, and Nunavut; and in Greenland, Austria, Denmark and Norway.
On July 13, 2005, Canadian military personnel erected an inuksuk on Hans Island, along with a plaque and a Canadian flag, as part of Canada's longstanding dispute with Denmark over the small Arctic island. The markers have been erected throughout the country, often as generic gateways into tourist regions, including a 9 m (30 ft) inuksuk that stands in Toronto on the shores of Lake Ontario.
Located in Battery Park, it commemorates the World Youth Day 2002 festival that was held in the city in July 2002.”
“An inunnguaq is the basis of the logo of the 2010 Winter Olympics designed by Vancouver artist Elena Rivera MacGregor.
Whether it is an inuksuks or an Inunnguaq they prominent icon of Inuit heritage and symbolize the unity and pride In Canadian culture.
You can shop Inunnguaq (inuksuks) here