What is an inukshuk?
- Inukshuk, also spelled inuksuk, is a figure made of piled stones or boulders (large smooth) created by the Inuit — an Indigenous people, who are known to mostly inhabit the northern regions of Canada.
- The word “inukshuk” means “in the likeness of a human” or “to act in the capacity of a human”. The plural form of “inukshuk” is “inuksuit”.
An inukshuk may serve several functions, including
- guiding travellers and assisting hunters
- indicating a change of direction
- warning of danger
- marking places of reverence.
How to construct an inukshuk?
- By placing one stone or stacking multiple stones or boulders together into different shapes.
Four types of inukshuk:
- Nalunaikkutaq, meaning “deconfuser”, is a single upright stone placed on its end.
- Tikkuuti: rock(s) placed or arranged flat on the ground serving as a pointer of directions.
- Inuksummarik or inuksukjuaq serve as major coordination points.
- Inuksuit that serve as message centres. Hunters may leave an arrangement of stones for a follower.
If you are interested in this topic and want to learn more, read “Inuksuit Silent Messengers of the Arctic” by Norman Hallendy. This book is currently available as an e-book on the Calgary Public Library (CPL) website. You can log into your CPL account and borrow the book here: https://calgary.bibliocommons.com/item/show/724653095 .
Word of the Day:Reverence: deep respect or honor