Monday, 4 July 2011

The Inukshuk of the Far North.

An Inukshuk is a stone figure used as a landmark or sign post by the Inuit, peoples of the far north.  It means 'in the likeness of a human', and for the Inuit  has become a symbol of their culture. They can be seen all over the Arctic tundra. The word Inukshuk means 'something acting like a person'. The word comes from the inuk (person), and suk (substitute).  The singular is Inukshuk, and the plural is Inuksuit.  In difference parts of the Arctic, the word is pronounced in different ways. In southern Baffin Island it is prounounced 'inutsuk', and  in Nunavik, in central Nunavut it is oftten pronounced inuksugaq.  The Government of Canada usually use 'Inuksuk', which is the spelling the Inuit usually use, and it is a cultural symbol for the Inuit people.

Inukshuk can also be used for navigation while travelling and as markers for camps and hunting grounds.
In 1969 Eskimo Point on Baffin Island was designated a National Historic site in Canada, and in this area  there were over 100 Inuksuit.

Today, the Inukshuk  is on the flag if the Coat of Arms of the flag of Nunavut.

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