Inuksuk – Little Men of Stone

 

Photographed at Pacific Rim Park

Photographed at Pacific Rim Park

Like many suburban gardeners, I’ve always been fascinated by inuksuks, the traditional Inuit statues, stones jutting out at the sides vaguely representing a human form.

Last night, we mentioned that we would be moving up to Whapmagoostui and the neighbouring Inuit community of Kuujjuarapik. After discussing how cold it is up there, someone at the table mentioned that we’d be seeing inuksuks. I’ve always been curious what they signified.

From what we gathered from last night’s conversation, there are two kinds. The traditional ones, with flailing arms are actually human representations used to herd caribou for hunters. The caribou mistake the stone towers for humans and follow the path designed for them.

Other stone piles are markers. Bending down and looking through an opening, the next structure can be seen. This is clearly a direction marker.

When I have a garden again one day, I will build an Inuksuk, but this time I will understand its significance.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s