The Inuksuk

The Inuksuk [plural: inuksuit] has long been recognized as the 'compass' of the Arctic. Stones are placed in such a manner to resemble a human figure. The orientation of the stones also give guidence by marking a trail on the tundra for hunters. Inksuk are still used today by Inuit hunters throughout the Arctic.

Those interested in learning more about the Inuksuit are encouraged to read a new book, Insuksuit: Silent Messengers of the Arctic by Norman Hallendy; Vancouver: Douglas & McIntyre Ltd and Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2000.

In a recent review of the book in the journal Arctic, Callum Thomson quotes the author as follows:

The a metaphor. It reminds [the elders] of the time when people were attached to the land by an unbroken thread of reference, when they created great dancing circles, build fish weirs, placed huge inuksuit on hilltops, made traps to catch the most cunning animals, and communicated by rearranging or shaping fragments of the landscape."