(singular), meaning "likeness of a person" in Inuktitut (the Inuit language) is
a stone figure made by the Inuit. The plural is inuksuit. The Inuit make inuksuit in
different forms and for different purposes: to show directions to travelers, to warn of
impending danger, to mark a place of respect, or to act as helpers in the hunting of
The Inuksuk is so
common across the Arctic that they have become a distinctive feature of the region. The
Inukshuk is simply a pile of stones arranged in the shape of a human being.
The Inuit and Tuniit (inuit from Cape
Dorset) used the Inuksuk to mark trails, indicate caches of food, the location of of
nearby settlements and the location of good places to hunt or fish.
At one time the Inuit built inukshuit in
long lines on each side of the Caribou trail. The woman and children would hide behind the
inukshuk until the caribou herd came between the lines. The women and children would stand
and start making noise and the caribou wold start running in straight lines to avoid the
people on both sides. The inukshuk made it look like there were many people. The caribou
would then run right to the end of the trail were they would be killed by the hunters with
bows and arrows.
The Inuksuk symbolizes the fortitude &
determination of the Inuit. The Inuksuk though made of inanimate rock embodies the spirit
and persistence of the Inuit who live and flourish in one of the worlds harshest
Inuksuit represent strength, leadership and
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