What Is An Inukshuk?

November 24, 2013 by  

What Is An Inukshuk?, An Inukshuk is a stone structure traditionally used by the Inuit as guides or directional markers in the North.

Varying in shape and size, the Inukshuk can mean different things — as a marker for a sacred place, an aid for hunting and fishing or a navigation tool.

For thousands of years, these land markers or “sign posts” were important for Inuit survival in a constantly-changing landscape covered in ice and snow.

Though it is often referred to as an Inukshuk, a structure with a head, legs and arms is actually called an Inunnguaq (or “Inunnguat”) meaning “imitation of a person”.

The symbol has become popular with non-Inuits — and the Inukshuk has been popping up all across the country.

More recently, people have been building Inunnguat — it’s not an Inukshuk — it’s Inunnguat which means it’s a formation with a head, with arms and with legs. That is not called Inukshuk. That is called Inunnguat which means imitation of a person…or pretend person.

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