Wednesday, December 8, 2010

The Inuit Inukshuk

Town of Churchill Manitoba Inukshuk
While traveling in upper Manitoba to see the Polar Bears there was another site that was as magnificent as the bears, the Inuit Inukshuk's.

I was able to take a number of pictures of the stone markers in Churchill, but haven't shared many of these pictures with the explanation of what they mean.
If you watched any of last years Winter Olympics from Vancouver British Columbia you probably have seen one of them. It was the symbol used for the Winter Olympics.

Inukshuk on Hudson Bay in Churchill Manitoba
There are many stories, folklore and explanation of these stone structures and may lead to understanding the evolution of the structures.

Some say they are structures built to in the area where caribou migrate and served as hunting shelters or blinds. Others say that they were used for directional purposes. Some state and national parks in Canada still use these structures to provide visitors with navigational symbols. Others say that the structures were placed along main fishing areas and the distance from the water of the Inukshuk was the distance in the water to the fishing area. Still others say that they were placed on shores to warm ships and water travelers of distance to dry land.

The story I like best is the significance of the Inuit Inukshuk that symbolizes leadership, cooperation and the human spirit.
Each stone of an inukshuk is a separate entity but was chosen for how well it fits together with other stones. The stones are secured through balance. Each one supports the one above it and is supported by the one below it. Together, the stones achieve strength through unity. This effect is applied to a philosophy for people where a group can achieve greater success with cooperation and team effort rather than individually. The inukshuk stands for the importance of friendship and reminds us of our dependence on one another. (Source:
Inukshuk with moon at Sunset
       Strength and unity.
Building together and supporting each other.
Now there is a positive and purposeful living statement.

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