Thursday, October 09, 2008

One inuksuk, two inuksuuk, three inuksuit

In 2010 the winter Olympics are to be held in Vancouver, and the logo for these, the 21st, games is an Inunnguaq, which is an example of an inuksuk.Inuksuit (pl.) are stone structures that have been made for hundreds of years throughout the Arctic areas of Alaska, Canada and Greenland. they've been used as a method of communication for generations of Inuit and some lichen-covered inuksuit well-built centuries ago can still be found.

Inuksuit may provide directions through the snow-covered landscape, point to good fishing or hunting places or even indicate where food has been stored. They're also used as memorials and are treated with great respect by the Inuit people.
We passed this one on our trolley-bus tour of Vancouver. I'm afraid I can't remember if it were in Stanley Park or further around the coast. (Sorry it's a bit blurry.)

And here's the one I made at the edge of Lake Maligne. Like the Olympics logo it's an inunnguaq (meaning 'like a human figure'.)And to get it into perspective ...I doubt if mine will last many years: it was probably knocked over by the first strong gust of wind. They're not as easy to make as they might appear!

To quote from The Inuksuk Book by Mary Wallace, 'Today as traditional ways are changing into contemporary ways Inuit, and even non-Inuit, sometimes build inuksuit simply to mark their presence ... in their travels outside of their homeland.'



Anna said...

THere was one on the way up Sulphur Mountain, too - probably a memorial to someone who died of despair and hopelessness, I should think.

Liz said...

I took a photo but it didn't come out very well.

Joy Des Jardins said...

That's a great inuksuk Liz....I hope it lasted for a while....and don't you look adorable.

Katney said...

I will look for inuk insuk inskuk

I will look for these when we travel to Alaska next year.

If I remember.

But then again, I may just wee on and say--Oh, Liz told me about the in--in--in...

Suburbia said...

I like yours! We build similar structures out of large round pebles on the beach in Cornwall. Very arty!

CherryPie said...

Neat :-)

Anonymous said...

Anna I'm so pleased you're back on your blog - I have mentioned a couple of times to Liz that I wish you had time to update it. (My husband is starting to tire of Fennel and Tomato Gratin etc!)

Liz - we are loving seeing your holiday pics.

Wendy (Wales)

leslie said...

Funny as it may be Liz, but Canadians had never heard of an inukshuk (sp?) before all this Olympic stuff. And we were all horrified that it was going to be the symbol because it's just a small part of Canada - and an area where no one goes to tour, for sure. BTW, that one you took a photo of is just down at English Bay on the water side south of Stanley Park. We always look at it as we drive by now and laugh!

Dragonstar said...

Yours looks a tad smaller than the other one, but very much more personal. I love the photo with you standing with it!

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