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THE INUKSHUK

In the language of the Inuit; inukshuk means "One that looks like a person". The inukshuiit are erected from stones to resemble a human figure. (Inukshuiit is the plural of inukshuk).

Long before the Inuit had Inukshukaccess to rifles and ammunitions, inukshuiit played an important role in hunting caribou . The traditional hunting method would be to erect a series of inukshuiit in a funnel shaped pattern narrowing to a dead end on a hillside. The hunters would hide behind the inukshuiit armed with their bows and arrows. The women and children would herd the caribou towards the hunters by waving hides up and down to create loud noises, enabling the hunters to move behind the herd.The inukshuiit would also double as landmarks or cairns (stone piles) identifying the locations of caches of stored meat.

Today the inukshuk is used predominantly as a landmark. They can be found scattered across the frozen land. An inukshuk can be spotted from miles away and seasoned travelers can use the inukshuiit as navigational aids.


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