Hi, My name is Mr. Green. Please join me as I travel to Churchill Canada to study Climate Change.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Inukshuks!! An Arctic Tradition

What is an Inukshuk ??

Driving into the town of Churchill we passed a large stone structure. It was a series of stacked stones. It’s a unique symbol that represents the traditional stone sculptures used by Canada’s Inuit people. In fact it is also part of the 2010 Winter Olympic design and can be found on lots of souvenirs and of all different sizes.

Inukshuk (singular), meaning "likeness of a person" in Inuktitut (the Inuit language) is a stone figure made by the Inuit. The plural is inuksuit.

The Inukshuk sculpture serve several purposes.

1. to show directions to travelers. (It's easy to get lost in the tundra!)

2. to warn of impending danger.

3. to mark a place of respect.

4. to act as helpers in the hunting of caribou. (The caribou see the Inukshuk as a symbol of man's presence, and often head for the valley where hunter's wait for them!)

5. some folks like to talk to the Inukshuk when they are all alone in the tundra! (t's a companion when you are way out in the tundra away from any humans.)

Similar stone figures were made all over the world in ancient times, but the Arctic is one of the few places where they still stand. You can make your own Inukshuk. An inukshuk can be small or large, a single rock, several rocks balanced on each other, round boulders or flat. They are typcially made with an odd number of stones like 7 or 9.

Our guide Paul said they usually use 7 stones to make them and he said when we traveled in the north a lot when he was young that it’s nice to come across them when you are feeling lonely.


Use the Flash link below to create your own quick Inukshuk!http://www.canadianencyclopedia.ca/images/inukshuk/game.html

Once you finish the Inukshuk game above, see if you can print it and place it into your journal. If it won't allow you to print, just sketch it into your journal and NAME IT!

ALSO, Go to Google and search for images of Inukshuk to get ideas. When I return we will have a lesson on Inukshuks where you can collect stones and build your own!


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