I took these photos about a year and a half ago! Boy, time flies! I thought it would be a fun and interesting thing to share on my blog. At the time I worked in a grade 2 classroom and we had a guest come to visit to make Inuksuit (plural) with the students. He brought all of the rock and the kids got to choose the ones they wanted to build their own Inukshuk.
Inukshuk means “likeness of a person” in the Inuit language. The Inuit people make them for various purposes, like to show directions to travelers, to warn of impending danger,to mark a place of respect or to mark trails, migration routes or places where fish can be found.
The Inukshuk is very common across the Arctic and they have become a distinctive feature of the region. It is simply a pile of stones arranged in the shape of a human. An inukshuk can be small or large, a single rock, several rocks balanced on each other, round boulders or flat. They are built from stones that are at hand making each one unique. The arrangement of stones tells the purpose of the marker.
The Inukshuk symbolizes the fortitude and determination of the Inuit. It also represents strength, leadership and motivation. The Inuit people live and flourish in one of the world’s harshest environments.
The Inukshuk was the basis of the logo of the 2010 Winter Olympics designed by Vancouver artist Elena Rivera MacGregor. The design pays tribute to the inukshuk that stands at Vancouver’s English Bay, which was created by artisan Alvin Kanak of Rankin Inlet, Northwest Territories. Friendship and the welcoming of the world are the meanings of both the English Bay structure and the 2010 Winter Olympics emblem.
It was great that the students of grade 2 had an opportunity to make their own Inukshuk. I was so jealous, I would have loved to make one too.