"Silent Messengers of the Arctic"
When you see one it means...
'I've been here
before; you're on the right path'
Photo taken by Harry
- "The most beautiful
thing we can experience is the mysterious.
It is the source of all true art and science. "
There is something very
mystical and alluring about an Inukshuk. These
incredible pieces of art are not just piles of stones but
figures holding spirit, sacred meaning and direction. My
interest in Inukshuks came to
fruition quite a few years ago, working as a laser
engraver. Clients would bring in, these amazing stone or
crystal figures to be engraved and adorned with special quotes
Wonderment brought study of
the figure, increased intrigue, sparking a further interest.
What are they all about? Gazing at placement of the
engraving I would feel a Deja
Vu triggering memories
of seeing them as a child as I grew up in
the North of Canada. Childhood memories of aw as to how people
could skillfully build a human figure from a stack of stones
without them falling!
The word “Inukshuk”(pronounced
In-OOK-Shook) literally translates into “stone man
that points the way”. The rocks erected in the image
of man were erected by the Inuit and stand along
Canada's most northern shores.Inukshuks are stone cairns
that were erected by Inuit at important locations
throughout the barrens of the Arctic to serve as
guideposts or markers. They were also erected to
help guide in the herding of caribou during their
annual migration towards where they could be more
easily hunted by the ancient Inuit.
The Inukshuk is
given as a gift today, to symbolize our dependence
on each other and to remind us of the value of
strong relationships. If a single stone is removed
from an Inukshuk, the structure becomes weaker and
so too is each individual in a team necessary for
very own Inukshuk
Every Inuksuk is distinctive and unique as no
two stones are the same and because crafted by hand. An Inuksuk can be a variety of sizes from small to large; where single
stones and rocks are stacked and balanced on top of each other;
boulders placed in a pile; or flat stones stacked.
To start out you should collect a bunch of rocks. I enjoy collecting
rocks on walks in the wilderness, especially along creeks and
rivers.. Most of the rocks or stones should have some flat surfaces.
The easiest rocks to work with will have two flat surfaces on
opposite sides of the rock (top and bottom).
Start balancing the rocks on top of each other. At this point, your
main goal is learning about balancing the rocks and finding
combinations that work well together. If two rocks just won't
balance, try turning them over. Often just moving the rock a little
bit can make a difference.
Decide where you want your finished inuksuk to stand, and start
If you're making a small one for inside the house, you may want to
build it once to see how the rocks balance. Then re-build it using
glue. It won't be a true inuksuk, but it will be much safer!