What is an inuksuk (inuksuit on plural)? Inuksuit are simply stony piles (inuksugait in Inuktitut) which the silhouette sometimes looks like humans... They are common among Inuit areas in the Arctic; but let Paaliin Pilip, an Inuit author from Iqaluit, explain us:

Inuksugait had always a very important utility. They had different meanings. Inuit had at first two ways of construction. The first one looks like humans. They have arms, legs and head. According to the second method, they were built by stony piles.”

The biggest inuksugait had legs, arms and heads; they were placed on the top of mountains and they indicated meat caches. Far off, if you see smaller one, you can say “here is a cache”.

On the shore, the built inuksuit were considered as symbols by those who moved. If they wondered where to accost, they knew it then certainly. And those were used when the weather was bad.

Those who were only stony piles also had another function in aid of people who did not know the territory. If you get towards an inuksuk, you can see one then another one. If you simply follow them, you can join the camps.

[Extracted from Nunavimiutituulitiqsugit uqausignit, translation from Inuktitut]

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