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INUKSHUKS: CANADIAN for "HOWDY!"
Found throughout Canada, rock sculptures known as Inukshuks
Contributed by Rod & Judy Ness of Hermantown, Minnesota
Inukshuk

Throughout Canada, on the back road byways and on hiking trails, carefully constructed piles of rocks are a common sight. These rock cairns look different from the piles of rocks used to mark hiking trails elsewhere in the Americas. Known as Inukshuks, many can be seen in Ontario along Highways 17 and 71.

Inukshuk
Inukshuk

Inukshuk (ee-nook-shook) means "likeness of a person" in Inuktitut, the Inuit language. For many years they were created as directional beacons or aids in hunting caribou. Some are merely a single rock placed to point in the proper direction. Others have a hole in the center (like the one above on the left) to show the direction of the next Inukshuk, seen by looking through the hole.

Inukshuk
Inukshuk

These days, Inukshuks are often whimsical creations built as a way of saying howdy or perhaps merely, "I was here." Above right, Judy Ness leaves her greeting on a rock in Ontario.

Here's another cool Inukshuk on the coast of Labrador!

For more information about this unique and historic cultural tradition, click here.

[Map]

Photographed by Rod Ness 09/3/06
Posted on RoadTrip America 10/06



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