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
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.
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.
another cool Inukshuk on the coast of Labrador!
more information about this unique and historic
cultural tradition, click here.
Rod Ness 09/3/06
Posted on RoadTrip America 10/06