I’ve always been enamoured of this symbol. When hiking was a weekend ritual for me a few years back, I would create one along the way, or at the terminal end of a hike to signify my having been there. Fitting, then, that the word inukshuk translates to “substitute for a person.”
Inuksuit differ from some cairns in significance. The Arctic Circle, dominated by permafrost, has few natural landmarks and thus the inuksuk was central to navigation across the barren tundra.
Inuksuit vary in shape and size, and perform a diverse array of tasks. It is a symbol with deep roots in the Inuit culture, a directional marker that signifies safety, hope and friendship.