STORIES IN STONE: St. Andrews Area Inukshuk

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The word inuksuk means “something which acts for or performs the function of a person”. The word comes from the morphemes inuk (“person”) and -suk (“ersatz” or “substitute”). It is pronounced inutsukin Nunavik and the southern part of Baffin Island (see Inuit phonology for the linguistic reasons). In many of the central Nunavut dialects, it has the etymologically related name inuksugaq (plural: inuksugait).

Despite the predominant English spelling as inukshuk, both the Government of Nunavut and the Government of Canada through Indian and Northern Affairs Canada are promoting the Inuit-preferred spelling inuksuk.

A structure similar to an inuksuk but meant to represent a human figure, called an inunnguaq (ᐃᓄᙳᐊᖅ, “imitation of a person”, plural inunnguat), has become widely familiar to non-Inuit. However, it is not the most common type of inuksuk. It is distinguished from inuksuit in general. (wikipedia.org)

 


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