The Inuksuk Book
Owl, 1999 (1999)
Read an Excerpt
Reviewed by Hilary Williamson
have been fascinated by
for some time, as they are remarkably similar to stone constructs that trekkers find marking trails in the Himalaya. Mary Wallace's beautifully illustrated
introduces us to these intriguing statues and explains their importance in Arctic communication.
rctic traveller Norman Hallendy introduces the Inuit as hunters who had to travel long distances in search of food, and for whom the
) were vital communicators - the name translates to '
thing that can act in the place of a human being
'. They save lives by showing the way, give warning of danger, mark a food cache, flag a place that deserves respect, and help in hunting caribou. Hallendy tells us that some Arctic
have stood for hundreds of years, and calls them gifts from the past.
ary Wallace tells us about Nunavut, the territory created in 1999 in the barren but beautiful northern lands. She explains the importance of
, different styles of building them, and the messages they carry. She discusses the Inuit lifestyle and how it is changing, paints a picture in words of the '
awesome light show
', the aurora, and talks about Inuit traditions relating to it. And she tells of the
satellite launched in 1990 to provide sophisticated communication links to the Inuit.
his is a fascinating book on a fascinating subject. At the back are instructions to '
Build Your Own Inuksuk
', as well as a guide to Inuktitut words.
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