Definitions for inukshuk
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A structure of piled stones, designed to resemble a humanoid figure and traditionally constructed by the Inuit.
Origin: From ᐃᓄᒃᓱᒃ.
An inuksuk is a man-made stone landmark or cairn used by the Inuit, Inupiat, Kalaallit, Yupik, and other peoples of the Arctic region of North America. These structures are found from Alaska to Greenland. This region, above the Arctic Circle, is dominated by the tundra biome and has areas with few natural landmarks. The inuksuk may have been used for navigation, as a point of reference, a marker for travel routes, fishing places, camps, hunting grounds, places of veneration, drift fences used in hunting or to mark a food cache. The Inupiat in northern Alaska used inuksuit to assist in the herding of caribou into contained areas for slaughter. Varying in shape and size, the inuksuit have ancient roots in Inuit culture. Historically, the most common type of inuksuk is a single stone positioned in an upright manner. There is some debate as to whether the appearance of human- or cross-shaped cairns developed in the Inuit culture before the arrival of European missionaries and explorers. The size of some inuksuit suggest that the construction was often a communal effort.
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