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Inukshuks - The Meaningful Messengers

Is Olympic fever raging in your household? It certainly is in ours! Every night we can hardly wait to watch what is happening. Hubby walks through the door... down the stairs we go... dinner plates in hand. Between bites, we cheer those athletes on. Last night was a particularly good night... Canada struck Gold, Silver and Bronze and we jumped up and down like excited little kids on a sugar high.

When Canada won its first Gold Medal, the idea popped into my head to "plant" a Canadian flag in our front garden for every gold medal Canadians earned. I have a wonderful concrete casting of a "toonie" (Canada's two dollar coin) that nestles amongst the flowers in the front garden in the summer. It has become the centerpiece of my Gold Medal flag garden. The significance? Well, I am betting that "loonies" (our $1 coin) and "toonies" (our $2 coin) are buried all over the Olympic venues for good luck! After all, we are Canadians and it's just SO Canadian to do that! LOL

My neighbours seem to be getting a big kick out of my flag garden... no doubt shaking their heads, wondering what I will think up next! I am as excited as can be when I get to plant a new flag each time one of our athletes strikes gold. Here's an "updated" photo taken this morning...(please ignore the winter weeds LOL)






Now, you might be wondering what the title of this blog post has to do with the Olympics. Well, the inspiration for this week's main blog post came to me when a shot of the 2010 Olympic Logo with the symbol of an Inukshuk flashed across the screen.

Long before they designed this logo for the Olympics, I used the Inukshuk as my coaching practice logo. I love the meaning behind these raw but glorious pieces of Inuit art. The Inukshuk has been a personal talisman in my life for many years now. Little Inukshuks, made from stones that I have gathered from many of the beaches on Vancouver Island, are scattered in my gardens.

Over the next few days... to keep my posts shorter.... I would like to share with you an article I wrote a number of years ago that was published on my websites describing the meaning behind this symbol. Should you discover that you too, would like to have your own talisman after reading the entire blog post, I will share with you a small tutorial for making your own Inukshuk.

Inukshuks - The Meaningful Messenger

Pronounced IN-OOK-SHOOK and meaning "in the image of man", these magnificent lifelike figures of stone were originally erected by the Inuit people and are unique to the Canadian Arctic. Standing along Canada's most northern shores, they endure as eternal symbols of leadership, encouraging the importance of friendship and as a reminder of our dependence upon one another.

In the Baffin region of Canada's Arctic, the traditional meaning of an Inukshuk was to act as a compass or guide for a safe journey. The Inukshuk, like ancient trackers, helped guide people seeking their way through the wilderness. An Inukshuk on land with two arms and legs means there is a valley ahead. At the end of this valley, you will be able to go in two directions and you must chose the path to take. Today, this serves as a reminder that we always have a choice in the direction we choose to take in our lives.

Erected to make the way easier and safer for those who follow, an Inukshuk represents safety and nourishment, trust and reassurance. The Inukshuk guided people across the frozen Arctic tundra and gave them hope in barren places to handle hardships they encountered. These primitive stone images showed the way ahead...pointing you in the direction you wanted to go. Had they been able to speak, I am certain they would have said: "Here is the road. It is safe. You can meet the demands that this path holds. You can reach your goals and attain your vision of where you want to be."

The Next "Installment"

Stop by on Saturday to read the "rest of the story"... "What is True About the Inukshuk is True About People" and the "very easy" tutorial on how to make your own Inukshuk.


Cheers,
Sharon







3 comments:

  1. Hi Sharon, thanks for sharing. I like what you did with the mosaic twoonie and flags in your garden. And about those loonies and toonies in the olympic venues...LOL...wait till the snow is gone, although I won't be there to check, lol.
    About inuksuits (pl.), I've made a few of these as of late, although nothing like the Olympic Logo (which would be an infringement). I've made some on discs as well as little pebble ones from Polymer clay. The inukshuk is definitely a popular symbol, even in BC. Have a look at my link at the ones I made...scroll near bottom of post
    http://beadcomberjewelry.blogspot.com/2010/01/tofino-beach-drift-jewelry.html

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  2. Thanks for explaining about the Inukshuk and the loonies and toonies.

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  3. Hi Sharon,
    I LOVE the Inukshuk sculptures--powerful and fascinating, especially the huge ones.
    There's A beach at Cape Elizabeth Lighthouse in Maine that is very rocky, full of flat and oval stones of all sizes. Often people create and leave stone stacks, random balanced piles of of stones. I've made a few there myself-it's hard to resist.
    Thanks for this interesting post. I think there will be a trip to Cape E. in my near future.
    Linda

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