From My Lens

Inuksuit – Old School Navigation

Inuksuit – Old School Navigation

Inuksuit Inuksuk - Old School Navigation

Back before hand-held GPS devices were readily available, we used to mark our trail by occasionally breaking a tree branch or tying a piece of surveyors tape to a limb. Hansel and Gretel left a trail of breadcrumbs to help them find their way home, and we all know how well worked.

A barren landscape combined with a sun that refuses to rise or set (as the seasons go) makes navigating in the far north a bit of a challenge. While this may look like an ordinary stack of rocks, these inuksuit (plural) have been used for thousands of years in the deep north where there are precious few natural landmarks.

Inuksuit have been used as landmarks to identify game trails, fertile hunting grounds, food caches, safe or dangerous river crossings, or serve as caution warnings. As navigation aids, inuksuit serve as a compass showing the way home or to a navigational point of reference such as true north or the north star.

Inuksuit – slightly heavier than a GPS… but you won’t have to worry about your batteries dying. 🙂

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October 2, 2009 - Posted by | Digital Buffet | , , , ,

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