NMSAT :: Networked Music & SoundArt Timeline

ca - 1000 BC __ Inuksuit
Comment : Inuksuit are among the most important objects created by the Inuit who were the first people to inhabit portions of Alaska, Arctic Canada, and Greenland. The term Inuksuk (the singular of Inuksuit) means ‘to act in the capacity of a human’. It is an extension of Inuk, meaning a human being. These stone figures were placed on the temporal and spiritual landscapes. Among many practical functions, they were employed as hunting and navigation aids, coordination points, indicators, and message centers. The Inuit are the descendants of what anthropologists call the Thule culture, who emerged from western Alaska around 1000 AD.Inuksuit vary not only in size and shape but also in their functions. One was to drive herds of game to where they would be killed in numbers. Another was to guide the hunter travelling on land, or on the sea or ice within sight of land. There are places in the Arctic where networks of inuksuit reach from the interior to the sea, and along the coast in both directions. Some inuksuit were built to serve as message centres. They could indicate, for example, dangerous places, the depth of snow, the direction of the mainland from an island where seals or fish could be taken. These inuksuit were designed to be messages fixed in time and space. Others were personal notes left on the landscape -- perhaps for a wife to follow her husband at a later date, or as an expression of grief marking the place where a loved one perished. (Canadian Museum of Civilization.)
Source : Hallendy, Norman (2000), “Inuksuit, Silent Messengers of the Arctic”, University of Washington Press / Douglas and McIntyre, Seattle / Vancouver and Toronto.
Urls : http://www.arcticinuitart.com/culture/inuk.html (last visited )

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