Bending the Boyne: a Novel of Ancient Ireland
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Forum: Stones Forum|
Moderated by : Andy B , TimPrevett , coldrum , Klingon , MickM , TheCaptain , bat400 , davidmorgan , Runemage , SolarMegalith , sem
Respond to: Inukshuks - Logo for Vancouver Olympics
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from South Central Indiana, US
| New Message Posted!2010-03-02 04:54  |
The portal's photo of an Inuksuk.
It was built for the Field Museum by the same Peter Irniq quoted in the news item Runemage posted, above.
The cairn in the photo is "man sized" at about 5 feet tall.
If I am recalling the "controversy" about the use of the "inunnguaq" (a man shaped cairn) as the Vancouver Olympic symbol it is three-fold:
First, there is the complaint of Peter Irniq that the "inunnguaq" is associated with a murder or suicide. (Curiously Nunavut's suicide rate is much higher than the rate anywhere else in Canada.) However the Olympic symbol appears to be based on a specific, large human shaped inuksuk built by Nunavut artisan Alvin Kanak for a Vancouver park. And the word "inuksuk" actually seems to mean "something that takes the place of a person", its your stand-in out in the wildreness, pointing the way, I guess. Again the tie with a person seems really close.
Second, if you watched the opening ceremony of the Olympics, you'll remember that four First Nations groups, whose traditional lands include area of Olympic events, had representatives that welcomed the athletes and visitors, and who sat in the reviewing stand with the other heads of state. There was some controversy that the Olympic symbol should be associated with symbols of the Vancouver area's First Nations groups - and not with an Inuit symbol from Nunavut. (However, the Nunavut inuksuk is fast becoming another symbol of Canada, like the maple leaf.)
Lastly, there was a very vocal group of Canadians and people from British Columbia who were very much against the Olympic bid because of the high cost of being the host. A small minority of the anti-Olympics group were First Nations protesters. The use of the symbol, to them, was another example of non-natives co-oping First Nations heritage.
from Surrey, UK
| New Message Posted!2010-03-01 14:10  |
Good one thanks.
...spiritual symbols, à la Stonehenge
Hmmm, is that French for 'like Stonehenge' (oh dear)
| New Message Posted!2010-02-28 19:08  |
Interesting article, thanks Angie.
Of course, the internet being what it is, here's a different opinion
A former commissioner of the Canadian Arctic territory of Nunavut, Irniq was born and raised in igloos, and has built many inukshuks over the years. More recently, he's built them for museums. Irniq says the meaning of the inukshuk is straightforward: It's a symbol of survival.
"[Inukshuks] have always been built in areas of good hunting for caribou, good hunting for seal and good fishing spots," he says. When he was younger and traveling in the Arctic, he says, the sight of an inukshuk was always reassuring, because it meant he was traveling in a place where others had found game.
Irniq is put off by the Olympic logo because of its human form. Its fat legs and outstretched arms make it look a little like a hockey goalie, and the head has a hint of a smile. Irniq says his people rarely stacked rocks to resemble humans.
"It's a symbol of the fact that someone may have, um, committed suicide or someone may have murdered somebody at that spot," he says.
If people are interested in looking at an example of an inukshuk that's not associated with death, he says, they should look at the flag of Nunavut, which features a more traditional inukshuk."
I've flicked through several articles, of course the one I didn't save a url for I thought was the best - apparrently the inukshuks were built as waymarkers and if you stood or looked between the legs of one, you'd see the next one on your trail.
from Newton Abbot, Devon
| New Message Posted!2010-02-28 15:32  |
"Olympic logo design sparks contention."
That's the title of an amusing piece that came up on my 'Stonehenge' Google Search today.
The actual Inukshuks... (see link):
... are cute piles of stone, which, though initially appealing from a design aspect [and I thought of Japan or China at first], also represent a human figure with outstreched arms.
"The Inuits and other First Nations' tribes in the Arctic Circle region of Canada have long used inukshuks as all-purpose symbols. They can be comprised of one stone or many, depending on how you like your inukshuks.
According to Vancouver Olympic organizers, the one being featured on their logo - and which in typical Olympic fashion they're marketing as "Ilanaaq", meaning friend in Inuit - represents "the eternal expression of the hospitality of a nation that warmly welcomes the people of the world with open arms every day."
In the Arctic, they're sometimes used as navigational aids. Apparently, when you're lost in the tundra, where there aren't any natural guideposts, and very little of anything but endless snow, a stack of rocks is a welcome sight.
Others say they also can be spiritual symbols, à la Stonehenge; or the means by which tribes set the boundaries of their hunting territories; or memorials to departed loved ones."
The last two paragraphs no doubt echo the reasons for the erection of standing stones in Britain and Europe.