Wednesday, 3 September 2008

Canada in Every Bite

Friends of ours just returned from spending the summer at their house in Vancouver. As a gift, they brought J a Inuksuk building kit. I have a handcrafted soapstone Inuksuk that my mum bought us last year in Victoria and I adore the compelling symbolism of this iconic Canadian symbol.

Inuksuk are stone landmarks used as signposts or directional markers by the Inuit of the Canadian Arctic. Dominated by permafrost, the Arctic Circle has few natural landmarks and inuksuk have been central to navigation across it. They vary in shape and size, and are an eternal symbol with deep roots in the Inuit culture serving as sentinels signifying safety, hope and friendship.

Inuksuk are increasingly serving as mainstream Canadian national symbols and it was lovely to explain their heritage and silent language to J. They are shown on the flag and coat of arms of the new Canadian territory of Nunavut, and are the logo of the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympic Games - an appropriate symbol of friendship and welcome.

My cherished soapstone Inuksuk should last longer than J's. His was made of maple shortbread and was dismantled as quickly as it was constructed.

1 comment:

Jawahara Saidullah said...

Awww...meaningful *and* yummy and gorgeous model to boot!