For many centuries, Inuit and their ancestors have been building beautiful rock structures across the Arctic and sub Arctic world, for a wide variety of reasons. Some show respect for a place or love for a person, or act as abodes for spirits when they visit the human world. Others have more banal uses, such as marking food caches or fishing or hunting spots or acting as landmarks for hunters or other travellers moving vast distances across the featureless tundra.
As well as having many uses, these mysterious stone figures have many names; the best known is inuksuk (plural inuksuit), which means “that which acts in the capacity of a human.” But not all Inuit stone figures are inuksuit; a better general word is tukilik (plural tukiliit), literally “they have meaning.” In Inuktitut, this refers to all meaningful stone objects, whatever or wherever they may be, anywhere in the world.
Tukiliit: The Stone People Who Live in the Wind is a companion to Inuksuit: Silent Messengers of the Arctic, Norman Hallendy's first book and the first serious study of these stone figures.
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