Talk:Inuksuk

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Merge[edit]

Merged inuksuk and inukshuk. -- Montrealais 04:38, 29 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Distinctions[edit]

I still don't understand the difference between 'inuksugaq and inukshuk. I was hoping the article would clarify what each of them means, how much their meanings overlap, and how the terms can be used contrastively.--Sonjaaa 03:22, 28 April 2006 (UTC)

There is little if any difference between them. It's more or less a variation in spelling due to the large number of Inuktitut dialects that are used across the Arctic. I live in Cambridge Bay and inukshuk is the word used here (and for the most part west of us) and you would never hear inuksugaq used. It would be considered an Eastern Artcic word by the people that live here. CambridgeBayWeather (Talk) 06:13, 28 April 2006 (UTC)
I don't know whether this is the best place for this or not. If not, somebody please move it. There seem to be a few different purposes for this kind of figure - inuksuk or similar - direction markers, ancestral remembrances and a few others that i have read. With some amount of research I have been unable to determine which of these purposes are original and which have been perhaps suggested by NonInuits. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Demarshall (talkcontribs) 16:31, 9 December 2012 (UTC)

Introductory paragraph[edit]

Following the debate concensus below (which I would have supported, by the way), I might reword the introductory paragraph. Currently it's describing an 'Inuksuk', and then says that the variation is 'Inukshuk'. I'll change it to describe an 'Inukshuk' and then state that it's a mis-spelling of 'Inuksuk'. It's more logical that way. I'll get around to that maybe tomorrow.

Built by humans?

Why does it say "built by humans"? Who else would have built them? Or is this to distinguish between a natural phenomenon? But it seems like the more obvious assumption upon seeing an Inuksuk is that it must have been built by humans. It seems like an unnecessary (and distracting) detail.

There is no such thing as an InukSHUK[edit]

The common spelling "Inukshuk" is incorrect, as there is no 'H', nor any 'shhh' sound in Inuktitut.

Why is inuksuk redirecting here? Why is "inukshuk" never used in the article, nor in other languages or the commons? I think this page ought to be a redirect to inuksuk, and I think there is evidence enough to move it. -- Sy / (talk) 00:03, 17 May 2006 (UTC)

The following discussion is an archived debate of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the debate was no consensus. —Nightstallion (?) 11:16, 23 May 2006 (UTC)

Requested move[edit]

  • InukshukInuksukRationale: There is no 'h' sound in the Inuktitut language. "Inukshuk" is a common typo. This article in other language as well as on the wikimedia commons all use "inuksuk". … Please share your opinion at Talk:Inukshuk. -- Sy / (talk) 00:09, 17 May 2006 (UTC)

Survey[edit]

Add *Support or *Oppose followed by an optional one-sentence explanation, then sign your opinion with ~~~~
  • Support -- All other language links and the wikimedia commons use "Inuksuk". -- Sy / (talk) 00:09, 17 May 2006 (UTC)
  • Oppose, this is how it is spelled in English. Adam Bishop 02:34, 17 May 2006 (UTC)
  • Support. There is not an "English" spelling, as it is a non-English word. There are just interpretations of the word into our alphabet, Inuksuk being the one that's actually pronounced correct. -- Consumed Crustacean | Talk | 22:23, 17 May 2006 (UTC)
  • Oppose the common English spelling is "Inukshuk" and it is a borrowed word into English, and appears in Canadian English. 132.205.94.75 01:53, 18 May 2006 (UTC)
  • Opposed The word, at this time, is part of the English language, even if the spelling was borrowed incorrectly. Even the Government of Nunavut, who have the most to gain by using the correct spelling, list it indirectly as an English word. I do suspect that over a period of time the word inuksuk will gain the upper hand, but right now it is only one of at least three different spellings. To move this would also suggest that igloo be moved to iglu as the second is the correct Inuinnaqtun/Inuktitut spelling. This also applies to kayak being moved to kajaq, saqqit or qajavialuk depending on which dialect you wish to use. All of the terms can be searched through the Government supported Asuilaak Living Dictionary CambridgeBayWeather (Talk) 09:14, 19 May 2006 (UTC)

Discussion[edit]

Add any additional comments

Well it seems the Government of Nunavut supports at least three spellings of it. I was surprised to find that Inukshuk was listed at Asuilaak Living Dictionary but that inuksuk is listed as a North Baffin (Tununiq Dialect) dialect. So it would appear that according to the dictionary inukshuk is the English version and inukhuk is the Inuinnaqtun version. It is of course possible that there may be other versions of the speeling based on other dialects. CambridgeBayWeather (Talk) 00:58, 18 May 2006 (UTC)

There's no H sound in this word in English either. What is your point? Adam Bishop 02:34, 17 May 2006 (UTC)
Um. "Englishh". There's no "shh" sound in Inuktitut. Inukshhuk isn't the proper pronunciation, so it seems weird to use it as the spelling. -- Sy / (talk) 03:49, 18 May 2006 (UTC)
Yes yes, I was just being pedantic, "sh" is just the spelling, there is no actual "h" sound. Adam Bishop 04:16, 18 May 2006 (UTC)

Here's a widely seen thing showing Canadian English usage of inukshuk :

Note that the inukshuk is the official symbol of the 2010 Winter Olympics and is spelt with an h. The corresponding google search without an h results in a handful of hits [1]. 132.205.45.110 03:04, 19 May 2006 (UTC)

The item used on the Vancouver logo is an inunguak not an inukhut, which is why I changed the picture. CambridgeBayWeather (Talk) 09:14, 19 May 2006 (UTC)

The point I was trying to make, is that Canadians have long used the word and term Inukshuk, as opposed to its appropriate spelling and pronounciation, Inuksuk. I have a problem with the argument that because it is widely found on the internet as being spelled Inukshuk, it must be right. The only ones that can be truly right, are those that speak the language. INUIT. If an Inuk tells you it is spelled InukSUK, then it is right. It is our language. I am hoping that by adding these changes to the Wikipedia encyclopedia we can then teach others the difference. Our language is important to us and using it properly in the media is also important. Also, it is embarrassing that the use of the symbol for the Vancouver Olympics is being so widely broadcasted as an Inukshuk. Its a blatant example of ignorance of minority cultures in Canada. And you'll notice, in the actual Wikipedia Article, I have gone through it and provided all proper spellings, and that my proposal is to change it to Inuksuk, not because there is no 'h' sound, but because there is no letter or symbol representing the 'h' as would be found in english. I pointed out that there is no 'shhh' sound, as in other dialects there is an 'h' sound used. If further clarification is needed, I can offer up some information provided by Inuktitut Linguists, those that have studied the evolution of the language and the intricacies of each syllable and how it is used to portray a SPECIFIC meaning. Tuurnaq1281

The above discussion is preserved as an archive of the debate. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The Canadian Press[edit]

This should settle the spelling debate. The book CAPS and SPELLING by the Canadian Press uses and recommends Inukshuk, with sh and with always capitalized I. This is the style used by journalists across Canada, which is the country with the most Inukshuks in it. :)--Sonjaaa 19:12, 1 September 2006 (UTC)

comments from 204.60.101.194[edit]

the inuksuk portrayed in the olympic logo is IDENTICAL to that which stands at the top of Whistler Mountain, site of the 2010 winter olympic downhill ski competition.

original quote: An inunnguaq forms the basis of the logo of the 2010 Winter Olympics designed by Vancouver artist Elena Rivera MacGregor; its use in this context has been controversial, both among the Inuit and the First Nations of British Columbia. Although the design is under question, it is widely acknowledged that it pays tribute to the inuksuk that stands at Vancouver's English Bay, which was created by artisan Alvin Kanak of Rankin Inlet, Northwest Territories (which is now in the territory of Nunavut that separated from the Northwest Territories in 1999.)

Superfriends[edit]

Why is no mention made of the Superfriends superhero Apache Chief in the modern usage section? The phrase 'inukshuk' (with any number of misspellings, such as 'inukchuk' or 'enuch chuck') has become quite popular in geek culture for the way it refers to the cheesy 'minoriteam' heroes added to the Superfriends lineup with no regard to their culture or the meanings of their names. As a sort of followup, 'inukshuk' is also used the activate the Justice League of America character Manitou Raven's superhuman growth powers. 71.232.25.117 17:02, 24 December 2006 (UTC)

Spelling: "Sh" or "s"[edit]

I note the above discussion and hope that people are not too bored of the subject, but surely if the word has been determined to be naturalised as 'inukshuk' that form should be used in the body of the article, together with its English plural 'inukshuks'.
I am all for defending the (Canadian) English language and would resist 'iglu' vehemently, but 'igloo' is an honest attempt to represent the original word, whereas 'inukshuk' seems to me to be a simple blunder which does not deserve to be preserved for posterity.
--86.7.17.120 18:40, 23 March 2007 (UTC)

While I see the debate is over (though indecisive), I would support the spelling "Inuksuk" for the following reasons:
  • According to the article, the Canadian Government and the Nunavut Government both call them "Inuksuk". That is probably as close as we can get to an official title for them, and it is common in Wikipedia to use the official title.
  • The closest policy I could find is Wikipedia:Naming conventions (places)#Follow local conventions, which states that "The testimony of locals and people familiar with the country should be considered above Google evidence."
  • I was not aware that the locals prefer the spelling "Inuksuk" until reading it in this article. Oftentimes I learn the preferred/correct title for a term (such as a TV show (or episode), film, book, etc.) by searching for the title as I remember it, and finding that the actual name was something quite different. For example, The Pina Colada Song forwards to Escape (Rupert Holmes song).
  • At some point in history, people decided to stop calling them "Eskimos" and call them by their preferred name "Inuit", despite the fact that 'Eskimos' was the "English" name, as was defended by others.
-- RealGrouchy (talk) 03:29, 24 August 2008 (UTC)
I'll move the page to Inuksuk. Any objections? --Saippuakauppias 06:14, 16 March 2010 (UTC)
As per Wikipedia:Article titles#Common names the article should remain here. Inukshuk is still the most common English language name as opposed to inuksuk or Inukhuk. I see that the Asuilaak Living Dictionary still lists the word as being English. something lame from CBW 09:26, 16 March 2010 (UTC)

O Canada?[edit]

This article suggests inuksuk are endemic to Canada alone.

Not true.

The building of stone cairns, whether called inuksuk or not, extends across Greenland, North America (including Alaska) and into much of Siberia.

I find this article highly partisan to Canadian interests, perhaps in large part because the authors of this piece probably hail from Canada. Even then, it needs serious expansion to include every region in which inuksuks are commonplace and culturally significant.

69.178.38.95 (talk) 09:46, 20 November 2007 (UTC)chuck thompson

This article, though, is specifically about inuksuit in Canada. Wikipedia also has an article about cairns, which has broader scope, and specific culturally-significant cairns, such as Mongolian Ovoo. The inukshuk is culturally and historically important to Canada, so an article specific to this type of cairn exists to describe those details, which would overwhelm the more general article about cairns. There's no reason we can't have both. Mindmatrix 14:46, 20 November 2007 (UTC)
But the Inuit also live in Alaska, Greenland, and Siberia. It would seem reasonable that inuksuk exist in those places. The article says they exist in Alaska and Greenland (not Siberia) but only mentions examples and pictures of inuksuk in Canada. Hypertall (talk) 23:57, 4 December 2010 (UTC)

How to make one?[edit]

Does any one have tips on making one? —Preceding unsigned comment added by 24.138.55.15 (talk) 01:13, 14 January 2008 (UTC)

It would be good to know if there are common forms, shapes, materials, themes etc. Can anyone add something:
*Septegram*Talk*Contributions* 20:24, 29 August 2008 (UTC)

Proliferation[edit]

Perhaps more could be added about the extreme proliferation of inuksuit, at least in certain areas. I recently drove along the roadway from Thunder Bay to Sault Ste Marie, and there were hundreds if not thousands of these formations along the way, mostly perched atop the roadway cuts through stone. In some areas it seemed that nearly half of such cuts had at least one inuksuk. Is this just the work of hikers and bikers, or has it become some cause? This is a piece of roadway that can be quite distant from any town, and the inuksuit do not seem to be concentrated near any one location, but spread randomly through the several hundred miles. Any studies on this? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Mzalar (talkcontribs) 12:09, 27 August 2008 (UTC)

I'm not familar with that particular route (haven't done it since I was, oh, 12), but I can vouch that there are also quite a few along Highway 69 between Sudbury and Parry Sound. You're right that there should probably be content in the article on this, but I'm not sure there are very many strong sources exploring why they've become so prevalent. (And even their existence isn't really websourced by much other than personal observations, photographs and blog entries at this point.) Bearcat (talk) 16:03, 16 September 2008 (UTC)
I agree that it would be a fascinating addition to the article, but I also agree with Bearcat that we would need to adhere to adhere to the rules set out in WP:RS and WP:OR. Consequently, it might be difficult to add anything at this point, beyond the current mention in the article of inuksuit driving park officials nuts. Skeezix1000 (talk) 16:10, 16 September 2008 (UTC)
I concur with Bearcat and Skeezix1000, and I'll also note having sighted numerous inuksuit along Highway 69 too. Mindmatrix 17:11, 16 September 2008 (UTC)
Reliable sources speaking, I know an article published in a peer-reviewed journal of ethnology (Material Culture Review, formerly Material History Review) by a PhD Student in Folklore who studied the phenomena of inuksuit erected by visitors to outdoor sites around the city of St John's, Newfoundland :
Lynne McNeill, « "Traces of Coming and Going": The Contemporary Creation of Inuksuit on the Avalon Peninsula », Material History Review / Revue d'histoire de la culture matérielle, no 60 (fall 2004), p. 48-57.
You can read the article online. The first page is here. BeatrixBelibaste (talk) 13:00, 17 September 2008 (UTC)
Thanks. That's almost certain to yield a few eminently citable statements about the phenomenon, but it might take a bit of time to read and process and figure out how best to integrate something from it. Bearcat (talk) 05:49, 1 October 2008 (UTC)
Are there any sources that indicate some Inuit don't like the practice? CambridgeBayWeather Have a gorilla 10:59, 1 October 2008 (UTC)
Yes, there is a sign at Bruce Peninsula National Park, right at the top of the cliff near the Grotto, that says that Inuksuks and other stone cairns are the property of Inuit people, and it goes on to describe how it is offensive to them to build stone cairns, and visitors should stop. I built one right next to the sign in spite :) moeburn (talk) 12:22, 16 March 2014 (UTC)

Removed claim[edit]

Removed the following claim as poorly sourced: "On a commercial level, a local stone quarry built an inuksuk in Schomberg, Ontario as an attraction.[18] It is the largest in the world.[19]" But I'm putting the information back into the article (with a proper source) because it actually is listed in GBWR. Even so, it is a pretty shameless publicity stunt.

I also rearranged the paragraphs in the Modern usage section, trying to group similar things. Frankly, it could still use a lot of tightening up. The article seems to have a balance problem, without due weight being given to the original cultural significance and use of inuksuit. Richigi (talk) 18:47, 1 January 2013 (UTC)

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Requested move 2 December 2019[edit]

The following is a closed discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. Editors desiring to contest the closing decision should consider a move review after discussing it on the closer's talk page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

The result of the move request was: No consensus. (non-admin closure) Cwmhiraeth (talk) 14:30, 10 December 2019 (UTC)



InuksukInukshuk – As per WP:OFFICIALNAMES, Wikipedia does not necessarily use the subject's "official" name as an article title. I don't think anyone would dispute that "inukshuk" is the most common name. The fact that it's an unfaithful conversion of the original word to English doesn't change the fact that it is the most commonly used word in English. According to Google Trends, inukshuk is clearly dominant and always has been (in Canada or world wide). Google search results are 1,740,000 for inukshuk and 943,000 for inuksuk. Personally, this article is the first time in my life I see it spelled "Inuksuk" and pluralized as "inuksuit". Akeosnhaoe (talk) 03:04, 2 December 2019 (UTC)

  • Comment. Just in case anybody missed it there is Talk:Inuksuk#Requested move. Then this, this, this, this and was then moved here. Ping Maunus and Bearcat. CambridgeBayWeather, Uqaqtuq (talk), Sunasuttuq 14:39, 2 December 2019 (UTC)
  • Opppose. COMMONNAME is not simply a matter of counting up the Google hits and defaulting to whichever one happens to have more.
    Firstly, 943K to 1.7M is not an overwhelming usage consensus — mathematically, that's a split decision, not a mic drop. Consensus is more than just counting heads FPTP-style — even for internal Wikipedia process, sometimes even 2/3 support for one option over another (which 943K/1.7M falls short of) can be not enough to establish a consensus depending on the issues at hand. Consensus not just a vote, it's an agreement, and can require a lot more than just tallying numbers and declaring a winner.
    Secondly, we also take into account factors like the reliable source status of the hits. If you find 95 hits for Option A which are all people's personal websites on Wix or Squarespace, and just five hits for Option B which are all real reliable sources, then what you have is not a 95 per cent preponderance for Option A — you have a 100 per cent preponderance for Option B, because Option B is what the reliable sources are using. Which is another reason why we don't just count the Google hits and declare a winner on the numbers: we have to carefully evaluate the value of the hits being found, and count some hits as more authoritative than others.
    Thirdly, we also consider usage shifts. While I am able to find genuinely reliable source media hits for both "inuksuk" and "inukshuk", what I'm noticing about them is that the "inukshuk" hits are all older, and the "inuksuk" hits are all current. Exactly like "aboriginal vs. indigenous" and "transsexual vs. transgender", media have moved over the past decade — so recent sources count for more than older ones do.
    And fourthly, COMMONNAME isn't even the invariable trump card in a naming dispute in the first place: we have all kinds of content on Wikipedia where for various reasons, articles have been placed at something other than the name that's technically more common. Plant and animal species are frequently located at their Latin names rather than their English ones. Radio and television stations are placed at their legal call signs rather than their on-air brand names. We usually keep the diacritics on people whose names are spelled under foreign language conventions, even if English-language sources would sometimes drop them. And on and so forth; we have a lot of situations where we use something other than the name that would technically win a Google-hit contest.
    And what people type when they're searching for something is completely irrelevant to the process: humans do not have a known pattern of being consistently reliable spellers, so we look at the hits rather than the guesses. By comparison, we're not going to move Iqaluit to "Iqualuit" just because some Google searchers think it's spelled that way and search for it accordingly — we're going to use the correct spelling, while maintaining a redirect from the wrong one so that the people who typed it wrong will still find the right article.
    So no, just because "inukshuk" technically gets more Google hits than "inuksuk" does not decide this in and of itself — we have to consider a lot of other things besides just raw numbers, and once all of other those things are taken into account it's not nearly as clear-cut as it might look on the surface. Bearcat (talk) 15:05, 2 December 2019 (UTC)

The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page or in a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.