How to Build an Inukshuk

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How to Build an Inukshuk

“Inukshuk” is a word from the Inuit language that translates to “To Act in the capacity of a human.”

It’s a human-like stone structure that is traditionally used by the Inuit people of Canada’s Arctic region as a marker or guide. Here are the basic steps to make a rock inukshuk:

Gather materials: You will need rocks that are flat on two sides of varying sizes. We have found some of the best places to gather Inukshuk rocks are near rock cuts for roads or rail. Of course, us caution if near cars or trains! We have found Kingston, Ontario’s limestone to be an amazing Inukshuk rock resource!

Building an inukshuk can be a trial-and-error process, as each rock is unique and may not fit together perfectly. As you place each rock, it’s essential to test its stability. You can wiggle it, move it around, and turn it if necessary to ensure that it stays in place. In some cases, a rock may not be suitable, and it may be necessary to find a different one.

The typical design of an inukshuk is made up of a foundation of two stones for the legs, a few longer, flatter stones for the body and arms, and one or two stones on top for the shoulders, neck, and head.

Choose a location: Look for a flat, open area with a good foundation of stones.

Arrange the stones: Begin by placing the largest stones on the bottom, using them as a foundation for the structure. Gradually add smaller stones, using a technique called “dry stacking” to balance them and create a stable structure.

Create the shape: Use the smaller stones to create the basic shape of the inukshuk, which is typically made up of a stack of stones with a stone balanced on top.

Step back and admire your work!

Remember to make sure your work is safe and stable and not a hazard to people or the environment.

The History of Inuksuk


Martin Smith
Author: Martin Smith

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Comments (2)

  • Nancy Bruce Reply

    I have been wanting to make a rock cairn and now that I have seen the Inukshuk info I definitely want to try this as well. Thanks for the great information. I Love Rocks!

    January 4, 2024 at 5:30 pm
    • Martin Smith Reply

      So happy it was of use to you! We would love to see how it turns out.

      January 4, 2024 at 7:00 pm

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