Inunnguaq silhouetted against the Northern Lights in Barren Lands, Northwest Territories, Canada
© Mark Duffy/Alamy Stock Phot
Arctic lightshow. A celestial show in Arctic Canada
We’re enjoying a celestial show here in Arctic Canada, which boasts more than its fair share of Northern Lights at this time of year. But what is that structure silhouetted against the green sky? It looks a lot like an inukshuk, a monument built by the Inuit people who were the first to inhabit this region. These stacked stone structures are an integral part of Inuit culture and an important form of communication – used for example to warn of danger or indicate where food is hidden.
However this particular figure, while commonly mistaken for an inukshuk, is actually an inunnguaq, which means ‘in the likeness of a human’. It is also a popular cultural symbol, that was used as an emblem for the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver.