I didn’t know they had a fancy name or an ancient history. They simply called to me from the water’s edge and I found myself stacking them, one upon the other. I’ve done it for as long as I can remember. I called it rock art.
When we go camping along a river or at the ocean I go hunting for rocks so I can make rock art. I don’t just make one or two stone stacks – I make them by the dozens, creating stone villages. It’s a meditative process for me – a connection to nature.
A few years ago at a party I learned my rock art had ancient roots. I shared a picture of all the stones I’d stacked by the river and my friend commented, “fabulous inuksuit”.
“Huh?” I replied with a raised eyebrow.
And so he went on to explain that the stacking of stones has ancient roots with the native Inuit tribe in northern Alaska. The ancient people used the stones as guideposts in the arctic landscape and to mark their hunting grounds and food cache. Inuksuit (plural) have been found dating back as far as 2400 BCE.
Last year, on a camping trip to Ruby Beach on the rugged Pacific Northwest coast, I found my tribe – rock artists. I was in awe when I hiked down to the beach and found Inuksuit for as far as the eye could see!
Every horizontal surface had inuksuit. Every log and piece of driftwood had stones stacked one upon the other. I joined in and stacked rocks with the others. No words were spoken, none were needed. We were all of like mind – the artist’s mind, connecting with and creating from nature.
Once you start stacking stones you’ll never look at rocks the same way….just sayin’. Give it a try. Create some art and connect with your ancient ancestors. It’s good for you – mind, body, and soul.