Do these mysterious ancient carvings represent the faces of "devils" or rather unknown mysterious beings that once in the past visited this place?
Who were these creatures? What happened to them?
Some say they were giants...
The rock carvings of Qajartalik have been vandalized by fundamental Christians and others who believe they are the work of the devil, and it is of great importance
that this priceless ancient legacy is properly protected for future generations.
Qajartalik is located about 15 km from the community of Kangiqsujuaq, formerly known as Wakeham
Bay. On its 120-metre-long kayak-shaped ridge, there are carvings that some have dubbed "devil's faces." This ancient sacred place is also called
"the Island of the Stone Devils".
There are 170 carved faces at this site. Precise methods were used in their production, and most of them are symmetrical.
Is it really possible to carve the faces in hard stones with help of microblades, endblades, scrapers and knives or were more sophisticated instruments used to
preserve the faces of the arrivals for years to come?
Avataq Cultural Institute began archaeological studies of the petroglyphs in 1996.
According to scientists working with carvings, these are only left legacy after the extinct Dorset culture.
It is estimated these enigmatic carvings were created 800 to 2,000 years ago.
Were such primitive tools used to create the carvings in stone?
"If you count how many faces, you can go as far as 170 faces and all of them are different, but
they look from the same age," Louis Gagnon from the Avataq Institute said.
"They were probably made at the same period. So, this is very, very special. We tried to understand why they were made like that …
It means something. And especially as you cannot find other faces like that anywhere else in the North," he continued.
Who was he?
The Avataq Institute would like to see the area monitored and protected, and possibly restricted. The heritage was damaged by vandals who came to the place with
an axe or perhaps knives.
"There were a lot of soapstone chunks missing, and a lot of gouges made with an axe or a knife,"
"It was terrible," Robert Frechette, the director of Pingualuit Park said.
Many carvings were destroyed.
It is essnetial to protect this sensitive site.
The faces resemble tiny engraved masks often associated with the so called Dorset, or Tuniit, culture.
It is believed the Dorset culture flourished in the Eastern Arctic over 1,000 years ago. The first people documented to have lived in the Iqaluit area were the
Dorset culture people.
The stone faces are still a mystery.
Inuit refer to these people as giants, the Tuuniit, in their oral history and legends. Archaeologists
have found the remains of Dorset settlements at several locations in and around the present town site.
Some display cat-like features and seem to have horns. Lines radiate from many of the mouths, perhaps symbolizing the breath of a shaman.
Many small carvings are found at Dorset sites. The masks, drums and carved teeth often found were
probably the property of a shaman. Many carvings seem to have magical or religious
connotations signify the importance of religion to these people.
Unknown beings visited this region.
Because of the look of these faces, some local people say "the devil" controls Qajartalik.
However, these engravings may simply represent the faces of the Dorset people who lived in the region and carved faces into the soapstone each time
they used some of it for lamps or other objects. The so-called "horns" may simply represent the peaks of their traditional hooded garments.
According to some residents the petroglyphs are of pagan origin and the place is "invaded" evil spirits. Scientists believe that the Dorset
culture, extinct now, was an artistically advanced civilization that may have been driven from the eastern Arctic by the Thule, the ancestors of today's Inuit.
Yet, there are still many intriguing questions. Who were these beings and where did they come from? Were they giants? What kind of technology did
the ancient use to carve these faces into hard stone? A
Qajartalik's faces are the most unique carvings located that far in north and these enigmatic faces remain a mystery.
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