First historic stones of North America
When you live on the North American continent and you’re a historic stonelifter, the first thing most people will ask is “Do we have any Historic stones here?”
In 2017 I had just got back from lifting stones in Scotland and decided to really dig in and find if there were any truly historic lifting stones on the North American continent. After hundreds of hours searching to find if the Native Americans had any testing stones and coming up somewhat empty, I started in on the Inuit tribes of Northern Canada. Within a few days I was able to find a single picture (above) that was labeled ‘Weight lifting stone”. This started what has become a 6 year obsession of tracking down information, location, calling the locals of the area and plotting a very expensive trip to document the first liftable Historic lifting stones on my home continent and what could easily be the oldest liftable testing stones on earth.
The stone sits on a small island called Arvia’juaq on the West side of Hudson Bay in the Nanavut providence of Canada just 10 kilometers off the coast from the small town of Arviat. It is very difficult and expensive to get to this area as there are few flights and in small planes. As if that’s not enough, you are now in Polar Bear territory. The Apex predator of North America is all over this area and finds the island of Arvia’juaq a great place to eat seal and leftovers from Inuit kills of whales. A man was killed in front of his family in 2018 when a Polar bear on the island was going after his family and the man put himself between them and the bear saving his wife and kids life. So the threat is very real. I have talked to a man who will eventually be our guide to the island, he is considered one of the best hunters in the area and will keep us safe with a large caliber rifle. Here he is Above standing next to the stone for size comparison armed and ready.
One stone became two stones and then became 12 stones. After a ridiculous amount research and digging through the University of Calgary’s info and virtual tour of the Island I found that it wasn’t just the big white stone but two stones, a men’s and women’s testing stone. But I also found out what the test is. These two stones were to be walked from the bottom of the hill back to the resting place. From what I have read it started as a battle between two cousins to see who was stronger.
Then came the great news that this island had not just two weight lifting stones but 12! The University did an inventory and here were the results
As you can see it’s the cousins stones plus ten weight lifting stones. When I talked to my guide on the phone he told me that no one has lifted any of the stones since before the Dutch whalers sailed to the area in around 1600. This island is a sacred place where the Inuits ancestors used to visit in the summer. So we are talking the 1400-1500s were when these stones were lifted by the people who pre dated the caribou Inuit of today.
There are a few more locations that have testing stones in and around the Hudson bay area. The word used in reference to weight lifting stones in this area is “Kibvakattaq”. One of the places that I also did a lot of research on was Pelly Bay. Pelly Bay has a stone said to be 100kg that is still lifted regularly down by the docks. It was said to have been lifted by a women and carried up the beach to its present location. One thing to remember about these stones is that it requires permission from the local tribes. In the case of Arvia’juaq it will also require a couple day waiting period before being able to go to the island. Sort of like a settling time that is done for good Juju as these grounds are very important to their people and require you to use their customs. I could go on and on about this area, the Inuit that live there and their customs. But I wanted to give you the important stuff that applies to our love of historic lifting stones. If you have any questions I’m happy to answer.
Historic stone lifter/researcher firstname.lastname@example.org