The Inuit culture relied on the sun and the stars to help them
navigate their way to and from home on water and land. They closely studied
both the day and the night sky and had a thorough knowledge of the positions
of the sun and stars at all times of the year. Because of this, the Inuit
could always look up to the sky to figure out exactly where they were
standing and what direction and distance they needed to travel to find
Being able to navigate by looking at the sky was extremely important
to the Inuit's food-finding techniques. Hunters relied on the
sun and stars to find their way home after long days hunting for
animals in the cold climate. The snow-covered ground often was
a help in navigating at night. The light of the moon and stars
in the sky would reflect off the white, icy ground, providing
as much light as on some dark days.
The Inuit also relied on the sky to keep time. The stars Altair
and Tarazed always appeared in the morning sky during the month of December.
When the Inuit saw Altair and Tarazed, they knew that the period of winter
darkness would soon end and the sun would return to the sky.