Meet the moai of easter island

Rapa Nui (Easter Island) Moai Cast | AMNH

meet the moai of easter island

Read and learn for free about the following article: Easter Island Moai. Rapa Nui (Easter Island) is famous for its rows of moai, towering figures of deified ancestors that were carved in quarries, then moved to a platform on the water's. a stroll through the village, and make friends with all whom he met. Moreover, he had . Go to the next page. Excerpt from “Meet the Moai of Easter Island”.

With the adoption of Christianity in the s, the remaining standing moai were toppled. Their backs to the sea This example was probably first displayed outside on a stone platform ahu on the sacred site of Orongo, before being moved into a stone house at the ritual center of Orongo.

Meet the Moai of Easter Island | Budget Travel

It would have stood with giant stone companions, their backs to the sea, keeping watch over the island. Its eyes sockets were originally inlaid with red stone and coral and the sculpture was painted with red and white designs, which were washed off when it was rafted to the ship, to be taken to Europe in Islanders helped the crew to move the statue, which has been estimated to weigh around four tons.

It was moved to the beach and then taken to the Topaze by raft. Hoa Hakananai'a is similar in appearance to a number of Easter Island moai. It has a heavy eyebrow ridge, elongated ears and oval nostrils.

meet the moai of easter island

The clavicle is emphasized, and the nipples protrude. The arms are thin and lie tightly against the body; the hands are hardly indicated. In the British Museum, the figure is set on a stone platform just over a meter high so that it towers above the visitor. It is carved out of dark grey basalt—a hard, dense, fine-grained volcanic rock. The surface of the rock is rough and pitted, and pinpricks of light sparkle as tiny crystals in the rock glint. Basalt is difficult to carve and unforgiving of errors.

The sculpture was probably commissioned by a high status individual.

meet the moai of easter island

He has a prominent eyebrow ridge shadowing the empty sockets of his eyes. The nose is long and straight, ending in large oval nostrils. The thin lips are set into a downward curve, giving the face a stern, uncompromising expression.

A faint vertical line in low relief runs from the centre of the mouth to the chin.

Meet the Moai of Easter Island

The jawline is well defined and massive, and the ears are long, beginning at the top of the head and ending with pendulous lobes. The figure's collarbone is emphasized by a curved indentation, and his chest is defined by carved lines that run downwards from the top of his arms and curve upwards onto the breast to end in the small protruding bumps of his nipples.

The arms are held close against the side of the body, the hands rudimentary, carved in low relief. Crammed into that compact space are more than moai, each of which, it's said, took a team of six men more than a year to complete, and as many as to transport and raise. The challenge of moving the moai, I learned, might explain the island's deforestation: A theory goes that during the heyday of moai construction, all the jungles were felled for wood to create a transport system of rolling logs greased by sweet potato pulp.

Shockingly, none of the statues are in the least bit protected from the elements or vandals. Still, it's an unspoken rule for visitors to heed the don't-upset-the-spirits vibe and keep their distance.

meet the moai of easter island

That first day, I set out on foot and quickly encountered the best-known moai. Standing at attention in uniform clusters atop platforms that fringe the shore, they face landward, silently observing.

meet the moai of easter island

Tales abound about why these commanding figures were created—and range from the spiritual to memorialize ancestorsto the reverential in honor of powerful chiefsto the far-fetched the work of industrious extraterrestrials.

I spent entire days traversing from one coast to the other without encountering a single human being. The sense of quietude was at first unnerving, and I often met up with other solo travelers for meals on the main drag and moai-trekking.

But then I started to like being alone. One morning, I toured Orongo, a petroglyph-filled ceremonial village hugging the edges of a peninsula complete with a vertigo-inducing foot drop straight to the sea.

Another, I hit one of only two publicly accessible beaches, a remote crescent with an undertow that made reading more appealing than bodysurfing. For my last day, I had saved one of the island's most compelling spots: Rano Raraku, the collapsed volcano where most of the moai were quarried. As I scaled the slopes to take in the eerie crater lake hidden behind the hills I was walking on, I was suddenly surrounded by hundreds of partially carved moai.

Close to half of the island's statues are here, some lurching forward, others nearly toppled, all frozen in various states of completion. On my descent, I came across the largest moai yet, an unfinished mass still resting on its back.

Had El Gigante ever been chiseled free and erected, it would have stood as tall as a seven-story building.

Looking at an ancient relic equal in size to a skyscraper brought me to a place I hadn't anticipated. All of a sudden, I couldn't wait to return to my congested, noisy world back home. When to Go The island's summer, December through April, is ideal, with highs around What to Pack A windbreaker—it's gusty year-round—walking shoes, and sunblock.

Meeting the Moai of Easter Island | Wanderlust

It's also worth bringing any over-the-counter medications you might need—resources here are limited. Where to Stay Vai Moana, a low-key hotel with 18 rooms set in bungalows vai-moana. It was my dream, and it lived up to expectations. I found the island mysterious and very magical.