- 1 Who created Easter Island statues?
- 2 What is the purpose of the statues on Easter Island?
- 3 How did the Easter Island heads get there?
- 4 What is the story behind the Easter Island heads?
- 5 Why are there no trees on Easter Island?
- 6 What does moai stand for?
- 7 Are there any Easter Islanders left?
- 8 Are there bodies under Easter Island heads?
- 9 How did the moai statues fall?
- 10 Who lives on Easter Island today?
- 11 How much do the moai statues weigh?
- 12 How were moai moved?
- 13 Why was moai toppled?
- 14 What makes Easter Island so special?
Who created Easter Island statues?
The island is most famous for its nearly 1,000 extant monumental statues, called moai, which were created by the early Rapa Nui people. In 1995, UNESCO named Easter Island a World Heritage Site, with much of the island protected within Rapa Nui National Park.
What is the purpose of the statues on Easter Island?
Moai statues were built to honor chieftain or other important people who had passed away. They were placed on rectangular stone platforms called ahu, which are tombs for the people that the statues represented.
How did the Easter Island heads get there?
Easter Island – The Statues and Rock Art of Rapa Nui. Using basalt stone picks, the Easter Island Moai were carved from the solidified volcanic ash of Rano Raraku volcano. Once completed, the statues were then moved from the quarry to their intended site and erected on an ‘ahu’.
What is the story behind the Easter Island heads?
In the Rapa Nui language, the Easter Island statues are called Moai Aringa Ora, which means “the living face of our ancestors”. The most common interpretation is that these statues were created in order to preserve the energy of the natives after death.
Why are there no trees on Easter Island?
Easter Island was covered with palm trees for over 30,000 years, but is treeless today. There is good evidence that the trees largely disappeared between 1200 and 1650. However there is evidence the Polynesian rat (Rattus exulans) was present from 900 and it seems clear that these rats caused widespread deforestation.
What does moai stand for?
listen), or moai (Spanish: moái, Rapa Nui: moʻai, meaning “statue” in Rapa Nui), are monolithic human figures carved by the Rapa Nui people on Easter Island in eastern Polynesia between the years 1250 and 1500.
Are there any Easter Islanders left?
The Rapa Nui are the indigenous Polynesian people of Easter Island. At the 2017 census there were 7,750 island inhabitants—almost all living in the village of Hanga Roa on the sheltered west coast.
Are there bodies under Easter Island heads?
As a part of the Easter Island Statue Project, the team excavated two moai and discovered that each one had a body, proving, as the team excitedly explained in a letter, “that the ‘heads’ on the slope here are, in fact, full but incomplete statues.”
How did the moai statues fall?
Construction of the moai statues appears to have stopped around the time of European contact in 1722, when Dutch explorers landed on Easter Day. Over the next century the moai would fall over, either intentionally pushed over or from simple neglect.
Who lives on Easter Island today?
Today, the people living on Easter Island are largely descendants of the ancient Rapa Nui (about 60%) and run the bulk of the tourism and conservation efforts on the island. Many locals living on Easter Island have livelihoods that involve the water—which makes sense!
How much do the moai statues weigh?
On average, they stand 13 feet high and weigh 14 tons, human heads-on-torsos carved in the male form from rough hardened volcanic ash. The islanders call them “moai,” and they have puzzled ethnographers, archaeologists, and visitors to the island since the first European explorers arrived here in 1722.
How were moai moved?
With one rope around the head of the statue and another around the base, they “walked” the moai replica forward by swiveling and rocking it from side to side. Using this method, Pavel Pavel estimated that an experienced crew could move a statue approximately 650 feet each day.
Why was moai toppled?
Why were the Moai toppled? Yet by the end of the 19th century, the Moai reportedly had all toppled and fallen over. There are different theories about this – some believe it was because of earthquake activity, others say the statues were toppled during tribal wars as a way of humiliating their opposition.
What makes Easter Island so special?
Easter Island, Spanish Isla de Pascua, also called Rapa Nui, Chilean dependency in the eastern Pacific Ocean. It is the easternmost outpost of the Polynesian island world. It is famous for its giant stone statues.