Moai - Easter Island
Moai - Easter Island

Moai are monolithic human figures carved by the Rapa Nui humans on Easter Island in japanese Polynesia between the years 1250 and 1500 Nearly 1/2 are still at Rano Raraku, the main moai quarry, but masses were transported from there and set on stone structures referred to as ahu around the island’s perimeter. Almost all moai have overly huge heads 3-eighths the size of the whole statue. The moai are chiefly the living faces (aringa ora) of deified ancestors (aringa ora ata tepuna). The statues still gazed inland throughout their clan lands when Europeans first visited the island in 1722, however they all had fallen by way of the latter a part of the nineteenth century.

Moai, Easter Island, Picture 1

The manufacturing and transportation of the more than 900 statues is considered a fantastic innovative and physical feat. The tallest moai erected, referred to as Paro, changed into nearly 10 metres (33 feet) high and weighed 82 tonnes (90.4 brief lots). The heaviest moai erected became a shorter however squatter moai at Ahu Tongariki, weighing 86 tonnes. One unfinished sculpture, if finished, might were about 21 m (69 feet) tall, with a weight of about one hundred forty five–165 lots (160–182 metric tons). The moai were toppled in the past due 18th and early nineteenth centuries, possibly because of European contact or internecine tribal wars.

Moai, Easter Island, Picture 2

The moai are monolithic statues, their minimalist style associated with forms located in the course of Polynesia. Moai are carved in relatively flat planes, the faces bearing proud but enigmatic expressions. The human figures would be outlined in the rock wall first, then chipped away till handiest the image changed into left. The over-massive heads (a 3-to-5 ratio between the pinnacle and the trunk, a sculptural trait that demonstrates the Polynesian belief within the sanctity of the chiefly head) have heavy brows and elongated noses with a one-of-a-kind fish-hook-fashioned curl of the nostrils. The lips protrude in a skinny pout. Like the nose, the ears are elongated and rectangular in form. The jaw lines stand out against the truncated neck. The torsos are heavy, and, from time to time, the clavicles are subtly mentioned in stone. The palms are carved in bas relief and relaxation against the body in diverse positions, arms and lengthy narrow arms resting along the crests of the hips, assembly on the hami (loincloth), with the thumbs every now and then pointing closer to the navel. Generally, the anatomical capabilities of the backs are not special, but from time to time bear a ring and girdle motif on the buttocks and lower returned. Except for one kneeling moai, the statues do not have surely visible legs.

Moai, Easter Island, Picture 3

Preservation and Restoration

From 1955 through 1978, an American archaeologist, William Mulloy, undertook vast research of the production, transportation and erection of Easter Island’s monumental statuary. Mulloy’s Rapa Nui projects encompass the research of the Akivi-Vaiteka Complex and the physical recuperation of Ahu Akivi (1960); the investigation and healing of Ahu Ko Te Riku and Ahu Vai Uri and the Tahai Ceremonial Complex (1970); the research and recuperation of two ahu at Hanga Kio’e (1972); the research and recovery of the ceremonial village at Orongo (1974) and numerous other archaeological surveys at some point of the island.

Moai, Easter Island, Restoration, Picture 1

The Rapa Nui National Park and the moai are blanketed in the 1972 UN conference regarding the safety of the arena’s cultural and natural heritage and consequently on the 1994 list of UNESCO World Heritage websites.

Moai, Easter Island, Restoration, Picture 2

The moai have been mapped by using some of companies over time, along with efforts by using Father Sebastian Englert and Chilean researchers. The EISP (Easter Island Statue Project) performed studies and documentation on among the moai on Rapa Nui and the artifacts held in museums foreign places. The cause of the mission is to understand the figures’ authentic use, context, and meaning, with the results being supplied to the Rapa Nui households and the island’s public businesses which are liable for conservation and maintenance of the moai. Other studies encompass work by means of Britton Shepardson and Terry L. Hunt and Carl P. Lipo.

Moai, Easter Island, Restoration, Picture 3

In 2008, a Finnish traveller chipped a bit off the ear of one moai. The traveller changed into fined $17,000 in damages and turned into banned from the island for 3 years.


  • Heyerdahl, Thor. Skjølsvold, Arne. Pavel Pavel. The “Walking” Moai of Easter Island. Retrieved 8 August 2005.
  • McCall, Grant (1995). “Rapanui (Easter Island)”. Pacific Islands Year Book 17th Edition. Fiji Times. Retrieved 8 August 2005.
  • Matthews, Rupert (1988). Ancient Mysteries. Wayland Publishing. ISBN 0-531-18246-0.
  • Pelta, Kathy (2001). Rediscovering Easter Island. Lerner Publishing Group. ISBN 978-0-8225-4890-4.
  • Routledge, Katherine (1919) The Mystery of Easter Island ISBN 0-932813-48-8.
  • Van Tilburg, Jo Anne (2001). “Easter Island”. In P.N. Peregine and M. Ember (eds.), Encyclopedia of Prehistory, Volume 3: East Asia and Oceania. Kluwer Academic/Plenum Publishers. ISBN 0-306-46257-5
  • Van Tilburg, Jo Anne (2006). Remote Possibilities: Hoa Hakananai’a and HMS Topaze on Rapa Nui. British Museum Research Papers.


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