Moai Heads A Mysterious Historical Monument of Rapa Nui
Easter Island is also known as Rapa Nui. The island is situated in Southeast of Pacific. The land is globally known for its ‘Moai’. Moai is 1,000 carving of human faced statues. The Island is 22Km long and around 11Km wide. It is often said, the land can be travelled by foot in a single day. Today, the Rapa Nui Island is one of the volcanic Island isolated occupied landmass. The Pitcarin Island, which is closest Island is around 1,900km to the west side and Chile 3,700Km to east.
What are Moai?
Moai are gigantic monolithic stone situated on Easter Island. There are around 1000 Moai, while some believe the exact number is 887 of stones carving. Today, many of these stone carving are left in bad condition in an unfinished or broken way. Some of these stone carving are left alone completely, while some are placed on Ahu platform.
Many of Moai carving have chest and shoulder, while some are aesthetically carved with fingers, arms and legs. Around 397 status are left undamaged at Rana Raraku along the shore. No Moai will be found on the Aku Akivi Island. It is believed that the Moai faces were placed to watch the villages. According to the Archaeologist, the statues were built around 1250 to 1500 AD. The exact reason for building these Moai is still not known.
The famous statues are 40-feet tall and weighing around 75-tons. The statues were adorned with ‘Pukao’ a red coloured stone shaped as a hat. The statues are also known to have torsos carved, which are buried beneath.
According to Legend, Hotu Matu’a a chief who had learned all advance techniques of exploring ‘Rapa Nui’, lead to a group of colonist. The origin of place is still a mystery. No exact research has been derived from the place.
A Depth Detail:
The Moai Statues are asymmetrical with 3/5 of head larger than the bodies. The local believed that they represent ancestors who built them. But the prime reason they were built is not known, but as per the speculations, they must have been built to construct homage to dead people of Rapa Nui. The statues are carved out from the volcanic hard rock and placed in those positions. The biggest Moai of all is unfinished with around 21.6-meters tall and weighing around 270-tons.
The Paro of Ahu is another largest erected statue, which is 10-meters in height and weighing80-tons. While the heaviest Moai is shortest one with 86-tons. Of all Moai, only one Moai has legs. This Moai is known as small kneeling called as Tukuturi. Tukuturi is carved out of red-rock from a place called Puna Pau. This Moai is believed to be last Moai carved out. To be exact with figures, around 834 Moai out of 887 Moai are made from tuff, 22 Moai from Trachyte, 17 from red scoria and 13 from basalt.
It is known that 228 Moai were successfully ported to Ahu platforms. A special connecting roads were built for this purpose to carry out. The 92-Moai on half way indicates that they were in transportation stage, but were interrupted due to insufficient equipment’s for transporting.
What is Ahu?
Ahu is a platform on which Moai are placed. The platform is lined up side-by-side in the area of the Rano Raraku area. Ahu is made from smaller stones in large number. The smaller stones are put up in such a way that together they form a platform sort of structure. In total 313 Ahu were built, carrying 125 Moai. Over years, some of the Ahu platform were destroyed by tidal waves, which were then restored by specialist. Some of Ahu platform were used as burial chambers. Like said, each place has its tales and mystery only few are known!