Moai

Easter Island statuesEaster Island Headmoaismo‘aiEaster IslandEaster Island megalithsheadslarge stone statuesmo'aiMoai head
Moai, or moꞌai (moái), are monolithic human figures carved by the Rapa Nui people on Easter Island in eastern Polynesia between the years 1250 and 1500.wikipedia
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Easter Island

Rapa NuiIsla de PascuaEaster
Moai, or moꞌai (moái), are monolithic human figures carved by the Rapa Nui people on Easter Island in eastern Polynesia between the years 1250 and 1500. Nearly half are still at Rano Raraku, the main moai quarry, but hundreds were transported from there and set on stone platforms called ahu around the island's perimeter.
Easter Island is most famous for its nearly 1,000 extant monumental statues, called moai, created by the early Rapa Nui people.

Rapa Nui people

RapanuiRapa NuiRapa-Nui
Moai, or moꞌai (moái), are monolithic human figures carved by the Rapa Nui people on Easter Island in eastern Polynesia between the years 1250 and 1500.
As of 2011, Rapa Nui's main source of income derived from tourism, which focuses on the giant sculptures called moai.

Tuff

welded tufftuffaceoustuffs
All but 53 of the more than 900 moai known to date were carved from tuff (a compressed volcanic ash) from Rano Raraku, where 394 moai in varying states of completion are still visible today.
The Rapa Nui people used it to make most of the moai statues in Easter Island.

Ahu Tongariki

The heaviest moai erected was a shorter but squatter moai at Ahu Tongariki, weighing 86 tonnes.
Its moais were toppled during the island's civil wars, and in the twentieth century the ahu was swept inland by a tsunami.

Pukao

topknots
The more recent moai had pukao on their heads, which represent the topknot of the chieftains. The pukao were carved out of red scoria, a very light rock from a quarry at Puna Pau.
Pukao are the hat-like structures or topknots formerly placed on top of some moai statues on Easter Island.

Ahu Akivi

Akivi-Vaiteka Complex
There are some inland ahu such as Ahu Akivi. Mulloy's Rapa Nui projects include the investigation of the Akivi-Vaiteka Complex and the physical restoration of Ahu Akivi (1960); the investigation and restoration of Ahu Ko Te Riku and Ahu Vai Uri and the Tahai Ceremonial Complex (1970); the investigation and restoration of two ahu at Hanga Kio'e (1972); the investigation and restoration of the ceremonial village at Orongo (1974) and numerous other archaeological surveys throughout the island.
The site has seven moai, all of equal shape and size, and is also known as a celestial observatory that was set up around the 16th century.

Hoa Hakananai'a

At least some of the moai were painted; Hoa Hakananai'a was decorated with maroon and white paint until 1868, when it was removed from the island.
Hoa Hakananai'a is a moai (Easter Island statue) housed in the British Museum in London.

Rano Raraku

RarakuTukuturi
Nearly half are still at Rano Raraku, the main moai quarry, but hundreds were transported from there and set on stone platforms called ahu around the island's perimeter.
It was a quarry for about 500 years until the early eighteenth century, and supplied the stone from which about 95% of the island's known monolithic sculptures (moai) were carved.

Katherine Routledge

KatherineRoutledge expeditionRoutledge
The Routledge expedition of 1914 established a cultural link between these designs and the island's traditional tattooing, which had been repressed by missionaries a half-century earlier.
With the help of an islander named Juan Tepano, Routledge proceeded to interview the natives and catalogue the moai (giant statues) and the Ahus they had once stood on.

Mu (lost continent)

MuLost Continent of MuMount Yaddith-Gho
He claimed that symbols of the sun are found "depicted on stones of Polynesian ruins", such as the stone hats (pukao) on top of the giant moai statues of Easter Island.

Makemake (deity)

MakemakeMake-makeMakemake (mythology)
The earliest accounts say a king named Tuu Ku Ihu moved them with the help of the god Makemake, while later stories tell of a woman who lived alone on the mountain ordering them about at her will.
Makemake (also written as Make-make or MakeMake; pronounced in Rapa Nui ) in the Rapa Nui mythology of Easter Island, is the creator of humanity, the god of fertility and the chief god of the "Tangata manu" or bird-man sect (this sect succeeded the island's more famous Moai era).

William Mulloy

Dr. William Mulloy
From 1955 through 1978, an American archaeologist, William Mulloy, undertook extensive investigation of the production, transportation and erection of Easter Island's monumental statuary.
While his early research established him as a formidable scholar and skillful fieldwork supervisor in the province of North American Plains archaeology, he is best known for his studies of Polynesian prehistory, especially his investigations into the production, transportation and erection of the monumental statuary on Rapa Nui (Easter Island) known as moai.

Tangata manu

BirdmanBirdman CultBird Men
It is thought that the moai with carved eye sockets were probably allocated to the ahu and ceremonial sites, suggesting that a selective Rapa Nui hierarchy was attributed to the moai design until its demise with the advent of the Birdman religion, Tangata Manu.
The origin of the cult and the time thereof are uncertain, as it is unknown whether the cult replaced the preceding Moai-based religion or had co-existed with it.

Monument

monumentshistoric monumenthistorical monument
From 1955 through 1978, an American archaeologist, William Mulloy, undertook extensive investigation of the production, transportation and erection of Easter Island's monumental statuary.
As societies became organized on a larger scale, so monuments so large as to be difficult to destroy like the Egyptian Pyramids, the Greek Parthenon, the Great Wall of China, Indian Taj Mahal or the Moai of Easter Island have become symbols of their civilizations.

Thor Heyerdahl

Ra IIThor HeyerdalDr. Thor Heyerdahl
In 1986, Pavel Pavel, Thor Heyerdahl and the Kon Tiki Museum experimented with a five-tonne moai and a nine-tonne moai.
Highlights of the project include experiments in the carving, transport and erection of the notable moai, as well as excavations at such prominent sites as Orongo and Poike.

Scoria

reticulitescoriaceousVolcanic scoria
There are also 13 moai carved from basalt, 22 from trachyte and 17 from fragile red scoria.
The quarry of Puna Pau on Rapa Nui/Easter Island was the source of a red-coloured scoria which the Rapanui people used to carve the pukao (or topknots) for their distinctive moai statues, and even to carve some moai themselves.

Obsidian

dragonglassa mysterious black substanceglasses
In 1979, Sergio Rapu Haoa and a team of archaeologists discovered that the hemispherical or deep elliptical eye sockets were designed to hold coral eyes with either black obsidian or red scoria pupils.
Obsidian was also used on Rapa Nui (Easter Island) for edged tools such as Mataia and the pupils of the eyes of their Moai (statues), which were encircled by rings of bird bone.

Rapa Nui National Park

Rapa Nui
The Rapa Nui National Park and the moai are included in the 1972 UN convention concerning the protection of the world's cultural and natural heritage and consequently on the 1994 list of UNESCO World Heritage sites.
Its fame and World Heritage status arise from the 887 extant stone statues known by the name "moai", whose creation is attributed to the early Rapa Nui people who inhabited the island around 300 AD.

Pavel Pavel

In 1986, Pavel Pavel, Thor Heyerdahl and the Kon Tiki Museum experimented with a five-tonne moai and a nine-tonne moai.
Inspired by Thor Heyerdahl's Kon-Tiki, Pavel Pavel set out to demonstrate how the monolithic Moai of Easter Island might have been moved into place by a small number of people using only rudimentary technologies.

Puna Pau

The pukao were carved out of red scoria, a very light rock from a quarry at Puna Pau.
Puna Pau was the sole source of the red scoria that the Rapa Nui people used to carve the pukao (topknots) that they put on the heads of some of their iconic moai statues.

Orongo

‘OrongoꞌOrongo
Mulloy's Rapa Nui projects include the investigation of the Akivi-Vaiteka Complex and the physical restoration of Ahu Akivi (1960); the investigation and restoration of Ahu Ko Te Riku and Ahu Vai Uri and the Tahai Ceremonial Complex (1970); the investigation and restoration of two ahu at Hanga Kio'e (1972); the investigation and restoration of the ceremonial village at Orongo (1974) and numerous other archaeological surveys throughout the island.
In 1868, the crew of HMS Topaze removed the huge basalt moai known as Hoa Hakananai'a from Orongo.

Marae

meeting placetribal meeting groundmeeting ground
In the remote southeastern corner of the Polynesian Triangle elements of the traditional Polynesian marae evolved into the Rapa Nui/Easter Island Ahu and their iconic Moai (giant forms of Polynesian statues).