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Moai, The Stone Statues


Moai Looking at the Sea Two Faces at Rano Raraku

Stone statues of Rapa Nui called moai did not represent any deities, but they were regarded with respect and were believed to possess powers that came from ancestors. Each statue represented a chief or highborn member of the clan.

Before moai were erected on sacred platform called ahu it took usually a year to carve it by group of many workers.

Collection of Moai #6

Collection of Moai #3 Collection of Moai #4 Collection of Moai #5

Moai Face at Akivi #3 Statue on the Shore Face Detail

All the moai were toppled by islanders themselves. Ahu were desecrated by pulling stones in order to construct walls, and dwellings.

Moai standing on Easter Island today were re-erected by archeologists in the second half of 20th century, but most of the statues have not been restored. Many ahu around the island look like piles of rubble.

Stone Statue in Rano Raraku Crater

The Last Erected Moai #2 Moai at Huri A Urenga Single Statue at Tongariki