Rapa Nui Statues and Rock Art on Easter Island The Easter Island Moai were carved from the hardened volcanic ash of the Rano Raraku volcano with basalt stone picks. When the sculptures were finished, they were carried from the quarry to their final location and built on a "ahu."
There are two main groups of moai on Easter Island: the northern group is known as the "Raising the Maori" because it was here that the sculptors first learned how to carve faces from native trees. The southern group is called the "Carving School" because most of the moai here have been found with their eyes still shut.
The Raising of the Maori took about three years to complete. First, the artists carved a wooden mold of the face. Then they took this mold to a tree and used its wood as a guide while they carved the actual head. Finally, they coated the head with red ochre to make it look more realistic.
The Carving School was started around 1500 and wasn't completed until about 1750. Here, too, the artists first made a mold of the head before carving the actual piece. But instead of coating the heads with paint, they used only the soft wood of the palm tree for the hair and beard. The bodies of these moai also show signs of having been burned before being placed in their current locations.
Rapa Nui's (Easter Island's) moai are famed for its stone sculptures of human figures known as moai (meaning "statue"). Rapa Nui is the name given to the island by its inhabitants. The moai were most likely carved to honor notable ancestors and were constructed between roughly 1000 C.E. and the second half of the seventeenth century. Evidence suggests that some families may have carvers teams to help produce many of their statues.
The population of Easter Island is estimated to have been between 20,000 and 100,000 people at the time of European contact in 1722. After the population declined due to disease and violence, the island was abandoned around 1650.
Because of all the misery these huge rocks bring with them. Located in the middle of the ocean, hundreds of miles from any land mass, these giant stones cry out for compassion and empathy. Even though we know how they got here, it still hurts to look at them.
These enormous rocks are the remains of ancient volcanoes that erupted about 75 million years ago. They also serve as evidence of ancient climates on Earth when there were no continents or oceans.
Moai sculptures are gigantic megaliths found on Easter Island, and they are the island's most famous feature. The moais were created by the islanders of this island, also known as Rapa Nui, between 1400 and 1650 A.D. Many people refer to them as the Easter Island heads. There are more than 900 moais on Easter Island today, and they can be seen in all parts of the island. They are spread out over a large area, and some travelers say that it feels like you're walking through a cemetery when you walk among the moais.
The moais are primarily made up of stone blocks that range in size from about 1 meter (3 feet) to nearly 5 meters (16 feet) long and 0.5-1.5 meters (20 inches-50 inches) wide. Some larger moais even have an entranceway where trees once grew. The largest moai, called "Uru Moai", weighs almost 20 tons.
The moais are found all over the island, but they are most common near ancient pit houses where they were used as markers for the doors of their homes. Some scholars believe that the islanders carved the moais to honor their own ancestors who had died fighting over land or resources. Others think that they were used to mark sacred places.
Rapa Nui people The Moai are a group of enormous monolithic sculptures constructed by the Rapa Nui inhabitants of Easter Island. The largest known statue, Moai 1, is 33 feet (10 m) tall and weighs approximately 100 tons.
The Moai were created between AD 1200 and 1722 for religious reasons. The Rapa Nui people believed that moving these statues would help cure their island of disease and improve agriculture. However, there is evidence that some early deaths may have been caused by accidents during monument transport.
In January 2016, archaeologists announced they had found the remains of at least 19th century Europeans on the island, including items such as bottles, knives, and spoons made from wood and metal. The discovery was made when researchers were conducting excavations for a museum about to be built on the site of Old Hawaii Village, which is now part of the Rapa Nui National Park. The museum will offer insights into ancient Polynesian voyagers who first discovered Europe and the Americas.
Researchers believe the settlers may have been pirates or fishermen who arrived by accident or may have been motivated by a desire to escape persecution back home.
The Easter Island Moai were carved from the hardened volcanic ash of the Rano Raraku volcano with basalt stone picks. They are all monolithic; the sculptures are all made in one piece, weighing an average of 20 tons and standing 20 feet or more. One incomplete figure stands 69 feet tall and weighs an estimated 270 tons.
The faces of most of the statues are characterized by a frowning expression of anger or sadness. Some researchers believe they depict chiefs who had enemies and wanted to show that power by making them look threatening.
Another theory is that the artists were trying to portray the people who made the statues as gods themselves. There are many other examples of ancient art showing deities with human features.
Finally, some scientists think the figures may have been used as boundary markers. The islands were not well-known for their carving skills at the time they made the statues, so someone must have brought them here to be sculpted instead.
In conclusion, the Easter Island Moai were probably carved back home using local materials then shipped out in large groups to be placed on distant islands where no wood was available.
The Rapa Nui moai The moai were most likely carved to honor notable ancestors and were constructed between roughly 1000 C.E. and the second half of the seventeenth century. Over the course of a few hundred years, the residents of this secluded island quarried, sculpted, and constructed around 887 moai. The largest collection of moai in one place anywhere in the world.
All but two of the moai have been taken away from their original sites on the island for protective storage by the government of Chile. These days you can see them in two museums on Rapa Nui (also called Easter Island). One is located in Hanga Roa, the other is in Tahiti City. There are plans to move the statues to their original locations when funds allow it to be done properly. For now, they remain as historical relics that give us an insight into how these people lived more than 400 years ago.
It's thought that the moai looked down upon where they stood because of their isolated location: alone on an island far from land. Also, some researchers believe they depict war casualties, while others say they show priests who had no more use for life.
Around 1500 people lived on Rapa Nui.