famous Easter Island moai statues

Q: Which fact is true about the famous Easter Island moai statues?

These highly significant statues were carved with volcanic materials such as basalt, traquita or red scoria, but with the discovery of the volcano known as Rano Raraku, a greyish volcanic stone that is found exclusively in this place on the planet began to be used. It is said that the Rapanui began to carve sideways, trying to keep their heads high and sculpt with basalt chisels called “toki”. They detailed the front of these heads with the exception of the orbit. Experts have calculated that the group of sculptors of these statues could take up to two years to complete.

Which fact is true about the famous Easter Island moai statues?

They are hollow
They have hidden torsos
They had special powers
They’re made of marble

The correct answer is They have hidden torsos.

As far as the Chilean mainland is, Easter Island is fully recognized throughout the world for the characteristic monuments that populate it. The famous moais do not go unnoticed and represent a true mystery for humanity. These gigantic statues are undoubtedly the largest cultural exhibition of Rapa Nui, the aboriginal name of this island, so much so that they are the hallmark of the indigenous people of this place.

It is still an enigma as the locals were able to carve and transport these statues and then bury them in the ground i.e. they could reach up to 75 tons. Some experts say that these monuments were built with the aim of offering a tribute to the ancestors to extend their protection to the whole place. It is even believed that when these moai arrived at the altar where they should have been, the Rapanui were holding great celebrations.

The mysterious statues of the island

Although they are not the first stone statues in Polynesia, these particular structures have become very famous on this small island belonging to the Valparaiso region in Chile. It is said that the first Polynesian settlers would have brought this art from the land of Hiva, being in these islands of Polynesia a widely used type of architecture.

The full name of these statues means “living face of the ancestors”, and with these monuments the Rapa Nui wanted to represent their most important rulers and ancestors, so that according to the beliefs they could extend their spiritual power to protect the local tribes.

How were they sculpted?

These highly significant statues were carved with volcanic materials such as basalt, traquita or red scoria, but with the discovery of the volcano known as Rano Raraku, a greyish volcanic stone that is found exclusively in this place on the planet began to be used. It is said that the Rapanui began to carve sideways, trying to keep their heads high and sculpt with basalt chisels called “toki”. They detailed the front of these heads with the exception of the orbit. Experts have calculated that the group of sculptors of these statues could take up to two years to complete.

Theories on how they moved them

In the last phase of sculpture, these locals chiseled the back of the moai to detach it from the mother stone and thus be able to slide them down the slope towards the base of the hill. But it is not yet known exactly how they managed to move them to the island. This is still a mystery, but there are some hypotheses that can confirm that these were transferred with the resources these Aborigines had.

There are theories according to which they moved the statues vertically, causing them to wobble as they pushed the base forward. Although there could also be another shape, on a kind of sled made from wooden platforms that allowed them to slide on the ground.

Characteristics of the Moais

The average height of the moai is 4 and a half meters, but the Rapanui were able to sculpt sculptures up to 10 meters high which occupy from the north of the island to the southern coast of Ahu Hanga Tetenga. There is a great variety of statues, since at first they were small with large heads and more natural features, but gradually and thanks to the mastery they could have of the sculpture techniques, they were able to stylize the figures much more. You can even see just under 60 statues of these with a strange red hat on their head, they are called pukaos.

How many are there and where are they located?

Researchers recorded around 900 statues on the island, of which four hundred are in the quarry of the Rano Raraku volcano, another 200 are on the altar that was to receive it, and the rest are scattered all over the island, probably abandoned on the way to the location. that they should occupy. The entire outline of the island forms a ring that could be considered sacred for this tribe and would consist of over 160 moai.