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A picture showing the legend of MOAI taken from our Oceanic mythology archives. Illustration by Chas Saunders. Read the story below or search the index for more Oceanic Gods, Oceanic Goddesses, heroes, demons and monsters!

The mysterious statue figures of Easter Island.

One of the most evocative images in the entire world, the MOAI are ancient brooding figures carved from great slabs of volcanic rock. More than a thousand MOAI can be found scattered over the island, most of them standing with their backs to the sea. Hundreds more lie half-completed in a volcanic quarry, mysteriously abandoned after a tribal war (see TANGATA-MANU).

Opinion is divided regarding their purpose; some people believe they represent tribal leaders or ancient ancestors (see AKU-AKU) — and some people don't. The subject has been ripe with rampant speculation, and Easter Island attracts cranks like you wouldn't believe.

The mystery is enhanced by the fact that most of the MOAI weigh a truly ridiculous amount of tons. How did the primitive Rapanui islanders shift those colossal statues across the landscape without the benefit of computers and cell phones?

Many theories have been proposed, including ingenious block-and-tackle engineering by the natives, and extraterrestrial intervention by space aliens. But we prefer the simple solution, as explained most convincingly by the native islanders: "They just got up and walked by themselves".

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Article last updated on 03 June 2005
Authors: Peter J Allen and Chas Saunders
References: Coming soon.

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Godchecker's article on Moai is based on material from ancient texts, original references and our own research. We strive for accuracy and update regularly with new information. If you spot a mistake please contact us and we'll try to fix it.

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Name : MOAI
Area or people : Rapanui people of Easter Island
Location : the Pacific Islands
Gender : Male
Type : Other
Celebration or Feast Day : Unknown at present
Pronunciation : Coming soon
Alternative names : None known
Popularity index : 280

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