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”.
Moai Facts and Figures
Pronunciation: Coming soon
Area or people: Rapa Nui people of Easter Island, Polynesia
Celebration or Feast Day: Unknown at present
In charge of: Unknown
Area of expertise: Unknown
Good/Evil Rating: NEUTRAL, may not care
Popularity index: 793
Cite this article
Here's the info you need to cite this page. Just copy the text in the box below.
Article last revised on April 29, 2019 by the Godchecker data dwarves.
Editors: Peter J. Allen, Chas Saunders
References: Coming soon.