Who built the moai?
The island is most famous for its nearly 1,000 extant monumental statues, called moai, which were created by the early Rapa Nui people.
What country is moai in?
Moai (busts) on Easter Island, Chile. An expedition dispatched by the Spanish viceroy of Peru rediscovered the island in 1770. The Spanish spent four days ashore and were the first to report that the aborigines had their own local form of script. They estimated a population of some 3,000 persons.
What do moai statues represent?
They stand with their backs to the sea and are believed by most archaeologists to represent the spirits of ancestors, chiefs, or other high-ranking males who held important positions in the history of Easter Island, or Rapa Nui, the name given by the indigenous people to their island in the 1860s.
When were the moai first discovered?
2 November 1868
In 1868, the crew of a British survey ship, HMS Topaze, visited Rapa Nui. The crew was led to the location of Moai Hava at Mataveri, and collected this first moai on 2 November 1868. Soon after, Hoa Hakananai’a was discovered in the house at Orongo by two crew members searching the village.
How old are the moai?
When were they built? This is a question of much debate among scholars in the field, although there is a consensus they were built sometime between 400 and 1500 AD. That means all the statues are least 500 years old, if not much more.
What are 3 facts about moai?
10 Things You Didn’t Know About The Moai Statues
- 5 They’re Not Just Easter Island Heads, But Whole Bodies.
- 6 Nearly All The Statues Face Away From The Sea.
- 7 The Way The Statues Were Moved Is Still Debated.
- 8 The Statues Were Once Torn Down.
- 9 One Of The Statues Stands Out From The Rest.
- 10 Each Moai Took A Year To Complete.
Why is moai important?
Easter Island is famous for its stone statues of human figures, known as moai (meaning “statue”). The island is known to its inhabitants as Rapa Nui. The moai were probably carved to commemorate important ancestors and were made from around 1000 C.E. until the second half of the seventeenth century.
How did the moai statues fall?
Construction of the moai statues appears to have stopped around the time of European contact in 1722, when Dutch explorers landed on Easter Day. Over the next century the moai would fall over, either intentionally pushed over or from simple neglect. Why construction was abandoned is another mystery.
What is so special about the moai?
It’s thought that the Moai were symbols of religious and political power and leadership. Carvings and sculptures in the Polynesian world often have strong spiritual meanings, and followers often believe a carving had magical or spiritual powers of the person or deity depicted.
Are moai good luck?
It is believed that they were made almost 1000 years ago by Polynesians, who lived there at the time and were made to honour their ancestors (older family members long dead) and bring good luck.
Does Rapa Nui still exist?
The Rapanui are a Polynesian people, the majority of whom live on Easter Island. A few hundred live on mainland Chile and in Tahiti. As of 2013, only 2,553 people self-identified as Rapanui, comprising about 0.3 per cent of Chile’s total indigenous population. The majority of this community lives in urban areas.
Can I buy land in Easter Island?
By law, only Rapanui can own land on Easter Island. But the law is not strictly enforced. Hitorangi said the Rapanui want to recover ownership of the entire island.