Easter Island: stones, history. Easter Island

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    Easter Island is the world's most isolated inhabited island. It is also one of the most mysterious. Eastern Island is roughly midway between Chile and Tahiti. The triangular shaped island (Easter Island) is made mostly of volcanic rock. Small coral formations exist along the shoreline, but the lack of a coral reef has allowed the sea to cut cliffs around much of the island. The coastline has many lava tubes and volcanic caves. The only sandy beaches are on the northeast coast. Easter Island we think of of huge stone carved figures - Easter Island Stones (or Eastern Island Stones).

    Eastern Island coast

    Ovahe Beach, North Shore

    The inhabitants of this charming and mysterious place called their land: Te Pito o TeHenua, 'the navel of the world.'

    It sits in the South Pacific Ocean 2,300 miles west of South America, 2,500 miles southeast of Tahiti, 4,300 miles south of Hawaii, 3,700 miles north of Antarctica. The closest other inhabited island is 1,260 miles away - tiny Pitcairn Island where the mutineers of the H.M.S. Bounty settled in 1790.

    easter island

    Archaeological evidence indicates discovery of the eastern island by Polynesians at about 400 AD.

    In 1722, a Dutch explorer, Jacob Roggeveen, sighted and visited the island. This happened to be on a Sunday, Easter Sunday to be precise, and the name stuck: Easter Island (Isla de Pascua in Spanish).

    What he discovered on Easter Island were three distinct groups of people, Dark skinned, Red skinned, and very Pale skinned People with red hair".

    native sitizens

    The Polynesian name of the island is Rapanui, which is a name given by a Tahitian visitor in the 19th century who says that the island looked like the Tahitian island of 'Rapa,' but bigger, 'Nui.'

    Inhabitants are of Polynesian descent, but for decades anthropologists have argued the true origins of these people, some claiming that ancient South-American mariners settled the island first.

    What many early explorers who visited the easter island found, was a scattered population with almost no culture they could remember and without any links to the outside world.

    The Easter islanders were easy prey for 19th century slave traders which depreciated even more their precarious culture, knowledge of the past, and skills of the ancestors.

    island map




    THE MOAI

    easter moai stone

    When we think of Eastern Island we think of of huge stone carved figures -monoliths- that dot the coastline.

    They are called Moai and are carved from island rock.

    The Moai are seen all over the island, and in different shapes, sizes, and stages of completion. Many Moaiare left unfinished at the quarry site. No one is sure yet as to what purposes did the Moai served, but outside scholarly research together with accumulated local knowledge, shows evidence that the Moai were carved by the ancestors of the present inhabitants.

    Ron Fisher in his work Easter Island Brooding Sentinels of Stone, mentions as one explanation for the statues that "two classes of people, the-so-called Long Ears and Short Ears, lived on the island. The Short Ears were enslaved by the Long Ears, who forced the Short Ears to carve the Moai. After many generations and during a rebellion, the Short Ears surprised the Long Ears killing them all, which explains the abrupt end of the statue-carving.

    Long Ears

    Some of the Moai face the sea -

    most face inland to watch over the villlages.

    Many of the were buried up to their shoulders and thereby appearing as disembodied heads.

    All of the Moai were toppled in tribal wars about 250 years ago.

    Many have recently been rebuilt - starting in the 1950's.

    They sit on rocky lava strewn about telling a story of fallen monuments of a long lost civilization who created them. The Moai were depictions of their ancestors. The Rapa Nui were ancestor worshipers and only had one diety - Make Make.

    The Moai were excavated for the first time by Thor Heyerdahl in the 1950's and were photographed at that time.

    AHU

    Moai sit on platforms - ceremonial shrines called Ahu.

    Ahu Akivi is an especially sacred place.

    Ahu Akivi is a sanctuary and celestial observatory built about 1500 AD which was the subject of the first serious restoration accomplished on Easter Island by archaeologists William Mulloy and Gonzalo Figueroa, with excellent results. As in the case of many religious structures on Easter Island, it has been situated with astronomical precision: it's seven statues look towards the point where the sun sets during the equinox.

    It is also aligned to the moon.

    Ahu Akivi is an unusual site in several respects. A low ahu supports 7 statues all very similar in height and style. The site is odd in that it is located far inland and the statues were erected to face the ocean. The only site where this was done. Like other Easter Island sites the statues were found knocked off the ahu, lying face down in the ground. In 1960, Archeologist William Mulloy's team spent several months raising the statues to their original positions.

    During the excavation and restoration of this site many cremation pits were uncovered behind the ahu. The pits contained fragments of bone, shells, fishing implements, and obsidian flakes. Whether sites like these were used regularly for cremations and or burials is not certain. At other sites skeletons have been found buried within the ahu structure, but these burials are believed to have occurred after the statues were toppled.

    Folklore holds that its seven moai represent the seven young explorers that legend says the Polynesian King Hotu Matu'a dispatched from across the seas, probably from the Marquesas Islands, to find this new homeland for him and his people. They are among the few moai that face the sea.

    These seven stone giants may well symbolize those seven explorers, but no one knows for sure. Just as no one knows what any of the moai really represent or why only a few of them face the sea.





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    Comments:
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    Rocker45, 28/04:
    Easter Island is very fascinating. If you want to understand how the statues were made and moved please read the book Rontiki (not sure of the author). I read this book years ago and it gives very detailed explanations and pictures. There are pictures of the quarry sites where the statues were carved with unfinished statues and tools laying around as if they were suddenly abandoned. The only real mystery to me is why they carved and stood these statues. More than likely they are of religious and astronomical importance just as with many other ancient cultures. Keep in mind, there wasn't any video, tv or any other modern inventions to distract them. To the ancients, life was about pleasing their God or gods and astronomy was their way of keeping up with time and events. I hope this is helpful.

    Howie, 21/04:
    Also if anyone can tell me which way - north, south, east, or west - the sphinx of egypt faces as well as the statues of easter island i would greatly appreciate it. doing a comparison to see if they as well as other artifacts are left facing the same direction, pointing us to where we should be looking for something or someone... thanks again. . just curious as to if anyone knows which way the statues face and if the look towards the sky... also the shape of the island tends to look like the star configuration that is found in a set of pyramids and also located as massive land structures on i believe mars... if anyone has any info on any of these opinions please send an e-mail i would love to hear other theories for and opposing my own, thanks.

    mmmmms, 14/04:
    im very pleased with this article im writing a paper for my english class and i thouhgt that this was an amazing article. But i dont know how im going to get 6 pages of research and facts and opinions out of this one page article!

    Bennie, 29/03:
    Easter Island and the Mayans are fasinating. The year 2012 is just around the corner. No matter what happens, weather it be good or bad, I am looking forward to it. I only hope the year 2012 isn't a dud, like the turning of the new melinium was in 2000, where nothing happend. Some people say 2012 is when Christ will return. But it is all speculation. No one really knows for sure.

    hw, 22/03:
    thanks iam doing a report

    icamon781, 02/03:
    you shall all live there!

    jfhkjwhejkf, 01/03:
    whats new pusy bum

    Tiger, 08/02:
    I can't find the authors last name either

    Laci, 07/02:
    I am doing a research project on Easter Island and I cant decide what website to use. This is a great website but I cant find the authors last name.

    kathrine, 04/02:
    im making an easter island head for science and we had to write a report about what we were making..this website really helped

    Brotha T., 04/02:
    This site makes me feel funny

    dade jr., 03/02:
    it is helpful i use this all the time

    tatty, 19/12:
    this is really helpful expecially for my report!

    kid from the block12, 15/11:
    bling thts sum mad stuff one day i'l go there but in this near future im shure i wnt but seriously thts siko to da bling bling

    spam island, 13/11:
    I'm making a head out of spam.

    Jarrod, 10/11:
    This website is amazing and helped so much

    angela, 05/11:
    Loved it dahling!!

    Jackie, 30/10:
    Good info, doesn't say the author for citing sources....

    jose, 28/10:
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    ashley, 27/10:
    im doing a repot thanx

    jaden, 16/10:
    thanks alot it helped with my picture

    Branden, 15/10:
    Finding reserch about how Easter Island statues are simular to the Stonehenge:]

    Billy-Bob-Joel, 01/10:
    I like the easter island head pictures and I'm sure the info-mation is accurate i just like lookin at pics of 'em though

    easter island, 01/10:
    this is helpful and i really enjoyed it too!!

    camille., 18/09:
    This really helped me with my report- Thanks!

    Thor, 20/06:
    Fascinating. A tiny isolated place where mysteries still abound, only quesses.

    swing a rosa lol, 01/06:
    this si so intresting

    shaaaayna., 29/05:
    i am doing a report and this is helpful. x]

    Gr.7 Kvr, 27/05:
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    NE, CC, CD, 20/05:
    I meant bootie! . Carly has a big bottie

    kyle, 11/05:
    vex has a good point. =] Good job Vex

    your mama, 11/05:
    doing research on easter islands for school.

    david vega, 06/05:
    this is so asome`i wish i was there

    your mama, 05/05:
    this is interesting =]

    =] -! DeSi !- [=, 25/03:
    SaWeEt!!! Doing my report on Statues if Easter Island!!!....

    mako, 17/03:
    rapaki pa`rapaki beach and rapanui bush redcliffs banks peninsular is where local newzealand iwi-moari tribes-say the rapanui people emegrated 1200years ago--mm 5highbury place avonside christchurch nz

    hehehehe, 15/03:
    i agree with elma fudd. we should be vewy vewy qwiet. :)

    elma fudd, 15/03:
    be vewy vewy qwiet

    cooldude96, 15/03:
    i love moai.cool website - mentioning it in my history essay

    random time, 04/03:
    u do realize the last 6 pages of the article are comments, right? THIS IS SO SICKNESS

    TRAViiS , 02/03:
    This is awesome!

    Krissyboo:), 02/03:
    THiiS iiS DOPE! ii LOVE THiiS WEBSiiTE:)

    lilac2, 03/12:
    i like wasting your time.....this is fun.....this is a fun time.....mwaa ha ha!!!! ill be back!

    lilac, 03/12:
    this website shows a lot . me and my friends have all ready thought of new explanations. my friends are going to get on this website a lot more now that we found it. i heart easter island heads! . this website shows a lot . me and my friends have all ready thought of new explanations.

    celsa, 03/12:
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    melanie, 30/11:
    Thanks so much to the one whom put this together, our daughter (11th grade)found alot of info on here and got an A+ plus Bonus points for her project. Again THANK YOU!

    Ellie Crystal Herself, 20/11:
    thanks guys for being so supportive!!

    Sherbulandkhan, 19/11:
    Excellent Work..Good stuff....keep it up...

    100% Rabies free, 11/11:
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    i waste ppls time!!, 04/11:
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    -, 27/09:
    Web page nicely put together! Did't read the whole thing, but thanks. It's great how even now with our tech., we don't have the facts about how they moved them around the whole 14 mile island. Incredible, isn't it?

    Mel, 12/09:
    It's annoying how it keeps saying Eastern instead of Easter.

    ellie, 02/08:
    Ahh this is so cool, Id love to go there.

    Phoenician Princess, 28/05:
    I believe the ancient Phoenician explorers of Lebanon are the ancestors of the white-skinned, red headed people of Easter Island... there is similarity between the people of Easter Island and the people of Lebanon.

    lila, 23/05:
    really!! i am studying it in spanish to we just started studying chile soo yeahh. wowozerss twiness!!

    cindyyyy, 23/05:
    hahahah. fun fun fun! . hey this is cool. im studying easter island in my spanish class.

    :p, 23/05:
    this is not a chatroom its a disscusion board abotu easter island!!!!!! sheeshh

    nikki, 22/05:
    ha heyy its niki our group got a a on our project :)

    @ google, 08/05:
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    me, 02/05:
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    amanda, 01/05:
    i am doing the out line asten

    kitkat, 01/05:
    hi its me

    lil seddie, 30/04:
    hello yall how you doin

    seen, 29/04:
    yo its seen waas cracking yall ... this is a ok website .... .... jk

    karyn, 21/04:
    i like this site alot

    Matt The Great, 28/03:
    Ok please tell me the answer then

    shadowknight, 25/03:
    I cant belive that a primitive village can create something that amazing! I wish I knew how they moved the rocks, cut them, and shaped them. It is truly a mystery! I hope one day the world will know!!! - CHRIS SNYDER

    thiis girl x3, 05/03:
    wait... do you guys all kno each other?!

    beast, 03/03:
    me so hott i don't know what to do

    someone, 03/03:
    You people are gross you are supposed to write things about the site.

    booga, 03/03:
    I like cheese Peter grifn likes egss Kris watch peter eat eggs EGS Egszs are good for you Jonathon peter change subject? . oh no them mongolians tear down my city wall

    Criss, 03/03:
    i like easter eggs

    Claire, 04/01:
    why are you guys not commenting on the easter island heads and turning this into a chatroom

    50cc., 17/12:
    chicken nuggets . jason is the best . kdxdkh.xjh ;cf hj;bj

    agknlrwng, 03/12:
    you got fd in the a

    Lucille Sophie Flortine, 23/11:
    When you put comments down, please used correct grammer so at least people can read it. Thank you. I think this website is very interesting.

    shont, 12/11:
    holla to anyone from perth studying art!

    hey tyler, 29/10:
    i typed in my name tyler and the link to this site didnt come up, so i had tocheck my emails for that email you sent me a long time ago rofl

    adamo, 29/10:
    hello im am adi

    ol, 18/10:
    this site is cool Easter island is very interesting ay. thanx heaps this helps with school work

    christian, 13/10:
    ahahahahah im goin to harvest today....yall still up for it lmao

    blow pops , 11/10:
    someone get on at 9 tonight love yall!

    The Franchise, 01/10:
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    T.P., 01/10:
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    Tyler Price , 27/08:
    cuz i was forced in it by michael BB the horn dog

    Alex Frei, 27/08:
    Queer Michael your FAG

    tyler price, 27/08:
    im totally commin out of the closet :)

    Mike Beebe, 27/08:
    I'm a Fag HAHAHAHAHAHA

    Jonathan Cardy, 25/08:
    Hi nice site and great photos, but a few errors. Make-make was not the sole god of the Rapanui. Thor Heyerdahl wasn't the first archaeologist to excavate the statues, Routledge beat him by forty years! Not all the statues were knocked over, thought the coastal ones were the partially buried ones at Rano Raraku weren't. Chek Wikipedia for more detail and piccies.

    The Original Poopcy, 23/08:
    I'm back everyone and i love Poop 14 times

    EasterBunny, 20/08:
    Hello kiddies... If you don't put this in 10 other message boards, then I'll come to your house and beat you mindlessly with a crowbar... Then teabag you... Have fun!

    Hugh Janus, 17/07:
    I'd love to hook up to Andy Seige and eatmypoop - sounds like excellent bum fun

    Luis Tonton Chiclon, 11/07:
    Me parece que eres bien tonton, por que como vas a pensar que esto fue un invento del productor de la pelicula, dime tu quien es el tonton chiclon.

    Luis dame un chiclon, 06/07:
    es muy chicloncito la pelicula del chiclon es muy tonton el tonto q tiene un chicle el el chiclon

    Eric Tonton Chiclon, 06/07:
    Me encanto la explicacion acerca del Moai, pense que era un invento del productor de la pelicula.

    Luis Torres, 06/07:
    Very interesting.

    sassy, 06/07:
    this is an interesting site

    andrew seige , 09/06:
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    bad guy, 05/06:
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    makayla, 30/05:
    This site is interesting.

    hello, 22/05:
    random. Night at the Museum: [Larry]Hey, dum-dum! [head]I not dum-dum! You dum-dum! You give me gum-gum? (?)

    Bob, 15/05:
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    popei, 12/05:
    people should respect the ways we learn

    berandom, 09/05:
    this is really helping me with a school project--thx!

    Beth, 29/04:
    Maybe You should stop writing all tese silly comments and learn something in a while instead of being silly

    Clyaotn, 07/04:
    u dirty perve tryin to hoock up through here. im up 4 it

    Vex, 05/04:
    Had it occurred to ANYONE that perhaps there is as much aesthetic quality to the positioning of the statues as there could be a social or religious one? The original inhabitants called their island the 'Navel of the World' because it's at the centre of their existence, in the middle of the Pacific. The statues would surely be there to symbolize their dominance over this place, that's much likely a reason for them to scatter around the edges of the island, they're not guardians because they point the wrong way, so surely they are an audience yes? Perhaps they were built with the intention of housing their leader's mana, but if you were going to spend eternity in a statue, you'd wanna have a good view of your legacy! If you look at the Ahu Akivi site, you'll notice the commanding view it takes on the landscape, I find it no surprise that these monoliths were amongst the last few Moai to be placed on this island. They face west, perhaps the astrological placing was intentional, but maybe that was just a coincidence, they do happen sometimes. What if the statues are merely watching the sunset, the last moments of their time?

    Matt and Harry, 21/03:
    We are the poopsters! Diego is a freakazoid. I miss when i did this a long time ago. Those were good times

    Brian, 06/02:
    this is very intresting....

    sickofkids, 04/02:
    Really informative site with great photos and information. I feel sorry for the low-lives who waste their time with inbecilic comments, when they could be actually learning something. Still they have a career cleaning out toilets in Shopping Malls, to look forward to - at best. Carry on! The world needs plebs like you to do the dirty work for us intelligent people with great jobs and lots of money.

    brian, 31/01:
    respond 2 that!

    GA2, 18/01:
    you all are 2 yers old!

    ma2, 18/01:
    who made this site... they ROK!!!

    katie, 12/01:
    im fik an i cant read so i dont like it because im fik hahaha

    louise, 12/01:
    im doing this at school at the moment i think its great and it really inspired me

    Román, 09/01:
    Es emocionante saber que hay muchas personas interesadas en el tema, es un lugar muy bonito...me gustaria ir a la isla de Pascua...

    ton ton, 09/01:
    in the movie "night at the museum" there's a easter island stone head, thats waht makes me feel interested about this theme..(im not a loser punk...¬¬)

    42 and a half, 08/01:
    I am your god now, so you must obey . mopping floors is a janitors job

    Whodey, 06/01:
    Wow.....Ive never seen such an intellectual debate on a history site. Which one of you is the rocket scientist from NASA? FYI: Webmaster: Can you block these loser punks off your site? My daugher is doing a report and would like to converse/post some "real" comments.

    godzilla man, 14/12:
    yea what now b*tchiz

    Erick[brutal], 13/12:
    enuff is enuff children.

    Gabby , 06/12:
    Theses figures are one of the meny wonders of this world and an unsolved mystery. I would love to visit this island someday on an archaeological dig.

    Heart-A-Gram, 06/10:
    I was doing a report on aztecs and i could not find it on you site so you need to get it and by the way you guys leave the gayest comments this is a site to help with skool not get you laid.

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    no way hoza nathenal

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    trey , 30/08:
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    hihi, 30/08:
    this stuff in here is so immature

    Rowan Eyzaguirrey, 03/08:
    How about you come back to my place bouncy boucny!!!

    denny, 19/07:
    hey yall. mu, atlantis, ancient astronauts?

    hanna, 08/06:
    i hope this artical ispires people to see new things because it has deffenetly made me want to go and see Eater Island

    JIM, 03/06:
    blah this is a cool site

    jordan nemecek , 30/05:
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    Kelsey, 24/01:
    This has also helped my forgotten peoples humanitities project! ^_^

    Sabrina, 29/11:
    Your Site Is helping me out alot with my social studies project @ skool, thankx!

    Alice , 13/11:
    I had never heard of Easter Island until Matt Lowery from the Today show visited there this past week. It was beautiful. They put some eyes in the head statues that made them almost life like. I had forgotten this until this morning on an unusual radio station I heard the song, "I want a head like the ones on Easter Island". Just too strange huh? I would have never understood the song before. Now I am trying to find that CD. Your site is great. I was trying to explain Easter Island to my husband. Thanks

    bobby, 01/12:
    this is cool. i'm an ancetor of the Rapa Nui.
    QUICK LINKS:

    Maya:
    Mayan history
    Mayan Writing ~ Codices
    Mayan calendar and prophecies

    Easter Island:
    Eastern Island - Myth
    Easter Island: stones, history

    Inca:
    Machu Picchu