Top Ten Easter Island Attractions

Top Ten Easter Island Attractions

       Easter Island, also known as Rapa Nui and the Isla de Pascua, is a Polynesian island in the southeastern Pacific Ocean, at the southeastern most point of the Polynesian triangle. A special territory of Chile that was annexed in 1888, Easter Island is famous for its 887 extant monumental statues, called moai, created by the early Rapanui people. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site with much of the island protected within Rapa Nui National Park. In recent times the island has served as a warning of the cultural and environmental dangers of over exploitation. Ethnographers and archaeologists also blame diseases carried by European colonizers and slave raiding of the 1860’s for devastating the local peoples. Easter Island is claimed to be the most remote inhabited island in the world.

  1. Moai

           Moai, or mo‘ai, are monolithic human figures carved from rock on the Polynesian island of Easter Island between the years 1250 and 1500. Nearly half are still at Rano Raraku, the main moai quarry, but hundreds were transported from there and set on stone platforms called ahu around the island’s perimeter. Almost all moai have overly large heads three-fifths the size of their bodies. The moai are chiefly the living faces (aringa ora) of deified ancestors (aringa ora ata tepuna). The statues still gazed inland across their clan lands when Europeans first visited the island, but most would be cast down during later conflicts between clans. The 887 statues’ production and transportation is considered a remarkable creative and physical feat. The tallest moai erected, called Paro, was almost 10 m (33 ft) high and weighed 82 tons; the heaviest erected was a shorter but squatter moai at Ahu Tongariki, weighing 86 tons; and one unfinished sculpture, if completed, would have been approximately 21 m (69 ft) tall with a weight of about 270 tons.
    Links: Sculptures, Top 100 Oceanic Sculptures, Top Ten Ancient Stone Monuments, Top Ten Underwater Sculptures, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moai,
  2. Paro Moai

           The tallest moai erected, called Paro, was almost 10 m (33 ft) high and weighed 82 tons; the heaviest erected was a shorter but squatter moai at Ahu Tongariki, weighing 86 tons; and one unfinished sculpture, if completed, would have been approximately 21 m (69 ft) tall with a weight of about 270 tons.
    Links: Sculptures, Top 100 Oceanic Sculptures, Top Ten Tallest Sculptures, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moai,
  3. Rano Raraku

           Rano Raraku is a volcanic crater formed of consolidated volcanic ash, or tuff, and located on the lower slopes of Terevaka in the Rapa Nui National Park on Easter Island. It was a quarry for about 500 years until the early 18th century, and supplied the stone from which about 95% of the island’s known monolithic sculptures (moai) were carved. Rano Raraku is a visual record of moai design vocabulary and technological innovation, where 397 moai remain. Rano Raraku is in the World Heritage Site of Rapa Nui National Park and gives its name to one of the seven sections of the park.
    Links: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rano_Raraku,
  4. Cave of the Men Eatresses

    Description:
    Links: Top Ten Caves, Top Ten Cave Paintings, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Easter_island,
  5. Links: Islands, Top Ten Oceanic Islands, National Parks, Top Ten Oceanic National Parks, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Easter_Island,

Recommendations for Excursions on Easter Island