Moais Virtuales

THE MOAI OF EASTER ISLAND ORIGIN AND HISTORY

Easter Island (Rapa Nui), located between Polynesia and Chile, houses the big mystery of its impressive sculptures. They are statues of Moai, figures carved in rock taken from the Rano Raraku volcano. These sculptures originally had buns on top of their heads (Pukao) and in the eye sockets they had sheets of red coral. Today, these elements no longer exist although some of them have been found.

With respect to the origin of the Moai, there are several anthropological theories that claim they are Polynesian, while others believe that they are Andean creations. Scientists have not been able to specify the date they were constructed; it is believed that they were made between the 12th and 17th centuries and that they had to do with cultural rituals in honor of ancestors.

The Moai are raised on platforms (Ahu) and it is a mystery as to how they were moved to their current positions; it is believed that the island inhabitants, for this particular task, built paths in the form of a V and moved the statues from the volcano by means of sleds or wooden logs.

In 1995, UNESCO declared the national park of Rapa Nui as a World Heritage sight.



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