MOAI - AUGUST 2004
Almost everything in Easter Island is involved in mystery and awe: the origins, the settlement, the population, the history, and the moai... After having strolled around Hanga Roa during the morning, we had a delicious Atum Tomero for lunch, and started the tour of the Island by visiting Puna Pau and Ahu Akivi in the afternoon!
Puna Pau was the mine for the pukao. The pukao are cylindrical stone topknots or headdress for statues, made of red scoria.
"VIEW from Puna Pau towards Hanga Roa"
"PUKAO - The topknots of the moai were carved at Puna Pau, the mine for this kind of work. Several cylindrical pukao rest on the ground, probably on the site where they were awaiting transportation when the works mysteriously stopped"
The Ahu is a place of worship, called marae in other parts of Polynesia and heiau in Hawaii. These ceremonial shrines take many shapes, and not all had statues.
"THE GUIDE - Ahu Akivi is a superb site. The seven moai date from 1460 A.D. and face the sea. However, they are 2.5 km away from the shoreline, which may mean that they were facing an existing village, as almost all of the moai. These were restored by William Mulloy in 1960"
"MOAI - The seven moai of Ahu Akivi are very similar and seem to match the statistical average of the moai"
"NEW 7 WONDERS OF THE WORLD - You may vote the Easter Island Moai for the New 7 Wonders of the World. They [were] announced during the Official Declaration ceremony in Lisbon, Portugal on Saturday, July 7, 2007 - 07.07.07!!!"
Manavai were stone walled or sunken garden enclosures.
"SUNKEN GARDENS were an adaptation to an increasingly sterile land"
Next morning the wind was blowing high when we started an whole day tour of the Island; the rain would fall in the afternoon. First photos are from Ahu Vaihu.
"HANGA TEE BAY - Ahu Vaihu lies on a small bay named Hanga Tee"
"FALLEN MOAI - At the Vaihu platform there are eight fallen moai, with the heads facing the soil. It seems they are lying exactly the way they fell or were thrown down..."
"FALLEN PUKAO - Near the moai there are also eight topknots. It seems they were recovered from water and placed in dry land in 1986"
Akahanga is referred to as the platform of a king and is linked to the legend of the foundation of the island. According to the legend, Hotu Matu'a, the legendary founder of the island and first ariki and his family and followers came from Hiva.
"MOAI, SEA AND SKY"