a look at

The Easter Islands Heads

easter island statues

Nearly all moai have disproportionately enormous heads that are three-eighths the size of the entire statue. The lifelike faces of the Moai statues represent the idolized ancestors.


The Moai statues of Rapa Nui are monolithic monuments whose understated design is reflective of Polynesian features. Volcanic tuff was used to create the Easter Island heads.


The Moai statues are distinguished by their broad noses and massive chins, as well as rectangular ears and large eye slits. Their bodies are usually squatting, with their arms positioned in various postures and no legs.


Many archaeologists believe the sculptures were religious and geopolitical emblems of power and authority. But they were more than just symbols. They were literal stores of spiritual energy to the people who built and used them.


In addition to symbolizing departed ancestors, the Easter Island heads may have been considered as the manifestation of strong current or past chiefs and vital lineage status markers after they were placed on Ahu.


Based on information from the archaeological record, the most recent study demonstrates that the figures were connected with ropes from two sides and made to “walk” by rotating them from side-to-side while being pushed forward.


All of the statues that had been built on Ahu fell at some time following Jacob Roggeveen’s arrival in 1722; Abel Aubert du Petit-Thouars noted the final standing sculptures in 1838.


Ten or more of the Moai statues have been taken from Easter Island and sent across the world, including those now on exhibit at the British Museum and the Louvre Museum.