Moai of Easter Island (Rapa Nui) during a colorful sunrise.

Chile 2016 in the Rear View Part 2: Easter Island (Rapa Nui)

Posted on May 2, 2016

Few places on this vast planet still evoke the mystery of Easter Island (Rapa Nui). There are so many conflicting theories on the statues whose presence overlook the landscapes of the furthest inhabited island in the middle of the pacific, we may never know the truth behind the civilization that lived on this island. Despite all of my travels, this was the first time I made my way to this amazing destination, and I was lucky enough to be able to lead the second part of my Chile workshop there.

A workshop participant taking in the ocean view from the mouth of a cave
Being a volcanic island, Easter Island has a vast network of caves and lava tubes. Some of these caves were used at different periods as homes by the ancient inhabitants of the island. You can still see petroglyphs and cave paintings in some areas.

Statues that never made it all the way to their final Ahu's (platforms) in front of the hillside quarry that most were carved from.
The stone used for the different parts of the Maoi was sourced from different places on the island. Most of the statue is made of a solidified volcanic ash. The reddish stone seen on the heads of Moai (known as Pukaus) once they are on their final platforms was carved from a different stone and were meant to symbolize a top knot of hair. Yes, an ancient Man-Bun. (Sorry hipsters, not as original as you thought!)


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