Visiting Easter Island has always been on the list of top most attractive places yet visited by least.
For those of you, who love historical mysteries will like this place to the core and to those who have been wondering where Easter island located?
The answer is, it is located in the South Pacific Ocean covering nearly 64 sq miles and about 2200 miles away from the coast of the country of Chile where the island is.
To its early natives, the island was known as Rapa Nui which later modified to Paasieland or Easter land by the dutches who explored the island in 1722 and baptized the island in honour of their arrival.
Prior to Island came into existence, natives of Rapa Nui believed, 500 years ago, they are the only people living on earth. The reason why the easter island is famous is that of its ancient 900 giant stone figures.
Speculations were many regarding the precise purpose of the statues, the role of the ancient civilization of this place and the way they might have been built and moved.
Easter Island History
Before the island christened as ‘Easter Island,’ the island was known as Rapa Nui which was given by the Tahitian sailors in 1866, which meant ‘Great Rapa’ due to its similarity with another island known as Rapa Nui (meaning ‘Little Rapa’) in Polynesia
The island’s current name was innovated by Jacob Roggeveen, A Dutch sea captain and first European to visit the island.
According to Thor Heyerdahl, the easter Islands had been established initially by advanced societies of Indians from South America.
which was later concluded as an incorrect hypothesis by comprehensive archaeological, linguistic and ethnographic research.
With the help of the DNA samples from the skeleton extracts, it is confirmed that the original inhabitants were Polynesian and that they probably came from Marquesas who arrived in the earliest 318 AD.
In 1888, chile added Island, renting half of the land for sheep raising. The government of Chile also appointed a civilian governor in 1965 for this site and residents residing in the island.
Easter Island Moai
Easter island’s most popular features are it gigantic stone statues known as moai, there are at least 288 of these moai stood on large stone platforms known as ahu.
There are 250 of these ahu platforms placed around a one-half mile away to create an unbroken line around the edge of the island.
The height of the Moai statue is 14 feet, 6’ tall and weighs around 14 tons. Few of the moai were as big as 33 feet and weighed around 80 tons or more.
It is estimated depending on the size of the statues that at least 50-150 people were required to drag the icons over the countryside on wooden sledge and rollers which made from the island trees.
In numerous stages of completion, 600 moai statues dispersed in every part of the easter island. All the Maoi sculpted from the hard stone of Rano Raraku volcano.
Small amounts of moai were cover with ‘crown’ on their head made up of red volcanic rock. The purpose behind these capstones is still unknown.
The easter island statues are known to have a body underneath the ground by the archaeologists, ever since the excavations in 1914.
However, people referred to them as ‘easter islands head’ because most of the moai photographs taken were those in which half of the statue’s body buried up to the shoulder.
Easter Island Mystery
Scholars haven’t still found anything to explain the purpose and the meaning of the moai statues. The presumed that their sculpting and construction derived from a concept rooted in practice similar elsewhere in Polynesia but developed uniquely.
It was a belief amongst ancient Polynesians that the carved stones and the wooden objects have a magical essence in them known as mana when they are correctly made and ritually formulated. It was according to the archaeologists that the moai statues were built keeping the same idea in mind.
Easter Island Facts
In 2008, Marko Kulju, 26, a Finnish tourist got caught on Alakena beach chopping an ear off a statue.
A woman on the island saw Kulju running from the scene with the statue’s ear. She immediately informed the police about the incident.
Police identified the suspect by the tattoos on his body. He was on house arrest and fined almost 17000 $ along with seven years of imprisonment. Marko, shortly after his arrest issued a public apology for a Chilean newspaper.
As a result, one part of the quarry has been announced quarantine far from the central spot.
I’m sure many people want to applaud, on his face!.
There’s another fact that’s quite mysterious yet interesting. While all the easter island moai have a distinguish features and pursue a certain elegance, there’s a statue ‘Tukuturi’ which has a human-like appearance.
It’s smaller than the other easter island statues, and the position like kneeling the ground with hands on its legs. Tunturi’s statue has a round head and seems like a human figure and also has a small beard.
The statue was made from different material, from the reddish stone of puna while other moai sculpted at Rano Rarku.
Tunturi later brought to Rano Raraku. The uniqueness of this statue leaves many people scratch their heads, at least for once. At one point in the history of this place, the island suffered ravaging deforestation.
In a report, it has stated that in 1868, there were no erect statues on the easter island apart from the ones that buried up to the shoulders on the outer direction o Rano Raraku. But, many figures have rebuilt, since.
How to get to Easter Island?
Expect few hindrances in getting from one point to another point when you’re travelling to worlds most isolated airports. All you need is some money and time.
Reference: Rapa Nui
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