"Mysteries and moai" Top 5 Page for this destination Easter Island by TheWanderingCamel
Easter Island Travel Guide: 632 reviews and 1,527 photos
So many images haunt your mind when you leave.
Truly one of the world's great mysteries exists here on this tiny speck of land lying thousands of kilometres from anywhere in the vastness of the South Pacific.
Held by many as one of their dream destinations, having the opportunity to spend a few days here was the realization of an almost life-long ambition. How wonderful then that the reality of being there exceeded all expectations ... and only served to increase the sense of wonder and intrigue the island and its extraordinary sculptures had inspired for so many years.
The islanders call themselves, and their island home, Rapa Nui. Polynesians, they are believed to have made the journey to the tiny island -just 23 by 11km - some 800 -1200 years ago. Much of their history is lost but just enough of an oral tradition survives to allow a glimpse into some of the puzzles the island poses... but much more is left unanswered and/or speculative.
Ever since their first sightings by outsiders - Dutch navigator Roggeveen named it Easter Island in honour of the day his ship arrived there in 1722, the island's first contact with Europeans - Rapa Nui's great stone heads have posed one of the world's great mysteries. Called moai by the islanders, they are to be found all over the island ... 887 of them in all. Intended to be set up as cult figures, nearly 300 can be found in or near their final position on the altars known as ahu; the rest are to be found either at the quarry where they were carved directly from the rock face or en route to the ahu.
The figure here is one of the greatest puzzles. The only complete full figure statue (there are only a very few, very damaged, similar ones elsewhere on the island ), he kneels on the side of the volcano from which he was carved, his completely different facial features gazing upwards in seeming supplication. Far below him, dots in the distance, 15 moai stand on the Ahu Tongariki, the largest of all the island's ahu. These figures stand tall and straight, their now-empty eye sockets gazing straight ahead - haughty and aristocratic, and very different from the one here.
But this is only one of the island's mysteries. Time spent here will reveal more. Some questions will be answered but others will take their place. Many pre-conceived ideas will be refuted. The island will prove to offer much more than trophy photos of those monolithic heads as layers of cult and culture are revealed. I hope you'll enjoy this page as I build my impression of this unique place. More importantly - I hope some of you at least get the chance to make the journey for yourself one day.
- In a nutshell:Totally unique
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The image of a totally bare island is somewhat belied by the photos here. Certainly by the time the first Europeans came... more travel advice
TheWanderingCamel's Related Pages
Easter Island Travel Guide
Member Travel Pages
- "Easter Island - Rapa Nui"
- "Easter Island and the Stone Heads"
- "Mysteries and moai"
- "Rapa Nui - a very special feeling"
- "Easter Island - The Most Remote Frontier On Earth"
- "An Island of Legend, Beauty, and Mystery"
- "wadekorzan's new Easter Island Page"
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- Things to Do in Easter Island
- Hotels in Easter Island
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- Nightlife in Easter Island
- Restaurants in Easter Island
- Shopping in Easter Island
- Warnings and Dangers in Easter Island
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