"Last ones ...." Top 5 Page for this destination Easter Island Things to Do Tip by TheWanderingCamel
Easter Island Things to Do: 303 reviews and 692 photos
Have you had enough descriptions of Easter Island's ahu and their moai? This will be the last group I write about, though the serious moai-hunter has only to look at a map to see I've only touched on a few. Still, saving the best for last .....
The dry sands of Anakena Beach covered the moai at Ahu Nau Nau, protecting and preserving the crisp carving of the features and the fine detail of the long-fingered hands and the tattoo-like patterns on the backs so that the moai here are in by far the best condition of any of the moai to be found on the island. This is thought to be one of the oldest sites on the island, the ahu we see today standing on the remains of several earlier structures and there is evidence here on the earliest ahu of the same precise stone masonry seen at Ahu Vinapu. Take a walk around to the back of the ahu and you'll see not only these perfectly shaped blocks but also a recycled moai head and a block carved with the figure of a man incorporated into the ahu wall (photo 3)
It was here too, that, the broken pieces of an eye were found - solving the question of the reason for such deep eye sockets on the statues. It's now thought that the fitting of the coral and stone eyes, the carving of the various features such as the hands and the back markings, and the topknots being added all took place once the moai were in situ on the ahu, and that doing this was in some way part of the ritual of investing the statues with the spirit of the person they represented and the protective powers they were held to possess.
Standing close by to Ahu Nau Nau is Ahu Ature Huki. This was the first of all the fallen moai to be raised, the work carried out by the famed Norwegian explorer, Thor Heyerdahl and a team of twelve islanders in 1955. It took them 18 days and showed that the work could be done by man power alone. No-one has yet solved the riddle of how they managed to lift the top knots - some of which weigh 2 tons or more - into place.
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