"Puna Pau" Top 5 Page for this destination Easter Island Things to Do Tip by pure1942

Easter Island Things to Do: 305 reviews and 695 photos

by pure1942

While the majority of Easter Island?s moai statues were cut and carved from the hard volcanic tuff at the Rano Raraku crater, the pukaos were quarried from the softer, red coloured scoria rock present at the smaller Puna Pau crater near Hanga Roa. Pukao, often called, top knots are the large sculpted rocks hoisted onto the head of the moai after the statues have been erected. Not all the statues had pukao with only around 60 having been placed successfully on top of moai. This has led to the belief that the pukao were a late development in the design of moai and only included on the moai from the later period of construction.
No one can say for sure what these pukao are meant to be or symbolise but a common theory is that the pukao are representations of the hair style popular among the Rapa Nui men at the time, where they tied their long hair into a squat bob on top of their head. Just as you can wander among finished and half finished moai at Rano Raraku, you can likewise, wander among pukao at various stages of production at Puna Pau. Like the work at Rano Raraku, the quarrying of pukao at Puna Pau seemed to stop abruptly, with workers abandoning their stations suddenly and never resumed work at the quarry. Some moai were also carved from the soft rock at Puna Pau, including the unique Moai Tukuturi at Rano Raraku.

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  • Written Nov 2, 2011
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