Thursday, December 15, 2011

Rapa Nui - Chile

I finally have a card from the Easter Island. The island is famous for its 887 extant monumental statues, called moai, created by the early Rapanui people. It is a World Heritage Site, with much of the island protected within Rapa Nui National Park.

This is a new Unesco card in my collection and it was sent by Steffi.

© Hispapel

Moai, monolithic human figures were carved from rock between the years 1250 and 1500. Nearly half are still at Rano Raraku, the main moai quarry, but hundreds were transported from there and set on stone platforms called ahu around the island's perimeter. Almost all moai have overly large heads three-fifths the size of their bodies. The moai are chiefly the living faces (aringa ora) of deified ancestors (aringa ora ata tepuna).The statues still gazed inland across their clan lands when Europeans first visited the island, but most would be cast down during later conflicts between clans.
The 887 statues' production and transportation is considered a remarkable creative and physical feat.
Ahu Tongariki is the largest ahu on Rapa Nui/Easter Island. Its moai were toppled during the island's civil wars and in the twentieth century the ahu was swept inland by a tsunami. It has since been restored and has fifteen moai including an 86 tonne moai that was the heaviest ever erected on the island. - in:

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