My penpal Telma knows how much I like postcards and on her last letter she enclosed this card from Easter Island, showing 2 of the 15 moai in the Ahy Tongariki stone platform.
© HISPAPEL LTDA
Ahu Tongariki is the largest Moai site of Easter Island. It has 15 moai lined up and includes the largest moai ever erected on the island. The biggest moai on this card has a pulao (red hairknot) on its head. Originally the others also had them though now they are just lying on the ground closer to the entrance.
The fifteen Moai (with their pukao) were toppled in the 17th century (as were all other Moai on the island) during a tribal war.
The platform was totally destroyed in 1960 when a massive tsunami, triggered by an earthquake in Chile, swept across this corner of the island, dragging the platform blocks and the statues 90m inland – a remarkable distance, given that the statues weigh up to 30 tonnes each. In October 1992 an agreement was signed between the Government of Chile and the Moai Restoration Committee of Japan to restore the Moai of Ahu Tongariki to their original standing positions. Work was finally completed in 1996 after help from Chilean archaeologists, Japanese archaeologists as well as that of a group of people of Easter Island.