Think of a mysterious island lost in the Pacific Ocean and populated by strange giant creatures made of stone for more than 500 years. How were they built? Who put them there? How were they put there? With what material were they made? An interesting story that I will tell you. This is the Easter Island, which belongs to Chile, and where were left approximately 900 moais by the Rapa Nui civilization.
It was at the very end of the day that my plane landed on the island, after many hours of flight. The island is far away from everything. I went straight to the hotel and could hardly wait until the next day to go after the stone giants which inspired the trip. When the sun dawned, I was already on the way to “hunt” with a detailed map of the routes of the island. It is easy to get around the Easter Island, because it only has one road about 40 km paved that leads to points of interest. The island is small.
Suddenly, a dark sandy beach (after all, the island is volcanic), with its back to the sea and with their faces turned to me there they were: The MOAIS. Exciting! Its size is the first surprise. They have between 5 and 7 meters. Do you want to know the weight? Up to 80 tons!!! Imagine that! These gigantic statues were put on the tombs of the leaders of their tribes. But how did they get there?
When you approach the edge of the Rano Raraku volcano, which today is asleep, is when things start to become a bit more clear. That’s where the “Factory of MOAIS” was located. They were made of stones removed from the volcano. As you go climbing, you will find moais that were partially destroyed which rolled down the hill, others almost whole, and some that appear to be at the end of construction. There are so many! It is believed that they were loaded from there until its final destination on tree trunks. Some walked over 10 miles until its final destination. Of course, sometimes the operation was not successful and they broke before arriving on site.
There are controversies about the history of the people of Rapa Nui and their stone gods. What they say is that the Rapa Nui lived in the center of the island, divided into tribes, and left the edges of the island dedicated to religious cults and funeral ceremonies of their leaders. What I can say is that I was astonished and delighted!
I spent three days in the friendly Hare Noi hotel. It was enough time to explore the whole island and circulate through the village of Hanga Roa.
Isn’t the history of the Easter Island interesting?
I wish you all a wonderful week and see you next Tuesday!