the quarry for the moai's red hat (Pukao) at Puna Pau
the humble dwellings for the Birdman competitors
the Rano Kua volcano
a better look at the Birdman carvings at Orongo
a nice see-through at Rano Raraku
Easter Island  (Rapa Nui)
Easter Island, or Rapa Nui as the locals call it, is one of the most remote inhabited islands, located 3500 kms west of Chile.
First settlers were Polynesians, possibly fro the island Mangareva.
In 1862 Peruvian slave traders deported more than half of the population.
 
Rapa Nui is famous for the moais, large monolitic statues representing chief ancestors.
The moai culture ended with the toppling of all the statues.
It was replaced by the Bird Man Cult. Each year a competition was held to fetch the first Stern egg from Motu Nui, a small island off Orongo.
The sponsor of the winner was declared Tangata-Manu and became leader of the island for a year.
Many competitors did not survive the steep cliffs and the hungry sharks in the channel.
 
 
We were there in August 2011.
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the moais at Tahai
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a topple-over statue at Akahanga
near the quarry at Rano Raraku the hillside is littered with moais
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most of the body is below ground
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this one was never finished
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the lake inside Rano Raraku volcano, also here many moais
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the fifteen statues at Tongarika were once swept away by a tsunami
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 on our way to the Cave of the Man eaters
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inside the cave there are ritual bird paintings
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the moais at Akivi are the only ones facing the see
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the cliff at Orongo with Motu Nui in the distance. Note the carvings