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
, or Rapa Nui as the locals call it, is one of the most remote inhabited islands, located 3500 kms west of Chile.
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
the moais at Tahai
a topple-over statue at Akahanga
near the quarry at Rano Raraku the hillside is littered with moais
most of the body is below ground
this one was never finished
the lake inside Rano Raraku volcano, also here many moais
the fifteen statues at Tongarika were once swept away by a tsunami
on our way to the Cave of the Man eaters
inside the cave there are ritual bird paintings
the moais at Akivi are the only ones facing the see
the cliff at Orongo with Motu Nui in the distance. Note the carvings