Tag Archives: isla pasqua

MOAI on Easter Island

The Moai of Easter Island

The moai are a mystery because there are so many different variations to their origins and the reasoning behind their creation, location, and destruction.  Many stories mention dissent among the people, lots of fighting and a very disruptive society.

However, based on a new study, the history has proven to be very different. This study painted a new picture of a new sophisticate and collaborative society based on excavations  four of the statues and the volcanic stone basalt tools used to carve them.  It is now believed that the full body, 13-ton monuments represent important Rapa Nui ancestors.  There are over 900 statues, many buried up to their heads due to the passage of time.  The largest statue is over 70’ tall.  Just admiring the sheer size and number is indicative of a complex, sophisticated society.

Ancient Rapa Nui had chiefs, priests, and guilds of workers who fished, farmed, and made the moai. There was a certain level of sociopolitical organization that was needed to carve almost a thousand statues.

Rapa Nui’s mysterious statues stand in silence but speak volumes about the achievements of their creators. The stone blocks carved into head-and-torso figures, average 13 feet (4 meters) tall and 14 tons. The effort to construct these monuments and move them around the island must have been considerable.  Even though, most scholars now suspect that they were created to honor important personages, it’s impossible to be certain.  Primarily because there is no written and little oral history exists on the island, so it’s impossible to be certain.

How did they build and move these giant monuments?

  1. The MOAI was outlined on the rock, a slow chiseling process.
  2. From the outline, they carved the MOAI out of the rock. The left a “heal” on its back, keeping a connection to the bed-rock.
  3. The keel is removed, and the MOAI is slid down the slope using a multitude of round trees or rocks.
  4. The MOAI is then placed in a pt so that the carving of its back can be finished.
MOAI Carving from Museum

MOAI Carving from Museum

We visited the MAPSE Museo Rapanui museum which was free and fairly easy to find.  They had pieces of MOAI along with ancient artifacts.  We discovered that of the hundreds of MOAI, less than 10 were female.  One of the female MOAI is at the museum (top right photos)

Museum Photos

Museum Photos

With so many MOAI to see it will be hard to get it all in during our short stay, but I promise you we will try!

Robinson Crusoe and Easter Island

Live Blog: Traversing the Pacific

We interrupt this program for a live message (for those of you old enough to remember when they said that on TV).  Matt and I are starting a long passage across the Pacific Ocean. We will suspend our normal, narrative blogs while we live blog.  We will resume the narrative blogs around mid-April.

Our journey will start today, from Valdivia, Chile.

It will take us 4-5 days to make it to Robinson Crusoe island.  We hope to see how the original Robinson Crusoe (Alexander Selkirk) entertained himself for four years on a deserted island.

After a day or two of rest, we will head to Easter island, also known as Isla Pasqua and Rapa Nui.  This passage should take us 2-2.5 weeks.

Hopefully we will get 3-4 days to recover and explore the Moai before setting sail for Pitcarin Island.  We may or may not stop here, depends on the weather and protection of the anchorage.  This passage should take us 8-9 days.

After Pitcarin, we will make our way to Mangareva, Gambier (first archipelago of French Polynesia).  We hope to arrive here by mid-April.

The map shows Santiago.  Valdivia is south by 500nm miles.  You will then see Robinson Crusoe and Rapa Nui.  The other islands are off the charts.

Robinson Crusoe and Easter Island

Robinson Crusoe and Easter Island

The Pacific is a huge ocean and can be both beautiful and inspiring while also fraught with danger.  We hold a great deal of respect for the Pacific and will take all pre-cautionary measures to ensure our safety and the safety of the boat.

The “live blogs” use a satellite service, so we are not actually online.  We won’t be able to see any comments until we get back to wifi.  However, our blog will automatically post to the Sugar Shack Facebook Page so be sure to follow that to get updates. (Christine’s personal FB page will not be updated)

If you want to track our progress across the Pacific, you can click on “Current Location” tab on our blog svSugarShack.com.