Moai (Easter Island, 16th century)

Moai (Easter Island, 16th century)

This Pacific island is famous for its unique monolithic human figures.

Visual Arts


Moai, Rapa Nui, monolithic statue, Easter Island, Easter, World Heritage, Pacific Ocean, Polynesia, statue, Chile, ritual, Jacob Roggeveen, religious, island, forest destroying, modern history, visual arts, native, volcanic, volcanic activity, history, art

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  • How far off from the coast of South America is Easter Island located?
  • What is the official language in Easter Island?
  • What is the island's name in the language of native Easter Islanders?
  • What is the area of Easter Island?
  • Who was the first recorded European visitor of Easter Island?
  • In which year did Jacob Roggeveen arrive at the island?
  • How many monolithic statues are there on Easter Island?
  • What are the island's monolithic statues called in the language of native Easter Islanders?
  • Which continent is closest to Easter Island?
  • What is the capital of Easter Island?
  • Who named the island?
  • What is the average height of moais?
  • What is the average mass of the moai statues?
  • What rock was NOT used for making moai statues?
  • What is the special headdress placed on top of some moai statues called?
  • What do the moai statues face?
  • Is it true that the enormous statues could not be moved, therefore they were carved where they were intended to stand?
  • How did natives move the moai statues?
  • What was the height of the largest moai?
  • What was the weight of the heaviest moai?
  • Is it true that moai statues have only heads, but no bodies?
  • In which museum is the Hoa Hakananai'a currently on display?
  • Is it true that one of the moai statues represents a kneeling figure?
  • What is the only kneeling moai statue called?
  • What are the raised stone platforms that some of the moais stand on called?
  • What bird is represented on the back of the Hoa Hakananai'a moai?
  • What was Easter Island named after?
  • What shape is Easter Island?
  • Where is Easter Island located?
  • Which country does Easter Island belong to?


Easter Island

  • Easter Island (Rapa Nui)
  • Ahu Akivi
  • Terevaka - The peak of this volcano is the highest point of the island (507 m).
  • Ahu Nau Nau
  • Puakatike
  • Ahu Tongariki
  • Rano Raraku
  • Rano Kau

Ahu Nau-Nau

  • pukao - Carved hats or topknots placed on top of some moai statues; they probably indicated rank.
  • Anakena - One of the two sandy sections of the otherwise rocky coastline of Easter Island.
  • moai - The name of the monolithic statues in Rapa Nui language. By the beginning of the 21st century, 887 of them were found.
  • Ahu Nau Nau - It is a raised stone platform with an altar. It was a sacred place.

Anakena Ahu Atore

  • Anakena
  • moai - This was the first statue on the island to be re-erected by Thor Heyerdahl and his team in 1956.
  • Ahu Ature Huki


  • moai - The average height of the statues was 4.05 m, with an average mass of 12.5 t.

Hoa Hakananai'a

  • Hoa Hakananai'a - It was made of basalt rock. It is 2.42 m tall and weighs approx. 4 t. The name may mean lost (or stolen) friend. It is currently housed in the British Museum.
  • rapa - A paddle, smaller than an ao.
  • ao - A paddle used as an accessory for ceremonial dance. It symbolises power and masculinity.
  • maro - A belt.
  • komari - Bas-relief vulva symbols (4).
  • manutara - A small bird, probably a sooty tern.
  • tangata manu - 'Bird-man'. The left side is male, the right side is female.

Walking statue



Easter Island, today a special territory belonging to Chile, is located in the Pacific Ocean, about 3,500 km off the Chilean coast. It was named by the Dutch navigator Jacob Roggeveen, who was the first European to visit the island on Easter Sunday, 1722.

The island is famous for its monolithic statues, unique works of art created by the native inhabitants. These statues, called moais, were carved out of volcanic rock found on the island.

The statues were enormously large and heavy, so the question of how they were transported has long been a mystery.

Most of the moais were erected on the coast, on ceremonial stone platforms called ahus. They faced the centre of the island. Contrary to popular belief, these statues are not only giant heads; they also have bodies with arms. However, they have no legs.

Today, Easter Island has a population of about 6,000 inhabitants. Nearly half of its territory belongs to the Rapa Nui National Park, which became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1995. The capital of the island is Hanga Roa. With its unique archaeological sites and pleasant climate, the island attracts thousands of tourists every year.

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