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Moai Statue

Country
Chile
State
Chile (General)
City
Easter Island
Type of Location
Monument, Caves
About Location

Moai are monolithic human figures carved from rock on the Polynesian island of Easter Island between the years 1250 and 1500.Nearly half are still at Rano Raraku, the main moai quarry, but hundreds were transported from there and set on stone platforms called ahu around the island's perimeter. Almost all moai have overly large heads three-fifths the size of their bodies. The moai are chiefly the living faces (aringa ora) of deified ancestors (aringa ora ata tepuna).The statues still gazed inland across their clan lands when Europeans first visited the island, but most would be cast down during later conflicts between clans.

The 887 statues production and transportation is considered a remarkable creative and physical feat.The tallest moai erected, called Paro, was almost 10 metres (33 ft) high and weighed 82 tons;the heaviest erected was a shorter but squatter moai at Ahu Tongariki, weighing 86 tons; and one unfinished sculpture, if completed, would have been approximately 21 metres (69 ft) tall with a weight of about 270 tons.

The moai are monolithic statues, their minimalist style related to forms found throughout Polynesia. Moai are carved in relatively flat planes, the faces bearing proud but enigmatic expressions. The over-large heads (a three-to-five ratio between the head and the body, a sculptural trait that demonstrates the Polynesian belief in the sanctity of the chiefly head) have heavy brows and elongated noses with a distinctive fish-hook-shaped curl of the nostrils. The lips protrude in a thin pout. Like the nose, the ears are elongated and oblong in form. The jaw lines stand out against the truncated neck. The torsos are heavy, and, sometimes, the clavicles are subtly outlined in stone. The arms are carved in bas relief and rest against the body in various positions, hands and long slender fingers resting along the crests of the hips, meeting at the hami (loincloth), with the thumbs sometimes pointing towards the navel. Generally, the anatomical features of the backs are not detailed, but sometimes bear a ring and girdle motif on the buttocks and lower back. Except for one kneeling moai, the statues do not have legs.



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How to Reach

By Air

The majority of international flights arrive into the city of Santiago. The main airport is Aeropuerto Internacional Arturo Merino Benitez, which also has a domestic terminal. However, most other major cities have good airports, sometimes with connecting flights to international neighboring countries.

By Bus

Chile has a fantastic bus system. Buses are cheap due to so many private companies competing for their customers. The result is fantastic service, lots of promotions and special offers. If you have the time a popular long distance route is to neighboring Argentina. With the excitement of the road, the extraordinary views, and all the people who you meet on the way, a bus journey can become an unforgettable part of your Chile.

Key places to visit
Rano Kau, Chilean rodeo, Desventuradas Islands


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Places to Visit

Rano Kau

Rano Kau is a 1063 ft tall extinct volcano that forms the southwestern headland of Easter Island, a Chilean island in the Pacific Ocean. It was formed of basaltic lava flows in the Pleistocene with its youngest rocks dated at between 150,000 and 210,000 years ago.Rano Kau has a crater lake which is one of the island's only three natural bodies of fresh water. Most of the volcano is on the coast and has been eroded back to form high sea cliffs which at one point have started to bite into the crater wall. On its northern side, the volcano slopes down to Mataveri International Airport.

Chilean rodeo

Chilean rodeo is a traditional sport in Chile. It was declared the national sport in 1962. It has since thrived, especially in the more rural areas of the country. Chilean rodeo is different from the rodeo found in North America. In Chilean rodeo, a team (called a collera) consisting of two riders (called Huasos) and two horses rides laps around an arena trying to stop a calf, pinning him against massive cushions. Points are earned for every time the steer is properly driven around the corral, with deductions for faults. Rodeos are conducted in a crescent-shaped corral called a medialuna.

Desventuradas Islands

is a group of four small islands located 850 kilometres (530 mi) off the coast of Chile, northwest of Santiago in the Pacific Ocean.The islands together have a total land area of four square kilometers.The vegetation is a miniature mosaic of matorral, barren rock, various size trees, and shrubs mixed with ferns and perennial herbs. There are no permanent sources of fresh water on the islands. Vertebrates inhabiting both islands are exclusively limited to birds. Ten species of marine birds and one land bird species, some of them endangered, make their nests on or visit the islands.

Right Time to Visit

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