Mysterious moai

Southwest Life

Mysterious moai

Easter Island statues reveal few secrets
About 400 moai heads remain at Rano Raraku, the quarry on Easter Island, in various stages of carving. The sculptures have bodies attached, but they are buried under the dirt and not visible.
Fifteen moai stand watch at Tongariki on Easter Island. The largest moai on the 720-foot-long platform weighs 97 tons.
The Tongariki site was restored between 1992 and 1996 at a cost of more than $2 million, paid for by the Japanese government.
iF YOU GO

Easter Island: www.easterislandspirit.com and www.easterislandtourism.com. A Rapa Nui National Park pass is $50 at the airport for non-Chileans, $60 elsewhere.

Getting there: Direct flights on LAN Airlines from Santiago, Chile; Lima, Peru; and Tahiti.

What’s in a name?: The original name of the island is lost. It is called Easter Island because the first Dutch explorer spotted it on Easter in 1721. The locals, however, call the island and their language Rapa Nui and refer to themselves as Rapanui. This name likely originated in the 19th century and literally translates to ‘Big Rapa,’ which may refer to the island of Rapa in French Polynesia.

Mysterious moai

About 400 moai heads remain at Rano Raraku, the quarry on Easter Island, in various stages of carving. The sculptures have bodies attached, but they are buried under the dirt and not visible.
Fifteen moai stand watch at Tongariki on Easter Island. The largest moai on the 720-foot-long platform weighs 97 tons.
The Tongariki site was restored between 1992 and 1996 at a cost of more than $2 million, paid for by the Japanese government.
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