Heads of Moai Statues in Rano Raraku, Easter Island

Heads of Moai Statues in Rano Raraku, Easter Island

Contrary to a few viral photos online, the majority of Moai statues on Easter Island have bodies.

Only these at the 'nursery' Rano Raraku are still buried in the ground, just the way the locals left them there a few centuries ago.

Here at Rano Raraku, it was where the statues were carved from the rock. When you visit, you can see a few Moai still fully embedded in the rock.

Once the Rapa Nui people would separate a statue from the rock, they would just slide it downhill into a pre-dug hole. The soul of a person the Moai was supposed to represent (=mana) was 'put' in the statue by a  Rapa Nui 'priest'. Then the hole was covered and only the head would stick out from the ground. It was time to carve the details of the face.

Once the face was finished, the hole was reopened, and the Moais were transported to their respective locations around the island. There they'd serve as protectors of their tribes.

This was truly one of the most memorable trips of my life. Easter Island is breathtaking thanks to all the Moai statues, wild horses, rather bare land and a special kind of atmosphere.

In my opinion, there's no other place on Earth like the Easter Island and I wish to come back one day!