What are Rapa Nui houses made of?

Follow us on insta

What the houses of Rapa Nui are made of

If you have ever had the opportunity to visit the remote island of Rapa Nui, also known as Easter Island, you will surely have marveled at the famous stone statues, the moai. However, another interesting aspect of this Polynesian island are the unique homes built by the ancient inhabitants of Rapa Nui.

The traditional Rapa Nui homes, known as "boathouses" or "boat houses" in English, they are unique and distinctive constructions. Despite their name, these structures do not resemble the typical boats we know, but rather have a cylindrical shape and are made mainly of volcanic stone.

The use of stone in the construction of Rapa Nui homes is understandable if we take into account that the island is located in a volcanic area and lacks large trees. Volcanic stone, known as tuff, is abundant on the island and was used to erect the walls of the homes.

In addition to stone, Rapa Nui homes were also built using other materials available on the island, such as sugar cane and reed leaves. These materials were used to make the roof of the houses, providing insulation and protection against rain.

Unlike conventional homes, Rapa Nui houses did not have windows or doors. Instead, the entrance to the house was at the top, through a small opening in the roof. This peculiar feature allowed access to the house through a wooden staircase, and at the same time provided ventilation and natural light to the interior of the house.

The internal distribution of the Rapa Nui homes was simple but efficient. Each house consisted of a single circular room that served as a living and sleeping space for the entire family. In the center of the room there was a bonfire, used to heat the interior and cook food.

It is impressive to think about how the ancient inhabitants of Rapa Nui managed to build these unique homes using the resources available on the island. Although today many of them are in ruins, the houses of Rapa Nui are a tangible reminder of the creativity and construction skills of this ancient civilization.

If you ever have the opportunity to visit Rapa Nui, do not forget to admire these fascinating homes and reflect on the importance of preserving and valuing the architectural heritage of the island. The houses of Rapa Nui are much more than mere stone constructions, they are living testimonies of the history and culture of an ancestral people.