What are the monuments on Easter Island called?

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The mysterious monuments of Easter Island

Easter Island, located in the Pacific Ocean, is famous for its enigmatic monuments known as moai. These impressive stone sculptures, carved centuries ago by the ancient inhabitants of the island, have aroused the interest and curiosity of thousands of tourists and archaeologists from around the world. In this article, we will explore some of the most notable moai and reveal their names and meanings.

Ahu Tongariki: la mayor plataforma ceremonial

One of the most impressive moai sets on Easter Island is located at Ahu Tongariki. This place houses a ceremonial platform that has 15 gigantic sculptures, considered the tallest on the island. The moai of Ahu Tongariki represent the ancestors of the Rapanui, the indigenous people of the island. Each of them has its own name, although some have been lost over time.

Rano Raraku: el taller de los moai

Rano Raraku is a volcanic quarry that has become one of the most emblematic places on Easter Island. This is where stone sculptures were carved and molded. In this quarry, you can still find dozens of moai in different stages of production, some completely finished and others in the process of carving. Among the most famous moai of Rano Raraku are the Tukuturi and the Eyebrow Moai.

Ahu Akivi: the moai that watch the ocean

Ahu Akivi is a unique site on Easter Island, as the moai found here are the only ones that face the ocean rather than the interior of the island. This group of seven sculptures is known as «the seven explorers», since according to legend, they represent the first explorers who arrived on the island from Polynesia. Unlike other moai, those of Ahu Akivi are oriented towards the sea, as if they were monitoring the horizon in search of new territories.

Vinapu: the evidence of Inca influence

The Vinapu archaeological site is known for its unusual architectural style, which has been compared to the Inca buildings of South America. Here is the Ahu Tahira, a ceremonial platform that has two moai. The most striking thing about this place is the way the stone blocks fit together perfectly, without the need to use mortar. Some experts believe that this construction technique may have been influenced by the Incas, although there is still no consensus on this.

The names and meanings of the moai

Each moai on Easter Island has its own name, although not all have been preserved over the centuries. The names were passed down orally from generation to generation, but due to loss of knowledge and lack of written records, some of them have been lost forever. However, the moai remain an integral part of the island’s identity and cultural legacy.

In short, the moai of Easter Island are much more than simple stone sculptures. They are witnesses of an ancient and mysterious civilization, whose secrets have not yet been completely revealed. Each of these monuments has its own name and meaning, and represents both the history and future of the island. If you have the opportunity to visit Easter Island, don’t miss the opportunity to marvel at these incredible moai and discover their fascinating history.