...promised today, was that I'm going to share some stuff I learned about the Easter Islands

Actually, that's not too far from the actual blog post I wanted to make today... But since this one is more to the point, and the topic actually came up I'm going to go with this one.

I've seen quite a few documentaries about the topic at hand. Most of them had quite different things to say about it, and of course presenting the whole island in totally different ways. I'm not going to tell you what actually is the truth here. I'll try to gather all kinds of things that I've heard about it, even if they contradict each other.

First off Easter Island is in the southeastern Pacific Ocean. It belonged to the Rapa Nui, but at the moment it's on the territory of Chile.

Since it is isolated from other Polynesian islands, the Rapa Nui have a totally different set of myths than the nations around them.

The most amazing thing on the island for tourists from all around the world would be the moai, the huge carvings lying around the island. But I remember watching a documentary in the T.V. once, that was really interesting, just because it didn't focus on these huge carvings.

Now let us see what I remember of that show. First off the Rapa Nui still live on the island. Some of them still know a few old traditions, passed on to them from their ascendants.

I also learned that the first people who arrived here found an amazing place to live in. The island was rich, full with everything a few people would need to survive. The first houses the Rapa Nui made had strange elliptical shapes. People think it must have been because they used their boats and ships as a house, by turning them upside down. And the people lived and prospered.

They had a strange obsession with building the moai, and this is probably what was their downfall. As they continued to destroy the forests to bring the statues to their places they destroyed everything on the island. Eventually they even had to turn to cannibalism because of the lack of actual food.

But the Rapa Nui were once well learned people. Master craftsmen, all of them. They had written language, called the rongorongo. Unfortunately, when the missionaries arrived on the island, they destroyed everything. This is why there are only just a few slabs remaining of the rongorongo, which until our days can't be translated.

According to oral history, only a few elite people actually learned to write, and this is why there weren't a lot more of it lying around.

Also, there are a bunch of petroglyphs on the island. Almos every surface of the island was carved in some way, including the walls of the houses and even the moai. There are quite a few caves on the island, and most of them were guarded by the aku-aku. "Hekai ite umu pare haonga takapu Hanau epe kai noruego" was the line which someone had to chant to appease the family guardian, before entering the cave.

And now let's talk about the moai. Contrary to popular belief they are not only made up of heads. The statues are actually torsos, with most of them ending at the top of the thighs, although a small number of them are complete, with the figures kneeling on bent knees with their hands over their stomachs. Some statues just became buried because of the shifting soils they were put on.

When the first missionaries arrived they already found an almost dead civilization. The Rapa Nui were at war with each other, which, as I said consisted of murder, cannibalism, and the toppling of the moai, that the rival tribes made. The fact that they succumbed to the missionaries so fast was not too surprising. They were tired of fighting (there is still a cavern named something along the lines of "cave where men are eaten"), not only between themselves, but against slavers and the plague too, so they gladly gave up their culture.

The first people who asked the natives about their "pagan" ways were told by each person that, the cultural icons (statues, writing, etc.)were there way before their people came to the island. At a later time, when asked why did they abandon the sculpting of the moai they did not remember it anymore, instead the people came up with an altogether different story to appease the masses... and probably their own mind.

The most widely believed thought about the moai nowadays is that they represented passed chiefs and elders, probably the leaders of the tribes (or the aku-aku?). They crafted the sculptures from the volcanic rocks on the island, than they most probably used logs to bring them to their places (I guess this one where it resembles Egypt... according to "scientists" they used logs to roll the blocks too). But before you ask how did they manage to lift them so they stay upward, they didn't. Actually, what they did, was to use only a few logs at a time, and roll the moai upright, while around 70 men used ropes to let it stay that way.

And this is why probably so many moai say that the statues actually walked on their own to their places... from a long way it probably looked like the statue was walking on it's own, while a bunch of people venerated the shit out of them.

And this is where I'm going to finally put down my favorite myth about the moai.

I think that all of you already know that they used different kinds of rocks for their eyes - on different occasions that is.

The myth does say, that the moai walked on their own to their places, but it actually specifies the "how" too.

Apparently Hotu Matu'a was the first person on the island. When he died, he split the place between his six sons, who in turn divided it to their descendant too.
And, of course these chiefs were in the possession of "mana" (yes, mana... for those who also play fantasy). Mana is a magical superpower thing, but i guess most of you guys already know what it is, so I'm not going to explain it any further.

Well, what happened is, that the chiefs used their mana to order the statues to walk to their places on their own. When they were full with mana their eyes shined and lit the way.

Also, after the actual first elders died out it was probably more on the lines of them being able to bring around rain, and food and whatever else they needed - I guess, much the same as every other ancient culture.

Oh, by the way, did I mention the style they used for the building was so very alike that of the one they used in southern America, it's uncanny?

Like Machu Pichu... you know... the Incas?

Some people believe there must have been some kind of connection between them, otherwise how could they have made something so similar?

Anyways, I'll leave you guys with a few pictures of the Easter Islands... Maybe after this you'll want to look into it better? Hmmm? (Feel free to correct me in any ways!)

The building style that resembles the one used by Incas...

The torsos of the moai (notice the place they are set upon?)

A petroglyph. Why does it remind me of Nasca?

Some cave paintings in one of the caves the Rapa Nui used for ceremonial cannibalism. They used the caves to cook and fry up their enemies. Apparently the toes and fingers were the best parts... they were given to the chiefs. Also the Rapa Nui always loved birds. It's because they didn't have enough resources to build a ship to live the island, so they looked upon the birds who could fly away with envy.

Rano Kau. The extinct volcano, with a lake in its crater.

Rongorongo. Whatever you guys say, it still reminds me of Nasca....(Maybe there's a genius out there who would like to tell us what this means?)