One of the world's biggest mysteries is the idols of Easter Island, located in the South Pacific, at a distance of almost 4,000 kilometers west of the coast of Chile. This island, also called Rapa Nui, was discovered on Easter Sunday in 1722 by a Dutch captain. At that time it was almost uninhabited, but on its territory there were hundreds of giant statues, weighing several tons each. The traditional term for the name of these idols has become
the word moai. Easter Island
statues have an eyeless face. The largest of them is Paro, weighs about 82 tons and has a height of about 9.9 meters.
So who built them and how did they get there? Nobody still knows the exact answer to these questions, but many are trying to find a solution. For the inhabitants of the island it was almost impossible to cut and put the moai in a vertical position without transport, only with their primitive tools.
One theory suggests that Easter Island was inhabited by Polynesian sailors who traveled in their canoes, guided by the stars, the rhythms of the ocean, the color of the sky and the shape of the clouds. They first arrived on the island in 400 BC. Perhaps on the island there were two classes of inhabitants - with short and long ears. Long-eared people were rulers and forced short-eared people to cut moai. That is why the statues on Easter Island for the most part have long ears. Then the short-eared people revolted and killed all the long-eared.
Apparently, the statues of Easter Island were carved from the upper edge of the wall of a volcano located on the island. They were moved using ropes made of ancient hard grass. The rope was wrapped around moai, and then a large group
men pulled one end forward.
The other group, smaller in number, acted as a counterweight and pulled the other end of the rope back.
Thus the statues of Easter Island moved towards the ocean. Moving one idol could last a month, as this process was very difficult.
The population of Easter Island is believed to have reached 11 thousand people. Due to the small size of the island, its resources were rapidly depleted.
When they were all exhausted, people resorted to cannibalism - they began to eat each other. Work on the statues has stopped. When
the first Europeans arrived on the island, most of the inhabitants have already died out.
Another question is what functions the moai carried and why they were built. Archaeological and iconographic analysis shows that Easter Island statues were symbols of power, both religious and political.
In addition, for the people who created them, they were actually repositories of the sacred spirit.
Regardless of what the moai were intended for and why they were built, today their popularity is higher than ever.
Currently, the island has a thriving tourism industry, hundreds of travelers and amateurs of the unknown come there to see with their own eyes the majestic idols looking to the sea.