By: Addy B
Easter Island is located in the South Pacific, just south of the Tropic of Capricorn. The island is 63.17 square miles in area. Natives from South America (Polynesians) migrated there around 1200 AD. They later named their new home island Rapa Nui. Their culture really peaked during 10th-16th century. (1100-1700AD).
Moai (Easter Island Heads)
Easter Island is home to around 900 completed rock statues that are approx. 13ft tall and 14 tons. These heads were carved by the Polynesians that migrated to Rapa Nui. The Islanders named these monuments moai. No one really knows why the natives carved them, but most theories point to some form of spiritualism or religion.
Polynesians from the main land of South America climbed into a boat one day and started to paddle. Eventually they reached a small island that was uninhabited. They started a life there and life was good. They built sturdy houses, farmed and of course carved the famous Moai heads. Carving started when they found a large rock quarry filled with very large, very heavy pieces of rock. They named the island Rapa Nui and the rock quarry Rano Raraku.
The Native Islanders, or Rapa Nui People, carved these large rock sculptures for some unknown reason. Some theories are that they carved them in the likeness of their gods, ancestors, deceased kings or leaders. They also might be the islanders' offerings to their gods. The most likely theory is that the moai are carvings of their various gods, as they are all different then the others. All theories are equally as possible. There are around 900 completed heads, but there were around 400 that were found incomplete.