A couple of weeks ago when I started this series, the picture was of a Moai and the title was Rano Raraku (if you sound it out, you’re pronouncing it correctly). Rano Raraku is a dormant volcano on Easter Island and is referred to as the “birth place of the Moai” as it is believed that most of the Moai (save one or two) were carved here. When you stare up at the side of the volcano you can see chunks missing everywhere… BIG chunks… where the Moai were removed from the cliffs. It is absolutely remarkable.
From Rano Raraku, you can see Tangariki; this week’s picture of the week. Tangariki is easily the most impressive site on the island. Fifteen Moai standing watching over the island, the largest of which weighs 86 tons. Mind boggling.
Something I wasn’t prepared for when visiting Easter Island was that most of the statues are no longer standing up. Civil war on the island between 1770 and the 1830s led to the tribes knocking over the statues. No one is quite clear why, but it is shocking to see. The only statues that are standing today are ones that were either never completed at Rano Raraku, or at sites that have been restored by archeologists. This particular site was hit by a tsunami in the 1960s after a huge earthquake hit Chile. In the 1990s a Japanese led team put the site back together, however a few Moai still lay strewn on the ground where the waves left them.