March 15, 2009

Chile Easter Island Volcan Rano Raraku

Volcan Rano Raraku was used as a quarry for 500 years until the 18th century. The moai would be carved out of "tuff" (volcanic ash) here and then moved to their final location where they would be raised into place on their ahu (platform). Only then would the eyes (coral for the whites of the eyes and red scoria for the irises) be placed in the sockets. These moai were carved but never moved due to civil strife. The hundreds (almost 400) of moai look buried alive to me, with many actually inside the crater.

The largest moai, still unfinished, is 21.6 meters (71 feet) in height and would have weighed an an estimated 270 (per wikipedia) or 160 (per Bradt) tonnes. The kneeling moai is known as "Tukuturi" and is carved from red scoria found in Puna Pau. Tukuturi may be one of the last moai carved.

1 comment:

Casanova said...

Hello Carrie,

I came across your site while looking for Easter Island information. I run a blog called Extrapop (, which focuses on far away and remote places.

I'm putting together an article on Easter Island, and I'd like to chat with you via email to get a sense of life there.

In particular, I'm looking for news, whether it's news about the tourism industry, or news affecting the region and its people. Basically, I am looking to put together a snapshot of life in Easter Island today, in terms of what's on people's minds these days. And I'm looking for snippets of information to illustrate what life is like there.

Please let me know if you'd be interested and available to chat over email sometime.

Thanks in advance for your time.