Sunday, 3 August 2014

New 7Wonders - The Easter Island Statues

This is my fifth post listing the twenty one finalists that went to vote to become one of the New 7Wonders.

First was the Acropolis which I have not visited.

Second was the ALHAMBRA Spain which I have blogged about:

ANGKOR WAT in Cambodia was third on the list and my post about this is on my blog  too

Fourth is the COLOSSEUM in Italy which again I have yet to see. My husband went to Rome for his first Honeymoon so it isn't high on his list at the present time.

The fifth on the list which is done alphabetically is the CORCOVADO (CHRIST THE REDEEMER) in Rio, Brazil.

 No 6 which is the Eiffel tower in Paris, France.

So now we come to the Easter Island Statues as number 7

We visited Easter Island only last year 2013 and they are as splendid as you imagine them to be from the photos.

And now we have reached No7 but post number five for me and that is the statues on Easter Island.

We spent four days on Easter Island visiting the various sites with these fabulous heads .Until our visit I hadn't realised that no heads were left standing and that those now standing had been restored to that position in this last century. 

The heads are called Moai while the platform they stand on is known as the Ahu and the hats or hair on some of the Moai are the Pakao. These particular Moai were restored and replaced on their Ahu specifically for the Rapa Nui film and of course for encouraging tourists to visit the island.

Ahu Tongariki is the largest restored Ahu with fifteen Moai and one of them is the largest Moai ever erected on the island. In the quarry behind this Ahu there is an even larger Moai half buried and unfinished. The largest Moai on the Ahu at Tongariki weighs 86 tonnes. 

I struggle to picture how the islanders with their limited lifting equipment moved and erected even the smaller Moai and some were taken quite some distance across the island.

No one is really certain why the islanders began to build the Moai but it began when the resources on the island began to become scarce. The statues are sometimes thought to be representing gods or deceased chiefs. It is thought that when a chief died they carved and erected the Moai and once it was erected the eyes were carved and the coral put in. Once the eyes were in place the Rapa Nui people believed that power and prosperity was sent through the moai’s eyes to the villagers still living there.

These are in the final 21 but didn't make it to the last seven so far only the Colosseum in Rome and the Christ the Redeemer in Rio have made it to the last seven of the list alphabetically.