From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
          This article is of interest to the following WikiProjects:
WikiProject Archaeology (Rated B-class, Top-importance)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject Archaeology, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of Archaeology on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.
B-Class article B  This article has been rated as B-Class on the project's quality scale.
 Top  This article has been rated as Top-importance on the project's importance scale.
WikiProject Polynesia (Rated B-class)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject Polynesia, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of Polynesia on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.
B-Class article B  This article has been rated as B-Class on the project's quality scale.
 ???  This article has not yet received a rating on the project's importance scale.
WikiProject Chile (Rated C-class, High-importance)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject Chile, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of Chile on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.
C-Class article C  This article has been rated as C-Class on the project's quality scale.
Checklist icon
 High  This article has been rated as High-importance on the project's importance scale.
WikiProject World Heritage Sites (Rated C-class, High-importance)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject World Heritage Sites, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of World Heritage Sites on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.
C-Class article C  This article has been rated as C-Class on the project's quality scale.
Checklist icon
 High  This article has been rated as High-importance on the project's importance scale.
WikiProject Public Art (Rated B-class)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject Public Art, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of public art on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.
B-Class article B  This article has been rated as B-Class on the project's quality scale.

Furthest inland?[edit]

At the bottom in the pictures you can read "Ahu Akivi, the furthest inland of all the ahus". This is far from the truth since other ahu like "Hanua-nua Mea" are located much further inland, about 5 km in this case. Akivi is only 2.1 km inland. There is another ahu located at the foot of Maunga Omo-anga, relatively close to Ahu Akivi but even further inland at a distance of about 3.8 km. I could keep giving examples. A good source for this is the archaeological atlas of 1981: "Atlas Arqueológico de Isla de Pascua" by Claudio Cristino et al., Corporación Toesca, or in Ramón Campbell's book:

Please correct this. It is possible to say it is "one of the furthest inland". Greetings. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:41, 16 March 2012 (UTC)


The page says:

Moai are monolithic stone statues

but I think that "monolithic" is inaccurate, since many moai have red topknots, carved of a different type of stone, perched atop their heads. Indeed, one of the moai in the photograph on the page is still so adorned.

-- Dominus 22:33, 13 Apr 2004 (UTC)

I have clarified the monolithic nature a little better I think. --Jimaginator 14:06, Dec 21, 2004 (UTC)

Bogus Picture[edit]

The second picture down on the right, "A close up of the moai at Ahu Tahai", is clearly Homer Simpson.

Yeah, I know, right? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:10, 16 November 2007 (UTC)


How do you say "Moai?" Thank you.

I believe that it is "MOH-EYE", at least that is how it was pronounced on NOVA --Jimaginator 13:58, Dec 21, 2004 (UTC)

Im from Chile and your pronounciation comes very close to the way we say it(easter island is property of the republic of Chile)

i cant really speficy where the accent on the word goes though.


The page says that the statues "were carved by the Polynesian inhabitants of the islands 1000 or more years ago." However, the Easter Island page says that the prevaling theory is that they were carved between 1600 and 1730. I don't know enough to know which is correct, but the discrepancy should be cleared up. -- Eric 19:01, 25 Mar 2005 (UTC)

There is no strong evidence of the Moai being extremely old, though I suppose it's 'possible'. There are some arguments for a greater antiquity than is commonly supposed, but in Wikipedia precedence is given to standard views held by the experts in the field. Alexander 007 03:15, 13 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Pardon my intrusion, but can you please state which Wikipedia policy you, Alexander 007, are referring to.--AI 21:07, 13 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Read Wikipedia policy: "views should be given weight equal to their standing". You can also find more discussions of this. Like it or not, this system prevents chaos and unlikely fringe theories from taking over articles. Otherwise, any jackass can just add any fringe theory into an article, and present it as the dominant theory. Other views of lesser standing must be treated as such. We all have our own ideas, but only a jackass forces fringe theories into a prominent position in a Wikipedia article.
If someone wants to add a section discussing the controversy over their antiquity, that is fine. That's not what I reverted. Alexander 007 23:16, 13 Jun 2005 (UTC)
I agree with that system and thanks for the clarification. However, can you provide a link to the exact policy?--AI 01:59, 14 Jun 2005 (UTC)
I'm happy to hear that you agree with the policy, because you will see that the policy will often work to your advantage. I will try to find a more complete link. I quoted that text from this article:Wikipedia. Note also, that if someone was not aware of the policy, he/she cannot be considered a jackass, an animal symbolic of stubbornness. Alexander 007 02:03, 14 Jun 2005 (UTC)

a study demonstrated that around the moais, there used to be rich vegetation (such as forest), all of it made the movement of these statues a much easier task.

Moai Stealing[edit]

theres information lacking, mainly about the stealing of these statues by other countries (and/or excentric millionaires). As ive heard, only a few moais are still standing on the island (considering the original number of moais), could someone elaborate more into it? Yeah, simply not true. There are a great deal on the island and, although they have not all been counted, there are still a very large amount on the island. Its possible, but not likely.

For the record, there is a genuine moai on display at the Forest Lawn Mortuary Museum in Glendale, CA. The placard says it's the only one legitimately removed from the island.--Funhistory 02:25, 3 September 2006 (UTC)

There are three separate issues here:

"Only a few Moais are standing" - Yes most were once toppled, I think Easter Island#The "statue-toppling" now covers this.

"Taking Moai off the island" - I think the article now tries to cover this, about a dozen out of nearly a thousand are off island, this figure is not definitive and there are various references to Moai in Dublin and elsewhere that I haven't got confirmation of (though the ones in the London aquarium are definitely fake). But not all Moai were created equal, and six out of thirteen Basalt Moai including Hoa Hakananai'a are off island (Van Tilberg pg 27).

"Were the Moai taken off island stolen?" This is contentious and not yet covered in the article. While the island has been part of Chile it could be argued that the Chilean Gvmt has the authority to give away Moai, and those that were taken before Chile annexed the island may or may not have been bought and paid for. I doubt that the Rapanui themselves are comfortable with the idea that anyone can remove a Moai, but I'm not sure I feel neutral enough to write that bit myself.Jonathan Cardy 07:18, 6 September 2007 (UTC)

Most of the items are listed from my research on the web, which was more or less a process of cross-referencing disparate reports, and checking against available images. However, I recently bought Jo Anne Van Tilburg's book-"Remote Possibilities" which includes a convenient list of 60 (from 80) "Easter Island Stone Sculptural Objects in Collections" (the illustrations point to moai-ish objects). Each object is assigned an inventory number, a cross reference number, a brief object description, material description, and a measurement of height. Without including a history of these objects- the mere transposing of the raw data to wikipedia would be (somewhat of) an exploitation of their (EISP & JAVT) research. So, I suppose the question is.. how do we present the data of another 50 maoi?
In regards to the question of removal/theft- the morality and issues of legitimacy need not be addressed in a general sense in this article. A factual description of the conditions which prompted the removal of each object is probably best for maintaining neutrality.
Also: the list of removed Moai seems more interesting (in terms of revealing historical trends) while the items appear in chronological order, or 'time line', rather than the recent edit to national classification, imo. Mr Kline 22:05, 5 September 2007 (UTC) [my edits are usually registered with]

I see your point on structure of Moai that are off island. But I would like to suggest that a historical sequence would best be integrated into Easter Island#History (which according to the talk pages is likely to be spun off as Easter Island History). My thinking was that this is about the Moai and a geographical sequence answered the question - where can I see Moai? As for "Remote Possibilities" I have her "Archaeology , Ecology and Culture", which is where I got the figure of 6 basalt Moai off island, but not that one, are you sure the list is all monumental statues? I think if she has described it as stone sculpture she may be including non Moai stone sculptures such as stone fish hooks etc. I am planning to add some of her data on average weights and heights as the article currently only talks of the biggest Moai.Jonathan Cardy 07:18, 6 September 2007 (UTC)

I'm persuaded by the weight of historical possibilities that a temporary page listing all the (relocated) moai objects will be good until their greater history is written to separate articles (like the "Hoa Hakananai'a" page). The table in "Remote Possibilities" includes the codes assigned to the moai by the museum in which they are currently held. (this is the cross-reference numbers I previously mentioned and I'm.. err.. slowly discovering the meaning of 'cross-referencing'). Employing these numbers will bypass the copyright issues with EISP as these numbers are probably available on the web, and I managed to source some information prior to owning the book anyways.
Your point about the object/forms on the list is entirely valid, but further checking revealed more or less 'all' qualifying as moai imo. When I have more time I'll start the page and post the link... this will probably be easier in terms of assessing the information, and issues etc.
The dimensions of the moai could be combined with their standing within morphological (stylistic change through time) literature mentioned at the EISP website, but unfortunately I currently haven't a clue about how this kind of data is presented/expressed generally, or how it could be written for each object. Mr Kline 20:12, 6 September 2007 (UTC)

The new article is online. I've listed the most prominent objects, and withheld the details of the small maoi and figurines until later. The "removal" section of the original Moai article contains the history of some of the objects.. which I think should remain (for the sake of the collected information and links) until the creation of the pages for the individual objects.. until the merging of the two pages, or integration with the history of Easter Island. Also, one of the objects listed in the Moai article is possibly the same object listed on the new article, but without any evidence to identify it as such - The "Moai head (approximately 8ft tall) taken by Samuel Adams Green and displayed in New York City..." could be the moai "35-001 (EISP# MF-VDM-002)" at the Museo Fonck, Viña del Mar, Chile. Mr Kline 23:20, 8 September 2007 (UTC)

Thanks, that looks good. I've put Relocation of Moai objects into the see also category, and it definitely needs to be in the "see also" for Easter Island history when that gets spun out. I notice the NZ article you cited refers to about 12 Moai being off island, and I suspect the difference between that and the Tilberg 79 is whether they are megalithic or merely lithic, but I'm not sure what the minimum height is for a statue to be considered a moai.Jonathan Cardy 09:16, 9 September 2007 (UTC)

After further research: According to Tilburg the megaliths are the constructions/ceremonial areas that include the maoi and the ahus, whereas the buried or isolated moai are described as monoliths. This seems sensible to me; the 'mega' of megalith is essentially a variable and relative term that could be applied to an object of any size made "of (a thousand) stone (parts)". Maybe in the archaeological sense 'megalith' refers to the largest structure(s) in a set of all related structures. In the sense of the rapanui culture- their knowledge likely excluded all structures outside their island; therefore, for example "stone henge" in Wiltshire in AD.500 would not be a relation to their set, and thus two types of megaliths of differing scale could exist simultaneously without contradiction. So the application of 'megalith' is (somewhat) contextual.
The "moai" term probably refers to the objects made for the ahus, or set in/on the hillsides. The previously mentioned 'figurines' appear significantly smaller, perhaps for their portability, but this leads me to unanswered questions of moai qualification according to rapanui genealogy.Mr Kline 12:11, 15 September 2007 (UTC)


I think the nemrut link is spurious and not needed if we have a link to the megalithic statues category, unless anyone objects (and ideally explains a link to Easter island) I'll take that out in a couple of weeks.Jonathan Cardy 09:16, 9 September 2007 (UTC)

Moai groups of Okinawa[edit]

Do not forget that moai is also the Japanese word for a financial-cooperation and friendship group.

There really needs to be a page about this meaning of moai.

Plus, there is no English word for a club of this sort, so I would not think it correct to say that the word should be listed only in

Isn't this the same as a "Friendly Society" or "Mutual Society"? These are societies of people from similar backgrounds established to cooperate in financial matters. They range from simple things like burial clubs (the society pays for the burial of its members who all contribute a subscription during their life times) to Cooperative Societies which operate to provide advantageous terms for goods by buying in bulk. These latter have moved a long way from their roots and are now a major player in several UK markets.--APRCooper 14:50, 3 September 2006 (UTC)

Walking Moai[edit]

"Another, less viable theory is that the moai may have been "walked" by rocking them forward." Why is it "less viable" that they were rocked forward? I remember seeing a documentary where Thor Heyerdahl demonstrated exactly that.

He presented evidence that the edges at the base of the statues were well worn, being more worn the further away they were from their volcanic source. The myth of the Islanders were that the Moai "walked" to their areas. A chief later told him that the secrets of how the Moai were constructed and moved were secretly handed down within particular families. To prove his story, a group of islanders began to carve up a carving at the vocanic area using various chantings to keep rhythm. The carving took a surprisingly short time. It was then lifted up by the head using another chanting rhythm whereby a group pulled on a rope tied to the head of the statue in intervals while others put various sized stones under the immense statues. Again, the speed and efficiency of the islanders were unexpectedly fast and efficient. Once upright four ropes were tied around the head and acted as guy wires to keep it up. Two more ropes were tied around the "torso." The rest was truly incredible. As the two ropes around the torso were alternately pulled forward, the Moai seemed to be walking! And at a pretty good pace too. I would like to add this to the article. Unfortunately, I can't find the video or dvd of it yet. I can't remember if I saw it on A&E, TLC, the Discovery Channel, History Channel, etc. Any suggestions?Edgar Kavanagh 11:39, 4 November 2005 (UTC)Edgar Kavanagh

I hadn't noticed that an anon had added the descriptor "less viable" to this theory. As you say, it certainly is viable as it has been done. This PBS programme is probably what you saw and there is other documentation for the theory in the references and external links section of this article: [1], [2] DoubleBlue (Talk) 23:55, 4 November 2005 (UTC)

Other researchers and experimentors (Charlie Love comes to mind, though Bill Mulloy hypothesized that they were moved in a wooden travois- without any evidence) have also attempted to use walking as a mode of transport for the statues as legends mention the moais walking to the ahu. As the story goes, a witch who whom others did not share lobster, made the moai "fall down" as they were walking to ahu. If one examines pictures of the moai at the base, the palagamite tough has pressure chips that do look as though massive pressure had pressed these away- leading one to believe that they were indeed moved upright. Though I have great respect for the work of Heyerdahl, I'm not sure he was correct with all his hypotheses. - S. Kimble

This experiment was ended prematurely. I have seen at least 2 sources including Thor Heyrdahl that cited this experiment and omitted this fact. They refered to it as a sucessful experiment. The following is a PBS site that mentions the premature end:

"Limitations: The swiveling motion caused noticeable damage to the base of the moai and forced them to stop the experiment."

sorry Zacherystaylor (talk) 07:14, 7 September 2008 (UTC)

Height and Weight[edit]

I think the article should say how high and how heavy these things are. Can someone supply this please? -- Perfecto 06:53, 10 December 2005 (UTC)

El Gigante though never moved weighs in the neighborhood of 300-400 tons. One of the moai at the ahu Tongariki weighs in at over 80 tons. I'm not sure how tall it is though. -S. Kimble

Knocked over[edit]

By the mid-1800s, all the moai outside of Rano Raraku and many within the quarry itself had been knocked over. Were they knocked over by the inhabitants, by others or did it have a natural cause? Tbc2 20:40, 12 December 2005 (UTC)

According to Jared Diamond in the video 'Jared Diamond - How Societies Fail-And Sometimes Succeed - Long Now Foundation', the statues were knocked over during civil wars on the island between tribes after environmental collapse and extreme resource pressure took place.--Kaze0010 08:54, 21 June 2006 (UTC)


Legend said Moai walked by itself. But how did Moai walk? I show you my proposal. You can watch some videos of Walking Moai on this site.

I watched a special feature TV program of Easter Island in January, 2004. In this program, form of a base part of a moai was not flat, and Professor archeologist Charles love of Wyoming university explained that it was easy to incline forward when a moai stands on the ground. As for this, there is a description in a homepage of Kontiki Museum.

Some methods about a movement of a moai are suggested. Particularly a method of Mulloi

and a method of Pavel are famous. tiki/Research/Papers/walking/figs/fig4.html

However, nothing can explain that moais are easy to incline forward. I thought that the base of the moai in TV looked like a rocking chair, because it curved gently. I thought that moais swung in front and back.

When I was child I had a walking toy that walked on the desk which was inclined. I thought that moais walked on same principle.

A web site of Michigan university introduces "Passive Walk". This is known as a phenomenon of a limit cycle.

I referred to them and repeated an experiment and succeeded in letting a ornament moai to walk. My father got this moai as a souvenir from his friend who went to Chile of South America for a trip more than 20 years ago.

How do you think about it? Does the moai which I thought about seem to walk? Would the genuine moai walk in this way? Please send your opinion.

We can never know exactly how they walked, but it is almost assuredly the case that they did. I studied under Charlie Love (who is at Western Wyoming College, not the University of Wyoming where he went to school and studied under Bill Mulloy) and I saw the very video you are talking about and I've heard Pavel Pavel's method. Charlie also has a degree in geology and the studies he's done on the moai roads and the moai bases show stress fractures at the base that are consistant with force exerted up from the base. That would lead one to believe that it would have to be upright during transport. You want more info to support this? If one follows the moai roads from Rano Raraku to the various ahu around the island, moai are found broken and face down, up and on their sides along the roads. The fact that they are broken makes complete sense if they were upright. In addition to that, it would also make sense that they would have fallen on their sides, faces and backs. This evidence leads me to believe that Pavel Pavel or Charlie have already found and described the method. S. Kimble

Moai with Wooden Tablets ?[edit]

I heard that when they were first found, many Moai were carrying wooden signs in some unknown language but these signs were destroyed by the Europeans who thought they were "pagan". Couldn't find any info here ... is it not true?

I think what you are referring to are the rongo rongo boards. These were the only polynesian examples of writing at their time. However, they were not directly associated with the moai in this manner to my knowledge. They were, interestingly enough, written with every other line being upside-down so that to read, one must turn it topside down after the completion of each line. -S. Kimble

Or (a suggestion made to me a couple of weeks ago by Christian Pakarti) that if two people were reading/singing from a rongo rongo, they could sit opposite each other and alternate the lines read/sand ~ Cass

Miro Manga Erua means 'Two wooden fingers' in Polynesian language[edit]

I got a book titled "AKU-AKU" "THE SECRET OF EASTER ISLAND " by THOR HEYERDAHL English edition. This book is very rare, so I had only Japanies edition befor. In this book, Heyerdahl ask Mayor Don Pedoro about moving method of moai.



ʋ ɹ ɻ ɰ   ʋ ɹ ɻ ɰ   ʋ ɹ ɻ ɰ  

"Don Pedoro, Mayor,"I said, "now perhaps you can tell me how your ancestors moved the figures round about on the island." "They went of themselves, they walked," the mayor replied glibly. "Rubbish,"I said disappointed and slightly irritated. "Take it easy! I believe that they walked, and we must respect our forefathers who have said that they walked. But the forefathers who told me that not seen it with their own eyes, so who knows if their forefathers did not use a miro manga erua?" "What that?" The mayor drew on the ground a Y-shaped figure with crosspieces, and explained that it was a sledge made from a forked tree trunk. "At any rate they used those to drag the big blocks for the wall," he added by way of a concession. "And they made thick ropes from the tough bark of the hau-hau tree, as thick as the hawsers you have on board. I can make you a specimen. I can make a miro manga erua too."

ʋ ɹ ɻ ɰ   ʋ ɹ ɻ ɰ   ʋ ɹ ɻ ɰ  

Miro Manga Erua means 'Two wooden fingers' in Polynesian language.

Miro = wood (like rakau) Manga = toes, fingers (in the tropics of Polynesia, it also means star fish) Erua = Two (rua = two, e = how many there is)

I succeed to make a Walking Moai by using Miro Manga Erua. You can watch some videos of Walking Moais. And I had made 'Walking Moai Simulator' and Estimation of strength of Miro Manga Erua for giant Moai.

image display problem in Firefox (Easter_island_(Chile).jpg)[edit]

In Firefox, this image partially overlaps the text. It seems to be an issue with the wiki's Image 'left' or 'thumb' options making imperfect code. Also note the image isn't vertically positioned quite next to the text as the wiki code implies. Looked fine in IE.--Kaze0010 09:04, 21 June 2006 (UTC)

Dozens of pages have that problem in Firefox, not just here but elsewhere. 17:51, 9 June 2007 (UTC)

Pop culture references[edit]

I have moved these to a separate article to give them their due. Kahuroa 00:27, 12 July 2006 (UTC)

Link? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Bizzybody (talkcontribs) 04:05, 23 August 2008 (UTC)
@Bizzybody: It was moved to Moai in popular culture in this edit. --Bensin (talk) 21:22, 22 October 2016 (UTC)

Phallic form from rear?[edit]

I was watching a surfing program on TV. Started with a shot and audio about all the Moai lying face down. Then heard something like the following,"One of the young men asked the carvers how come the old carvers hadn't got the neck and shoulders clearly defined, the carver replied "We know about that, the answer is right in front of you." So the young man walks off, wondering, stopping eventually for a piss, and looking down saw the answer there in his hand." Shot of Moai from rear then shows phallic nature of form. SmithBlue 06:20, 3 August 2007 (UTC)

La Rosa Separada[edit]

I think this is a copyright violation, so I've removed it.-gadfium 04:14, 27 September 2007 (UTC)

'Violation' of a cold hearted Scrooge, perhaps, but the educational use of one excerpt from one poem of a collection, is probably admissible in this case.. unless you're making a secret profit from its inclusion? Mr Kline 16:53, 28 September 2007 (UTC)

tactile fingers[edit]

Could 'Mr Kline' explain what he means by the moai having tactile fingers?? "tactile" doesn't seem to be the right word here. Kahuroa 10:48, 27 September 2007 (UTC)

"Tactile" seemed like the nearest word for describing the long thin fingers which (aesthetically) appear to be in opposition to the general robustness of the moai. Maybe it's not quite right, but until the point about the appearance is replaced with a formal/stylistic explanation, I think it's OK. (The alternative words were - diligent, courtly, punctilious...). Mr Kline 16:56, 28 September 2007 (UTC)

The problem with tactile is that it doesn't mean long and thin... tactile relates solely to something perceived through the sense of touch (and nothing else) and therefore suggests that the fingers are nice to touch. Were you thinking of gracile (which means 'slender and graceful')? Plainer, more understandable options are 'elongated' or just 'long and thin' which would also work.Kahuroa 20:10, 28 September 2007 (UTC)
I use "tactile" in the sense that they (the fingers) are carved in such a way as to represent the sense of touch, and; the phonetic quality of the word suggests a 'long thin' object or collection of objects. The use of a word in this aesthetic sense seems to me to introduce to the article -the possibility that the form/style of the fingers are a bridge between the viewer and onlooker; an aesthetic communication as a product of Rapanui culture. This (of course) rests on my belief that there is a non-arbitrary method to the carving of Rapanui sculpture, but it's not exactly verifiable without sources.Mr Kline 11:34, 30 September 2007 (UTC)
I am sorry, but do you really think it is valid to ignore what the accepted meaning of a word is and accept your understanding of it - tactile has no meaning relating to long and thin, no matter what you happen to associate it with. And as you say, verifiability is critical - I think it is vital to the integrity of Wikipedia. So can you clarify why your beliefs are relevant to the article at all, unless you have been published in a reputable journal? And might I ask how you are arriving at these descriptions, because this sounds more and more like original research - as a Polynesian myself, I am interesting in ensuring that these articles are based on facts and verifiable sources rather than a single person's ideas Kahuroa 23:25, 30 September 2007 (UTC)
I've explained (above) my two reasons for using the word "tactile". However, if the second reason is de-contextualized and isolated from the validity of the first; then the second reason does not stand, because, yes- it is subjective, but personally- I think the fingers say more than "long and slender" or "long and thin". Mr Kline 21:04, 1 October 2007 (UTC)

EISP (Easter Island Study Project)[edit]

Can someone please fix the link to the EISP, it was misdirecting to something about the English language. Not sure how this should be done. Thanks Jimaginator 12:43, 14 November 2007 (UTC)

The Easter Island Statue Project (EISP) does not have a corresponding wikipedia article. Mr Kline (talk) 17:18, 20 November 2007 (UTC)

Ton or Tonne?[edit]

In the opening paragraph, it says one statue weighed 75 tonnes, but one weighed more and was 86 tons. Which is correct? (talk) 20:46, 18 May 2008 (UTC)

Read it again. It says the tallest was 75 tonnes and the heaviest was 86 tons. The tallest has a source for the 75 tonnes; which kind of ton for the heaviest, I don't know as there is no reference. DoubleBlue (Talk) 20:57, 18 May 2008 (UTC)
It would be nice to make the units the same, but I'd want to see an authoritative source for the figures quoted. I see the article at Ahu Tongariki gives the weight of the heavier one at 86 tonnes. A tonne (1000 kg) is pretty close to a long ton (1016 kg), but the figure may be using the short ton (907 kg).-gadfium 21:01, 18 May 2008 (UTC)

Capitalization and italicization?[edit]

Is Moai capitalized or not? Some cited sources for the article have it capitalized and some do not, but the article here should be consistent. Also, is the word italicized? Phaethon 0130 (talk) 23:11, 2 July 2008 (UTC)

That is a good point. I can see no reason for it to be upper-case. wikt:moai also has it lower-case. DoubleBlue (Talk) 04:13, 23 August 2008 (UTC)

"Moai" is a proper noun, right? That's why I think it should be capitalized. I can't find any reasons why it shouldn't be. (talk) 01:26, 22 June 2010 (UTC)Ant

>>> The word "moai", used generally, is lower-case. When referring to a specific moai, such as Moai Tukuturi, it is usually upper-case. The same for the word "ahu" (e.g. Ahu Tongariki). -C- — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:21, 10 August 2012 (UTC)

there should be[edit]

a section bout them in pop culture Luke12345abcd (talk) 21:35, 24 July 2008 (UTC)

Transportation question[edit]

I just reverted vandalism and restored the transportation section including the statement "Scholars currently support the theory that the main method was that the moai were "walked" upright (some assume by a rocking process)" I don't see a source for this. I know some experiments were done by Thor Hyerdahl and others but the were abandoned before they arived at their destination. Does anyone know how they came to this conclusion? Even though I'm not sure I agree this is better than the vadalized version but would like confirmation. Thanks

Zacherystaylor (talk) 04:56, 9 October 2008 (UTC)

I just added an experiment by JHoanne Van Tilburg that seems more reasonable than Thor Heyerdahls experiment. His speculation is clearly not backed up by his experiment either it should be made clear that this is not a reasonable conclusion or his speculation should be removed. The source cited is no longer vallid but this comes from Thor Heyerdahls book "Easter Island Mystery solved". If there are no objections I'll revise that portion soon since it currently seems to be misleading. The source I just cited also refers to this experiment as unlikely to explain the way it was transported.

Zacherystaylor (talk) 18:46, 19 February 2009 (UTC)


Can you go visit the actual statues? I know that the article discusses an incident in which a Finnish tourist broke a piece of a Moai, but how close are you allowed to get to them? There should be a section on tourism.

Also, how many are standing erect today (finished or not finished) in the area? The article says, "All but 53 of the 887 moai known to date were carved from tuff", so I assume that means that 887 were known to exist. "Rano Raraku, where 394 moai and incomplete moai are still visible today", but does this part mean that there are currently 384 standing today on Easter island? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:32, 3 February 2009 (UTC)

Yes there is tourism on the island and the statues can be visited there - the statues were not fenced off when I went but you aren't allowed to climb on the Ahus so not all statues can be approached, but I think Tourism is better covered in the article Easter Island. Most of the statues in Rano Raraku are incomplete but there are a few standing on the outer slopes. Most of those that were taken across the island are still where they fell when they were toppled a couple of hundred years ago, but a few have been re-erected. You can also see Moai in London and several other places as a number were shipped around the world in the late nineteenth century. ϢereSpielChequers 13:05, 15 September 2009 (UTC)

>>> Saying "a few" can be misleading. Dozens of statues remain standing in their original position, now partially buried around the outer slopes and also around the inner slopes of the crater of Rano Raraku. Dozens more have been re-erected on their ahu platforms, all in the latter half of the 20th century. -C-


What is the reason for Common Era being used instead of AD. I could just be being ignorant here they may be seperate things, but isn't it just needlessly confusing. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:50, 31 July 2009 (UTC)

See Common Era. It's the standard academic method of giving eras. For the Wikipedia Manual of Style on the subject, see WP:ERA-gadfium 20:50, 31 July 2009 (UTC)


Is there a relation to moyai statues, or is the similar sound just a coincidence? (talk) 12:33, 15 September 2009 (UTC)

File:Shibuya Moyai.jpg
If you are talking about this statue called moyai it was inspired by Moai so its relevant to mention Moai when discussing it but not vice versa. ϢereSpielChequers 12:53, 15 September 2009 (UTC)

Introduction picture description[edit]

The introduction picture (AhuTongariki.JPG) description says:

Moai facing inland at Ahu Tongariki, restored by Chilean archaeologist Claudio Cristino in the 1990s

The picture page says:

restored in the 1990's by a Japanese research team after a cyclone knocked them over in the 1960's.

This looks contradictory. I don't know which one is right.

(Anonymous) (talk) 12:29, 8 October 2009 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk)

>>> The reconstruction of Ahu Tongariki took place in 1993-1996 and was funded by the Japanese government. The Japanese company Tadano donated the crane. Claudio Cristino is often credited as the project leader.

A massive tsunami, not a cyclone, washed the statues and the platform stones inland in 1960. The moai (except for a single broken statue base that was standing on the ahu when the tsunami hit) had already been toppled, probably centuries before. -C-

— Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:42, 10 August 2012 (UTC)


I cannot understand the justification for adding coordinates to this article. A moai is an object, not a location. They're scattered all over Easter Island; some aren't even on the island any more! If somebody reading this article is desperate for some relevant coordinates, I expect they know how to follow the link to the Easter Island article. –Signalhead < T > 20:14, 22 December 2009 (UTC)

I agree. Coordinates are not appropriate for this article.-gadfium 05:14, 23 December 2009 (UTC)


"Though moai are whole-body statues" but they don't have legs? -- (talk) 07:14, 18 April 2011 (UTC)

New theory on walking[edit]

This hasn't been mentioned yet - a new (2011) way of walking the statue that was demonstrated with 18 people and didn't damage the base. See video and info on National Geographic: — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:44, 11 July 2012 (UTC)

>>> Look closely to verify if the base was leaving a chalky line during transport. Since it is impossible to make a replica using the same Rano Raraku tuff, which is a relatively soft stone that varies in density and lapilli content, it is rather meaningless and probably inaccurate to say that the replica showed no signs of damage. Meanwhile, a slightly different "walking" experiment using an authentic statue in the island had to be halted because of visible damage to the base. This damage is mentioned in the Wikipedia article.

No moai transport experiments have been performed using replica statues over 10 tons. Rocking a 5-ton statue on its edge is one thing, rocking a 55-ton statue on its edge is a completely different story.

That the statues were transported in this manner, while not impossible over short distances, is certainly not the general consensus amongst experts and is refuted by some islanders.

Other necessary edits:

The sentence "On the landscape, road statues are found with on their backs..." needs to be corrected ("with on").

Describing the Moai Tukuturi ["The Kneeling Moai"] as "the only kneeling moai and one of the few made of red scoria" is incorrect. While statues of red scoria exist, Tukuturi is carved from the same brown Rano Raraku tuff as the majority of moai. A fragment of a much smaller kneeling moai made of white trachyte can be found in the island's museum (Museo Anthropolgico Padre Sebastian Englert).

It has already been pointed out that Ahu Akivi is not "the furthest inland of all ahus". Ahu Hanuanuamea ["Rainbow Ahu"] does indeed get this title since it is located very near the exact geographic center of the island. -C-

Head size[edit]

First paragraph:

Almost all moai have overly large heads three-eights the size of their bodies

Third paragraph:

The over-large heads (a three-to-five ratio between the head and the body

~~ MarkDilley

Yes that could cause confusion. The first description is referring to the body as being the whole statue, the second is using body in the sense of the bit other than the head. How about Almost all moai have overly large heads three-eighths the size of the whole statue and The over-large heads (a three-to-five ratio between the head and the trunk). That should make sense to people whether they have previously seen it described as a 3 to 5 ratio or as 3 eighths. Other sources tend to be internally consistent on one or the other description, but if we don't use both we risk people misreading it as the heads being one and a half times bigger than the trunk. ϢereSpielChequers 18:31, 16 April 2013 (UTC)

Redundant lead[edit]

...most were cast down during later conflicts between clans.

The islanders themselves tore down the standing moai after their civilization broke down.

Both of these lines seem to be referring to the same event. I'm not sure if that's true or which one to change, but having both looks redundant.-- (talk) 14:33, 30 October 2013 (UTC)


I see no reference to beards (or that the longer faces of Moais) may represent them. There seem to be several statues that seems to indicate it. (talk) 21:45, 7 January 2014 (UTC)

Small Mockup Moai Statue Also Walks[edit]

See this experiment on youtube, which has the same D shaped base, and leans slightly forward, uses a rear counterbalance, and a frontal pendulum to imitate the sideways forces to cause it to shuffle, or walk.


By the way, it is also possible if these Moai were "walked" to their destinations cerimoniously, but fell down on the road on the way, they could have been deemed unfit to take the place of an ancestor, and therefore left as-is. It is not logical to think they got the statue vertical in the first place at the quarry, but could not later erect it again if it fell, so a deeper underlying reason is necessary, as suggested here. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:32, 24 February 2014 (UTC)