The Hidden Side of Easter Island: Part 2

A couple of weeks ago, we talked about a photo from Thor Heyerdahl’s excavation of the tallest mo’ai on Easter Island (37 feet tall). Recently, it came to our attention that the Easter Island Statue Project (EISP) is excavating two other mo’ai. They might not be as tall as Heyerdahl’s statue, but they more than make up for it in terms of mystery.

“Both of our excavated statues, as you know from our previous letters, are intriguing because they are nearly unique on Easter Island. While many statues have individual petroglyphs, these and only one other statue—of over 1,000 we have documented—have multiple petroglyphs carved as a composition on their backs. Underlying these carvings is a complex symbol found on less than 100 statues. It is referred to by previous researchers as the “ring and girdle” design, and sometimes said to represent the “sun and rainbow.” However, statue RR-001-156 and some others have two “rings” above the crescent “girdle.” We have long interpreted this form as the Rapa Nui version of the Polynesian maro or loincloth (marois also a unit of measurement).” ~ Jo Anne Van Tilburg, Ph.D., Director, EISP

(See Easter Island Statue Project for additional commentary as well as more photos)

Leave a Comment