Moai /ˈmoʊ.aɪ/ (listen), or mo‘ai, are monolithic human figures carved by the Rapa Nui people on Easter Island in eastern Polynesia between the years 1250 and 1500. Nearly half are still at Rano Raraku, the main moai quarry, but hundreds were transported from there and set on stone platforms called ahu around the island's perimeter. Almost all moai have overly large heads three-eighths the size of the whole statue. The moai are chiefly the living faces (aringa ora) of deified ancestors (aringa ora ata tepuna). The statues still gazed inland across their clan lands when Europeans first visited the island in 1722, but all of them had fallen by the latter part of the 19th century.
The production and transportation of the more than 900 statues are considered remarkable creative and physical feats. The tallest moai erected, called Paro, was almost 10 metres (33 ft) high and weighed 82 tonnes (90.4 short tons). The heaviest moai erected was a shorter but squatter moai at Ahu Tongariki, weighing 86 tonnes. One unfinished sculpture, if completed, would have been approximately 21 m (69 ft) tall, with a weight of about 145-165 tons (160-182 metric tons). The moai were toppled in the late 18th and early 19th centuries, possibly as a result of European contact or internecine tribal wars.
The moai are monolithic statues, their minimalist style related to forms found throughout Polynesia. Moai are carved in relatively flat planes, the faces bearing proud but enigmatic expressions. The human figures would be outlined in the rock wall first, then chipped away until only the image was left. The over-large heads (a three-to-five ratio between the head and the trunk, a sculptural trait that demonstrates the Polynesian belief in the sanctity of the chiefly head) have heavy brows and elongated noses with a distinctive fish-hook-shaped curl of the nostrils. The lips protrude in a thin pout. Like the nose, the ears are elongated and oblong in form. The jaw lines stand out against the truncated neck. The torsos are heavy, and, sometimes, the clavicles are subtly outlined in stone. The arms are carved in bas relief and rest against the body in various positions, hands and long slender fingers resting along the crests of the hips, meeting at the hami (loincloth), with the thumbs sometimes pointing towards the navel. Generally, the anatomical features of the backs are not detailed, but sometimes bear a ring and girdle motif on the buttocks and lower back. Except for one kneeling moai, the statues do not have clearly visible legs.
Though moai are whole-body statues, they are often referred to as "Easter Island heads" in some popular literature. This is partly because of the disproportionate size of most moai heads, and partly because many of the iconic images for the island showing upright moai are the statues on the slopes of Rano Raraku, many of which are buried to their shoulders. Some of the "heads" at Rano Raraku have been excavated and their bodies seen, and observed to have markings that had been protected from erosion by their burial.
The average height of the moai is about 4 m (13 ft), with the average width at the base around 1.6 m (5.2 ft). These massive creations usually weigh around 12.5 tonnes (13.8 tons) each.
All but 53 of the more than 900 moai known to date were carved from tuff (a compressed volcanic ash) from Rano Raraku, where 394 moai in varying states of completion are still visible today. There are also 13 moai carved from basalt, 22 from trachyte and 17 from fragile red scoria. At the end of carving, the builders would rub the statue with pumice.
Easter Island statues are known for their large, broad noses and strong chins, along with rectangle-shaped ears and deep eye slits. Their bodies are normally squatting, with their arms resting in different positions and are without legs. The majority of the ahu are found along the coast and face inland towards the community. There are some inland ahu such as Ahu Akivi. These moai face the community but given the small size of the island, also appear to face the coast.
In 1979, Sergio Rapu Haoa and a team of archaeologists discovered that the hemispherical or deep elliptical eye sockets were designed to hold coral eyes with either black obsidian or red scoria pupils. The discovery was made by collecting and reassembling broken fragments of white coral that were found at the various sites. Subsequently, previously uncategorized finds in the Easter Island museum were re-examined and recategorized as eye fragments. It is thought that the moai with carved eye sockets were probably allocated to the ahu and ceremonial sites, suggesting that a selective Rapa Nui hierarchy was attributed to the moai design until its demise with the advent of the Birdman religion, Tangata Manu.
Many archaeologists suggest that "[the] statues were thus symbols of authority and power, both religious and political. But they were not only symbols. To the people who erected and used them, they were actual repositories of sacred spirit. Carved stone and wooden objects in ancient Polynesian religions, when properly fashioned and ritually prepared, were believed to be charged by a magical spiritual essence called mana." Archaeologists believe that the statues were a representation of the ancient Polynesians' ancestors. The moai statues face away from the ocean and towards the villages as if to watch over the people. The exception is the seven Ahu Akivi which face out to sea to help travelers find the island. There is a legend that says there were seven men who waited for their king to arrive.
The more recent moai had pukao on their heads, which represent the topknot of the chieftains. According to local tradition, the mana was preserved in the hair. The pukao were carved out of red scoria, a very light rock from a quarry at Puna Pau. Red itself is considered a sacred color in Polynesia. The added pukao suggest a further status to the moai.
When first carved, the surface of the moai was polished smooth by rubbing with pumice. Unfortunately, the easily worked tuff from which most moai were carved is also easily eroded, and, today, the best place to see the surface detail is on the few moai carved from basalt or in photographs and other archaeological records of moai surfaces protected by burials.
Those moai that are less eroded typically have designs carved on their backs and posteriors. The Routledge expedition of 1914 established a cultural link between these designs and the island's traditional tattooing, which had been repressed by missionaries a half-century earlier. Until modern DNA analysis of the islanders and their ancestors, this was key scientific evidence that the moai had been carved by the Rapa Nui and not by a separate group from South America.
At least some of the moai were painted; Hoa Hakananai'a was decorated with maroon and white paint until 1868, when it was removed from the island. It is now housed in the British Museum, London, but there are demands (2018) for its return to Rapa Nui.
The statues were carved by the Polynesian colonizers of the island, mostly between circa 1250 A.D. and 1500 A.D. In addition to representing deceased ancestors, the moai, once they were erected on ahu, may also have been regarded as the embodiment of powerful living or former chiefs and important lineage status symbols. Each moai presented a status: "The larger the statue placed upon an ahu, the more mana the chief who commissioned it had." The competition for grandest statue was ever prevalent in the culture of the Easter Islanders. The proof stems from the varying sizes of moai.
Completed statues were moved to ahu mostly on the coast, then erected, sometimes with red stone cylinders (pukao) on their heads. Moai must have been extremely expensive to craft and transport; not only would the actual carving of each statue require effort and resources, but the finished product was then hauled to its final location and erected.
The quarries in Rano Raraku appear to have been abandoned abruptly, with a litter of stone tools and many completed moai outside the quarry awaiting transport and almost as many incomplete statues still in situ as were installed on ahu. In the nineteenth century, this led to conjecture that the island was the remnant of a sunken continent and that most completed moai were under the sea. That idea has long been debunked, and now it is understood that:
It is not known exactly which group in the communities were responsible for carving statues. Oral traditions suggest that the moai were either carved by a distinguished class of professional carvers who were comparable in status to high-ranking members of other Polynesian craft guilds, or, alternatively, by members of each clan. The oral histories show that the Rano Raraku quarry was subdivided into different territories for each clan.
Since the island was largely treeless by the time the Europeans first visited, the movement of the statues was a mystery for a long time; pollen analysis has now established that the island was almost totally forested until 1200 A.D. The tree pollen disappeared from the record by 1650.
It is not known exactly how the moai were moved across the island. Earlier researchers assumed that the process almost certainly required human energy, ropes, and possibly wooden sledges (sleds) and/or rollers, as well as leveled tracks across the island (the Easter Island roads). Another theory suggests that the moai were placed on top of logs and were rolled to their destinations. If that theory is correct it would take 50-150 people to move the moai. The most recent study demonstrates from the evidence in the archaeological record that the statues were harnessed with ropes from two sides and made to "walk" by tilting them from side to side while pulling forward. They would also use a chant, whilst 'walking' the moai. Coordination and cohesion was essential, so they developed a chant in which the rhythm helped them pull at the precise moment necessary.
Oral histories recount how various people used divine power to command the statues to walk. The earliest accounts say a king named Tuu Ku Ihu moved them with the help of the god Makemake, while later stories tell of a woman who lived alone on the mountain ordering them about at her will. Scholars currently support the theory that the main method was that the moai were "walked" upright (some assume by a rocking process), as laying it prone on a sledge (the method used by the Easter Islanders to move stone in the 1860s) would have required an estimated 1500 people to move the largest moai that had been successfully erected. In 1998, Jo Anne Van Tilburg suggested fewer than half that number could do it by placing the sledge on lubricated rollers. In 1999, she supervised an experiment to move a nine-tonne moai. They attempted to load a replica on a sledge built in the shape of an A frame that was placed on rollers. A total of 60 people pulled on several ropes in two attempts to tow the moai. The first attempt failed when the rollers jammed up. The second attempt succeeded when they embedded tracks in the ground. This was on flat ground and used eucalyptus wood rather than the native palm trees.
In 1986, Pavel Pavel, Thor Heyerdahl and the Kon Tiki Museum experimented with a five-tonne moai and a nine-tonne moai. With a rope around the head of the statue and another around the base, using eight workers for the smaller statue and 16 for the larger, they "walked" the moai forward by swiveling and rocking it from side to side; however, the experiment was ended early due to damage to the statue bases from chipping. Despite the early end to the experiment, Thor Heyerdahl estimated that this method for a 20-tonne statue over Easter Island terrain would allow 320 feet (100 m) per day. Other scholars concluded that it was probably not the way the moai were moved due to the reported damage to the base caused by the "shuffling" motion.
Around the same time, archaeologist Charles Love experimented with a 10-tonne replica. His first experiment found rocking the statue to walk it was too unstable over more than a few hundred yards. He then found that placing the statue upright on two sled runners atop log rollers, 25 men were able to move the statue 150 feet (46 m) in two minutes. In 2003, further research indicated this method could explain supposedly regularly spaced post holes (his research on this claim has not yet been published) where the statues were moved over rough ground. He suggested the holes contained upright posts on either side of the path so that as the statue passed between them, they were used as cantilevers for poles to help push the statue up a slope without the requirement of extra people pulling on the ropes and similarly to slow it on the downward slope. The poles could also act as a brake when needed.
Based on detailed studies of the statues found along prehistoric roads, archaeologists Terry Hunt and Carl Lipo have shown that the pattern of breakage, form and position of statues is consistent with an "upright" hypothesis for transportation. Hunt and Lipo argue that when the statues were carved at a quarry, the sculptors left their bases wide and curved along the front edge. They showed that statues along the road have a center of mass that causes the statue to lean forward. As the statue tilts forward, it rocks sideways along its curved front edge and takes a "step." Large flakes are seen broken off of the sides of the bases. They argue that once the statue was "walked" down the road and installed in the landscape, the wide and curved base was carved down. All of this evidence points to an upright transportation practice.
Recent experimental recreations have proven that it is fully possible that the moai were literally walked from their quarries to their final positions by ingenious use of ropes. Teams of workers would have worked to rock the moai back and forth, creating the walking motion and holding the moai upright. If correct, it can be inferred that the fallen road moai were the result of the teams of balancers being unable to keep the statue upright, and it was presumably not possible to lift the statues again once knocked over. However, the debate continues.
Originally, Easter Islanders had a paramount chief or single leader. Through the years the power levels veered from sole chiefs to a warrior class, known as "matatoa". The therianthropic figure of a half bird and half man was the symbol of the matatoa; the distinct character connected the sacred site of Orongo. The new cult prompted battles of tribes over worship of ancestry. Creating the moai was one way the islanders would honor their ancestors; during the height of the birdman cult there is evidence which suggests that the construction of moai stopped.
"One of the most fascinating sights at Orongo are the hundreds of petroglyphs carved with birdman and Makemake images. Carved into solid basalt, they have resisted ages of harsh weather. It has been suggested that the images represent birdman competition winners. Over 480 birdman petroglyphs have been found on the island, mostly around Orongo." Orongo, the site of the cult's festivities, was a dangerous landscape which consisted of a "narrow ridge between a 1,000-foot (300 m) drop into the ocean on one side and a deep crater on the other". Considered the sacred spot of Orongo, Mata Ngarau was the location where birdman priests prayed and chanted for a successful egg hunt. "The purpose of the birdman contest was to obtain the first egg of the season from the offshore islet Motu Nui. Contestants descended the sheer cliffs of Orongo and swam to Motu Nui where they awaited the coming of the birds. Having procured an egg, the contestant swam back and presented it to his sponsor, who then was declared birdman for that year, an important status position."
These figures are much smaller than the better-known stone moai. They are made of wood and have a small, slender aspect, giving them a sad appearance. These figures are believed to have been made after the civilization on Rapa Nui began to collapse, which is why they seem to have a more emaciated appearance to them.
At some point after the 1722 Roggeveen visit, all of the moai that had been erected on ahus were toppled, with the last standing statues reported in 1838 by Abel Aubert Dupetit Thouars, and no upright statues by 1868, apart from the partially buried ones on the outer slopes of Rano Raraku.
Oral histories include one account of a clan pushing down a single moai in the night but others refer to the "earth shaking" and other indications that at least some of them fell down through earthquakes. Some of the moai toppled forward such that their faces were hidden and often fell in such a way that their necks broke; others fell off of the back of their platforms. Today, about 50 moai have been re-erected on their ahus or at museums elsewhere.
The Rapa Nui people were then devastated by the slave trade that began at the island in 1862. Within only a time span of one year the individuals that remained on the island were sick, injured, and lacking leadership. The survivors of the slave raids had new company from landing missionaries. The society was vulnerable and the converting process of Christianity did not take long. Native Easter Islanders lost their identity as first their style of clothing and soon their tattoos and body paint were banned by the new Christian proscriptions. The history of their ancestors was destroyed (artwork, buildings, sacred objects), leaving little record of the islanders' former lives. They were then subjected to forceful removal from their native lands and made to reside on a much smaller portion of the island while the rest was used for farming. "Eventually all pure Rapa Nui blood died out. Annexation with Chile brought new influences, and today there are only a few individuals left with ties to the original population."
Eleven or more moai have been removed from the island and transported to locations around the world, including six out of the thirteen moai that were carved from basalt.
From 1955 through 1978, an American archaeologist, William Mulloy, undertook extensive investigation of the production, transportation and erection of Easter Island's monumental statuary. Mulloy's Rapa Nui projects include the investigation of the Akivi-Vaiteka Complex and the physical restoration of Ahu Akivi (1960); the investigation and restoration of Ahu Ko Te Riku and Ahu Vai Uri and the Tahai Ceremonial Complex (1970); the investigation and restoration of two ahu at Hanga Kio'e (1972); the investigation and restoration of the ceremonial village at Orongo (1974) and numerous other archaeological surveys throughout the island.
The Rapa Nui National Park and the moai are included in the 1972 UN convention concerning the protection of the world's cultural and natural heritage and consequently on the 1994 list of UNESCO World Heritage sites.
The moai have been mapped by a number of groups over the years including efforts by Father Sebastian Englert and Chilean researchers. The EISP (Easter Island Statue Project) conducted research and documentation on many of the moai on Rapa Nui and the artifacts held in museums overseas. The purpose of the project is to understand the figures' original use, context, and meaning, with the results being provided to the Rapa Nui families and the island's public agencies that are responsible for conservation and preservation of the moai. Other studies include work by Britton Shepardson and Terry L. Hunt and Carl P. Lipo.
In 2010, Moai was included as an emoji in Unicode version 6.0 under the code point
U+1F5FF and is represented as such:
The official unicode name for the emoji is spelled "Moyai". This is the name of a statue near Shibuya Station in Tokyo, which is inspired by Moai from the Easter Island but looks distinct. This has caused inconsistent drawings to be adopted for this emoji by various companies with proprietary emoji images.
This emoji has been used for comedic purposes and internet memes.
Ahu Akivi is a particular sacred place in Rapa Nui (or Easter Island) in the Valparaíso Region of Chile, looking out towards the Pacific Ocean. The site has seven moai, all of equal shape and size, and is also known as a celestial observatory that was set up around the 16th century. The site is located inland, rather than along the coast. Moai statues were considered by the early people of Rapa Nui as their ancestors or Tupuna that were believed to be the reincarnation of important kings or leaders of their clans. The Moais were erected to protect and bring prosperity to their clan and village.A particular feature of the seven identical moai statues is that they exactly face sunset during the Spring Equinox and have their backs to the sunrise during the Autumn Equinox. Such an astronomically precise feature is seen only at this location on the island.Ahu Tongariki
Ahu Tongariki is the largest ahu on Easter Island. Its moai were toppled during the island's civil wars and in the twentieth century the ahu was swept inland by a tsunami. It has since been restored and has fifteen moai including an 86 tonne moai that was the heaviest ever erected on the island. Ahu Tongariki is one kilometer from Rano Raraku and Poike in the Hotu-iti area of Rapa Nui National Park. All the moai here face sunset during Summer Solstice.Easter Island
Easter Island (Rapa Nui: Rapa Nui, Spanish: Isla de Pascua) is a Chilean island in the southeastern Pacific Ocean, at the southeasternmost point of the Polynesian Triangle in Oceania. Easter Island is most famous for its nearly 1,000 extant monumental statues, called moai, created by the early Rapa Nui people. In 1995, UNESCO named Easter Island a World Heritage Site, with much of the island protected within Rapa Nui National Park.
It is believed that Easter Island's Polynesian inhabitants arrived on Easter Island sometime near 1200 AD. They created a thriving and industrious culture, as evidenced by the island's numerous enormous stone moai and other artifacts. However, land clearing for cultivation and the introduction of the Polynesian rat led to gradual deforestation. By the time of European arrival in 1722, the island's population was estimated to be 2,000–3,000. European diseases, Peruvian slave raiding expeditions in the 1860s, and emigration to other islands, e.g. Tahiti, further depleted the population, reducing it to a low of 111 native inhabitants in 1877.Chile annexed Easter Island in 1888. In 1966, the Rapa Nui were granted Chilean citizenship. In 2007 the island gained the constitutional status of "special territory." Administratively, it belongs to the Valparaíso Region, comprising a single commune of the Province Isla de Pascua. The 2017 Chilean census registered 7,750 people on the island, of whom 3,512 (45%) considered themselves Rapa Nui.Easter Island is one of the most remote inhabited islands in the world. The nearest inhabited land (around 50 residents in 2013) is Pitcairn Island, 2,075 kilometres (1,289 mi) away; the nearest town with a population over 500 is Rikitea, on the island of Mangareva, 2,606 km (1,619 mi) away; the nearest continental point lies in central Chile, 3,512 kilometres (2,182 mi) away.
Easter Island is considered part of Insular Chile.Fraternal Order of Moai
The Fraternal Order of Moai (FOM; also often known as The Moai) is a fraternal order and social club founded in 2005 by Matt "Kuku Ahu" Thatcher, Jim "Chisel Slinger" Robinson and Joel "Cowtown Kahuna" Gunn. The Order uses the Moai statues of Rapa Nui as a theme. An initial goal of the group was to preserve the history of and artifacts from the closed Kahiki Supper Club in Columbus, Ohio. Since then it has grown into "a serious group of tiki aficionados" with activity all over the United States. Some describe the group as "a cult within a cult" when discussing the modern Tiki revival.Members are often fans of tiki culture, the Polynesian pop era, mid-century modern style, and kustom kulture and these styles are reflected in the events held by the group. Some members are artists who produce music, carvings, lamps, and ceramics that tie into the theme of the group. The group has been known to provide assistance with preserving artifacts and expertise to local "tiki" businesses.Even though the group participates in many public events the organization operates like a secret society and many members only identify themselves using aliases. Leaders of the group use obscure titles that combine words from several Polynesian languages.The group exhibits a bizarre sense of humor and places references to use of time travel technology, combating a zombie outbreak and cloning technology in official information published online. Much of this information refers to a claimed network of scientific research labs in the continental United States called the F.O.M. Test Labs.Hoa Hakananai'a
Hoa Hakananai'a is a moai (Easter Island statue) housed in the British Museum in London. It was taken from ‘Orongo, Rapa Nui (Easter Island) in November 1868 by the crew of the British ship HMS Topaze, and arrived in England in August 1869. Though relatively small, it is considered to be typical of the island’s statue form, but distinguished by carvings added to the back, associated with the island birdman cult. It has been described as a "masterpiece" and "without a doubt, the finest example of Easter Island sculpture".Moai-kun
Moai-kun (モアイくん, Mr. Moai) is a puzzle video game developed and published by Konami for the Family Computer in Japan in March 1990. The game derives its themes from Easter Island; the player controls a sentient moai statue that must rescue other moai and escape each stage via a door before the timer expires. Although platforming elements are present, the primary challenge is to find a way to manipulate the objects in each stage to reach the distressed moai and rescue them while still leaving an avenue of escape to the exit door.Moai (seamount)
The Moai Seamount is a submarine volcano, the second most westerly in the Easter Seamount Chain or Sala y Gómez ridge. It is east of Pukao seamount and west of Easter Island. It rises over 2,500 metres from the ocean floor to within a few hundred metres of the sea surface. The Moai seamount is fairly young, having developed in the last few hundred thousand years as the Nazca Plate floats over the Easter hotspot.
The Moai seamount was named after the moai statues of neighbouring Easter Island.Moai (software)
Moai is a development and deployment platform designed for the creation of mobile games on iOS and Android smartphones. The Moai platform consists of Moai SDK, an open source game engine, and Moai Cloud, a cloud platform as a service (PaaS) for the hosting and deployment of game services. Moai developers use Lua, C++ and OpenGL, to build mobile games that span smartphones and cloud. Several commercial games have been built with Moai, including Crimson: Steam Pirates, Invisible, Inc., and Broken Age. Moai integrates third-party game analytics and monetization services such as Apsalar and Tapjoy.Pukao
Pukao are the hat-like structures or topknots formerly placed on top of some moai statues on Easter Island. They were all carved from a very light-red volcanic scoria, which was quarried from a single source at Puna Pau.Rano Raraku
Rano Raraku is a volcanic crater formed of consolidated volcanic ash, or tuff, and located on the lower slopes of Terevaka in the Rapa Nui National Park on Easter Island in Chile. It was a quarry for about 500 years until the early eighteenth century, and supplied the stone from which about 95% of the island's known monolithic sculptures (moai) were carved. Rano Raraku is a visual record of moai design vocabulary and technological innovation, where 887 moai remain. Rano Raraku is in the World Heritage Site of Rapa Nui National Park and gives its name to one of the seven sections of the park.Rapa Nui National Park
Rapa Nui National Park is a national park and UNESCO World Heritage Site located on Easter Island, Chile. Rapa Nui is the Polynesian name of Easter Island; its Spanish name is Isla de Pascua. The island is located in the southeastern Pacific Ocean, at the southeastern extremity of the Polynesian Triangle. The island was taken over by Chile in 1888. Its fame and World Heritage status arise from the 887 extant stone statues known by the name "moai", whose creation is attributed to the early Rapa Nui people who inhabited the island around 300 AD. Much of the island has been declared as Rapa Nui National Park which, on 22 March 1996, UNESCO designated a World Heritage Site under cultural criteria (i), (iii), & (v). The Rapa Nui National Park is now under the administrative control of the Ma´u Henua Polynesian Indigenous Community, which is the first autonomous institute on the island. The indigenous Rapa Nui people have regained authority over their ancestral lands and are in charge of the management, preservation and protection of their patrimony. On the first of December 2017, the ex-President Michelle Bachelet returned ancestral lands in the form of the Rapa Nui National Park to the indigenous people. For the first time in history, the revenue generated by the National Park is invested in the island and used to conserve the natural heritage.Rapa Nui mythology
Rapa Nui mythology, also known as Pascuense mythology or Easter Island mythology, refers to the native myths, legends, and beliefs of the Rapa Nui people of Easter Island in the south eastern Pacific Ocean.Rapa Nui people
The Rapa Nui are the aboriginal Polynesian inhabitants of Easter Island in the Pacific Ocean. The easternmost Polynesian culture, the descendants of the original people of Rapa Nui (Easter Island) make up about 60% of the current Rapa Nui population and have a significant portion of their population residing in mainland Chile. They speak both the traditional Rapa Nui language and the primary language of Chile, Spanish. At the 2002 census there were 3,304 island inhabitants—almost all living in the village of Hanga Roa on the sheltered west coast.
As of 2011, Rapa Nui's main source of income derived from tourism, which focuses on the giant sculptures called moai.
Rapa Nui activists have been fighting for their right of self-determination and possession of the island. Protests in 2010 and 2011 by the indigenous Rapa Nui on Easter Island objecting the creation of a marine park and reserve, have led to clashes with Chilean police.Relocation of moai objects
Since the removal of the first moai Hoa Hakananai'a from Easter Island in 1868 by the crew of HMS Topaze, 79 complete moai, heads, torsos, pukao, and moai figurines are also known to have been removed from their original sites, and transferred to either private collections, the collections of museums (including the Museo Arqueological Padre Sebastian Englert on Easter Island), or, most recently to the university grounds of the American University, Washington D.C. in 2000. Some of the moai have been further transferred between museums and private collections, for reasons such as the moais' preservation, academic research and for public education, or – in the instance of the moai from Centro Cultural Recoleta – for repatriation after 80 years overseas.
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