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Moai i/ˈmoʊ.aɪ/, or mo‘ai, are monolithic human figures carved by the Rapa Nui people from rock on the Chilean Polynesian island of Easter Island 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-fifths the size of their bodies. 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, but most were cast down during later conflicts between clans.
The production and transportation of the 887 statues are considered remarkable creative and physical feats. The tallest moai erected, called Paro, was almost 10 metres (33 ft) high and weighed 82 tons; the heaviest erected was a shorter but squatter moai at Ahu Tongariki, weighing 86 tons; and one unfinished sculpture, if completed, would have been approximately 21 metres (69 ft) tall with a weight of about 270 tons.
Ahu Tongariki is the largest ahu on Rapa Nui/Easter Island (a Chilean island in the Pacific). 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.
Traditional music from the island consists of choral singing and chanting, similar to Tahitian music. Families often performed as choirs, competing in an annual concert. They were accompanied by a trumpet made from a conch shell and a percussive dancer jumping onto a stone which is set over a calabash resonator. Other instruments include the kauaha, the jaw bone of a horse, upaupa, an accordion, and stones, which are clapped together for percussive effect.
Matato’a (the watchful eye of the warrior) is a musical and dance group from Easter Island (Rapa Nui). It is one of the most famous bands from the island. Matato'a was founded in 1996 by Kevamatato’a Atan. It was in 1998 that they adopted the name of Matato'a, which means 'warrior' or 'guardian'. They played in all over Chile in the same year. Mito Manutomatoma, a founding member, left the group in 1999 to play mainstream Chilean music.
The group, consisting largely of family members, uses traditional instruments, such as stones, horse jawbone, and bombo along with electric guitars and other modern elements to create a unique fusion sound.
Matato'a's principal motivation is to promote the ancestral traditions, the dances, the costumes, & body paintings of the Rapa Nui People. Performances are high-energy, with intensive indigenous cultural representation.
Mythology Main article: Rapa Nui mythology
The most important myths are:
Tangata manu, the Birdman cult which was practiced until the 1860s.
Makemake, an important god.
Aku-aku, the guardians of the sacred family caves.
Moai-kava-kava a ghost man of the Hanau epe (long-ears.)
Hekai ite umu pare haonga takapu Hanau epe kai noruego, the sacred chant to appease the aku-aku before entering a family cave.
Most settlements were located on the coast and moai were erected along the coastline, watching over their descendants in the settlements before them, with their backs toward the spirit world in the sea.
Originally posted by SilentKoala
Not a very catchy melody. Aliens must not have very good taste in music.