We would like to share with you some interesting information about the Moais (whose image is also part of the logo of our brand Anakena Natural Cosmetics) and particularly about the return of a Moai to Rapa Nui on March 8, 2022.
The moais are carved stone sculptures and are the best known image of Easter Island, they represent the protective spirit of the ancestors and are a fundamental part of the Rapa Nui culture.
For this reason we leave here a text written by the Rapa Nui Technical Secretariat, an institution under the Council of National Monuments, which was created in 2013 with the aim of guiding the institutional work towards the protection and conservation of heritage, work done together with the Advisory Commission of National Monuments, also known as CAMN Rapa Nui, composed of local entities and experts:
"In the old days, the mōai were also called "ˈariŋa ora" meaning "living face."
An example of its importance is what happened last March 8, when the Rapa Nui people received with a series of traditional celebrations of umu or curanto, the return to the island of one of the moais that was in Santiago. The curanto is a way of thanking, cooking and sharing food, accompanied by songs.
"A curanto was performed in Santiago when the moai left the museum to bless its journey home, and another when it arrived on Rapa Nui to bless its arrival, to bless it for breathing its air again, feeling its wind, looking at its ocean and seeing its people," explained Anakena Manutomatoma.
It is thought that the mōai "were the embodiment of the spirit of the ancestors of each lineage," containers of mana. "Do you think they don't cry when they are outside? The things that scientists have taken away from here, it's important that they return them to their origins. Because that mana is here. And it's more important for us to teach it to our children. Do you understand?" explained Isabel Pakarati.
It should be noted that the mōai have been carved in Toba lapilli, red scoria, trachyte, basalt and coral; in the case of the recent Tupuna repatriated from the National Museum of Natural History, it was carved in basalt."
Rapa Nui Heritage Technical Secretariat
National Monuments Council
Phone: +56 32-2550226
In the photo you can see the beautiful Moai at the Father Sebastian Englert Museum on Easter Island, after its return from mainland Chile after 152 years. The name of this Moai recently repatriated from the MNHN, is not known, the authorities who were in charge of its repatriation gave it the name "Tau", but technically its real name is not known, anecdotally because it was very "cute" it was called that way.
Height: 1.50 meters
Weight: 715 kilo
Drawing of the moai of the expedition of the Chilean corvette O'Higgins made by Rodulfo Philippi around 1870.
(National Museum of Natural History, Chile)