Easter Island Heads LocationHeads Easter Island Location
It is an island of volcanoes in the South Pacific, half way between Tahiti and South America. It was first inhabited by Polynesians around 700 A.D., whose beliefs lead to the production of the rock sculptures for which Easter Island is so well known.
The ensuing overpopulation and overexploitation of the island's finite natural resource from the sixteenth to the eighteenth centuries resulted in the island's deforestation, wide-spread wars between the tribes and finally in the so-called "collapse" of its primitive civilization. At the height of the sculpture there were perhaps 12,000 inhabitants. In 1877 the island had only 111 inhabitants.
What is crucial is that neither the spoken nor the spoken story has vanished, and together with the many archeological investigations that have been conducted since then, much is now known about the Easter Island's story and pristine people. It was first explored by the outside worlds in 1722, on Easter Sunday (hence the name of the island), when the discoverer Jacob Roggeveen from Holland met it in his quest for the great southern continent.
It is understandable that stories about this awe-inspiring island with over 1,000 volcanic sculptures soon became widespread, and many other discoverers, among them James Cook in 1774, came to admire Easter Island. Chile took over the island in 1888 and since then Easter Island has belonged to Chile. In 1967, the opening of the international airports made the once unapproachable island accessible to all travelers, but still, luckily, with a real flair.
During our four Easter Island holidays, we learnt that almost all the moai were located in such a way that they looked into the island's inner space and over the population. However, this is the only place on the island where the Moai sculptures face the sea, if only because it is the only place where the Moai sculptures are located in the centre of the island and must therefore face outwards.
They are the only mai that face the ocean and are supposed to be representative of the seven polynese discoverers that found the island at first. This is another great site to see on Easter Island. This was my first stop on my Mosaic Ahu trip and it didn't let me down! There are several mai looking down on you in all their old glory and sapience.