Moai Profiles

Moai Profiles

Some of Rapa Nui's (Easter Island's) Moai are adorned with a 'topknot' called a 'pukao' (pronounced "poo-cow"). The pukao is red scoria that was carved from a quarry called Puna Pau located about 15 miles from Rano Raraku where the Moai were carved.

The pukao average 1-4 tonnes each and were quite remarkable in their construction.

The underside of each pukao was custom carved to match the size of the moai's head that it would be placed on. This 'custom fit' would ensure that the pukao would not move once in place - perhaps as a precaution for earthquake or tsunami?

The design reminded me of the ball and socket joints that were carved in the lintels and supports at Stonehenge to keep the structure as solid as possible. These were incredible architectural feats considering both societies were not exposed to these techniques anywhere else

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