The Statues and Rock Art of Rapa Nui – Easter Island
Rapa Nui, or Easter Island as it was to become known, is the Polynesian island found in the south east Pacific Ocean. Although famous for the large monumental Moai statues which adorn Easter Island, Rapa Nui is also home to extensive rock art carvings and paintings with unique motifs.
One of the most famous motifs on Easter Island is that of the Birdman, a therianthropic figure, half man and half bird, connected to cult events at the sacred site of Orongo.
The birdman cult festivities were held at one of the most dramatic locations on the island, Orongo, on a narrow ridge between a 1,000 foot drop into the ocean on one side and a deep crater on the other.
The giant stone statues of Easter Island, called moai, have brought the island reknown and have fascinated scores of scholars, travellers and artists. Their distinctive stone faces appear locked in silence; Sentinels in Stone that convey both power and tragedy.