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      Easter Island – A Mysterious Island 智利复活节岛:探索未解之谜
By Rene Chu (Hong Kong) 文:朱可仪(香港)
  Experiencing Rapa Nui’s rich heritage and culture was truly a once in a lifetime experience.
智利拉帕努伊岛上丰富的古迹与文化遗产, 为访客带来千载难逢的人生体验。
Torturous – that is probably how many would describe a 29-hour flight. But when your destination is this mysterious island in Chile, any negativity vanishes immediately. Easter Island is only accessible by a 5.5-hour flight from the Chilean capital of Santiago, which is 14.5 hours from our transit point of Melbourne, Australia, some nine hours from Hong Kong.
The Humongous Moai
Also known as “Rapa Nui” in the Polynesian language and “Isla de Pascua” in Spanish, Easter Island is famous for their “rocks”. Amounting to some 900 in total, these rocks are actually stone statues known as “Moai”,
which are the ancestors of the natives, the Rapa Nui people. They are there to look after their clans, hence almost all of them face inward to the land.
The remains of an ancestor were buried under a Moai before it was erected. Over 96% of these megalithic Moai were carved from a quarry at the volcano. However, Moai are located all over the island and some Moai wear hats of different colours, which are made of an entirely different type of rock. It is baffling how the body of the Moai, which can be over 20 metres tall, and the hat, which weighs more than a ton, were put together in situ.
Both components were transported,
hypothetically by ropes and dozens of men, to Ahu (the platform that the Moai stand on) from different sites by different clans. Many Moai have been destroyed during the civil wars in Chile or by severe weather, and the Moai at the Ahu Tongariki were restored by heavy duty machinery from a Japanese company. How the ancient people managed to lift the hat on top of the body of the Moai will always be a mystery.
Have you noticed that the Ahu were laid with egg-shaped rocks? Those rocks are arranged systematically such that they appear straight no matter how you look at them! Under these egg-shaped rocks were laid the umbilical cord of the newborns, whom the Moai will protect.
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