A trip into a mysterious land, where questions have no answers and the vast landscapes are scattered with the islands long standing Moai, Easter Island is an archaeologists dream and an intrepid travellers delight.
When the explorer Jacob Roggeveen stumbled on Easter Island way back in 1722, speculation and mystery flourished. The history of this island is shrouded in myth, puzzling even the most astute archaeologists. Questions surrounding the peculiar scenery and the demise of inhabitants still remain unanswered.
Triangular shaped, at each of the corners proudly stand an extinct volcano. Each aspect of the island has its own uniqueness, from grassland to rocky coastlines, sandy beaches to volcanic rocks; the sheer contrasting landscapes indicate the varied and dramatic history of this island.
The most inspiring of the extinct volcanos is on the southwest tip. Named Rano Kau, a trip to discover this breath-taking site will not disappoint. Ranu Kau is home to the Orongo village (also known as an archaeologists dream). Meticulously restored, this ceremonial village shows a glimpse into a time long since past.
Back in 1722, there was no welcoming party for Roggeveen and his crew. Eerily silent, the presence of civilisation was clear, however not a soul could be found. The only thing left standing were colossal stone figures ominously called Moai. The Moai stand seemingly arbitrarily around the island, most looking inward, with only a select handful standing sentinel to the ocean. These monolithic statues are all individual works of art. Carved in volcanic rock and estimated to be created between the 10th and 14th centuries, all are elegantly tall with hawk like features, frowning brows and downturned lips. The reasons why the Moai were created are unknown, sparking many theories and ideas as to their purpose. How and why they were moved around the island is also unknown, each Moai taking up a unique position, seemingly random, but their faces almost suggest their positions are purposeful and their creation important. The one known fact is that unlike any inhabitants on this island, the Moai’s have stood proud, untouched and honoured.
The fascinating Moai offer further cryptic clues to their existence with a visit to their supposed birthplace. The Rano Raraku quarry is believed to be the place of their creation. A scattering of hundreds of Moai lay lifeless, many partly created, carelessly discarded mid creation, some even face down as if sleeping for all eternity. Unchanged for centuries, the scene congers up a window into the past, allowing for your imagination to run wild. No doubt you will arrive at Easter Island with questions, however it is likely you will leave with many more.
Unconventional Conventions hosted a conference in the Antarctica and visited Easter Island during their Post Conference (10th March – 13th March 2015), visiting both Orongo and Rano Kau.