Sculptures on the Edge of the World
What makes this souvenir from Chile interesting are the delightful earth-tones that give this picture its distinction. It is very fitting in this sense as most people who visit Easter Island go with a notion of getting in touch with nature. With open plains and lush hillsides it´s no wonder. And then there are the Moai, this monumental sculptures produced by the Polynesian people who colonized Eastern Island in the Thirteenth, Fourteenth and Fourteenth centuries.
These statues were crafted in the artisans workplaces and then transported to remote places on the island. The majority of Moai are placed in groups, as it is the case in this magnet. These ones look quite preserved. Many have been affected by erosion, mainly the wind that blows fiercely and constantly in the island located in the Pacific Ocean near the Chilean coast.
A Feast for Researchers
This island and its Maoi have been thoroughly researched in the last 80 years. There have been, and there are, many questions that the researchers have tried to answers with diverse degrees of success. Some other kind of research has been conducted to restore the pieces which have suffered high levels of erosion and to prevent further affectation of the others.
One of the most successful researchers is archeologist William Mulloy who devoted his research efforts to this heritage in the second half of the Twentieth century. He was responsible for the restoration of some of the most important and biggest Moai and ceremonial centers on the island. This piece can be one of a fridge magnet collection that you can put together to try to answer some of the questions that have intrigued researchers.