Thursday, August 12, 2010

Moai Inspiration

My birthday is this weekend...I'm getting really old. My boss gave me some little desk Moai (Easter Island head statue thingys) and I have been researching them all day. Just think of the fantastic-ness that is Polynesian art. If you want to read about Moai of the Rapanui this site is pretty interesting. You would think that for such a tiny island out in the middle of nowhere that people would be nice to each other just to survive. Not true, the history of Easter Island is fraught with civil wars, slavery, diseases, ecological devastation, cannibalism, and creepy stone statues.

Cannibalism was a pretty common thing out there until everyone was converted to Christianity and TB. It makes a lot of sense in a strange way because there were no large mammals, so all you had to eat were fish, the occasional bird and Polynesian rats. I think that I would probably eat women and children too...yah, you guessed it, women, children, and the occasional stranger were those most often signed up for hu-meat-fest. Thanks guys, real classy.

But the main interesting thing about the island are the Moai. They range anywhere from 6ft tall to over 30ft. tall. They are placed all around the island facing inland (we are not sure why) but most of them didn't even make it out of the quarry, while some tumbled mid route. I read an interesting story which may or may not be true, but that there were two types of people on the island - the Long Ears and the Short Ears. Supposedly the Long Ears enslaved the Short Ears and made them build all the Moai. Then the Short Ears over threw the Long Ears and slaughtered them all. I also heard it speculated that the Short Ears were Polynesian and the the Long Ears were from South America.

The really freaky thing about the Moai is that they used to have white eyes made from shell/coral and red rock top knots. Which made them look like this:

Much scarier.  And actually more akin to Polynesian art. I'm not sure how I would feel about all these statues facing towards you from the sea. It's like they are imprisoning you and watching you. Or a really intense psychological experiment. Makes for some creepy artistic inspiration.

P.S. Art, Design and Dine is tonight! see you there.

1 comment:

  1. Megh, you are not old! You aren't even a quarter century yet! Wait until you are my age...halfway to 90! The best years of my life!
    Love, Mom