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Photographer's Note

For me, volcano Rano Raraku, the "Quarry of the Moais", is the most beautiful place on Easter Island. During my two trips to Rapa Nui in 1998 and 2005, I visited this amazing place more than a dozen times.
Along the crater slope you can find hundreds of Moais in all stages of production, some of them still seem to wait for their transport to the Ahus (the ceremonial platforms) along the coast.
On the photo you can see one of my favorite moais, the majestic Moai Hinariru, with his nameless, eternal companion in the background.
Although Hinariru's visible size of nearly 4 meters is pretty impressive, this is just half of his actual size. From chest to hip he is already sunken in the smooth volcanic soil.
With his 9 meters Hinariru is not even the biggest one. Not far away 11 meter high Moai Piro-Piro is the biggest moai ever moved.
Above Hinariru, in the rocky part of the crater rim, lies 21(!) meter high "El Gigante", the biggest statue ever carved. He was not finished, but is still attached with his back to the rock.

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Additional Photos by Karsten Rau (matamoana) Silver Note Writer [C: 1 W: 0 N: 85] (623)
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