Easter Island Stone Figure

This figure came from a rare inland ceremonial site called “Ahu O Pepe.” Most moai, including this one, were carved from hardened volcanic ash found at a single quarry, Rano Raraku. About 1,000 moai remain on Easter Island.

This figure and another acquired at the same time are the only ones in the United States. Paymaster William J. Thomson acquired them in 1886 for the Smithsonian Institution. At that time, they were lying on the ground with six other toppled moai. They were hauled overland on special sleds to the ship USS Mohican.


  • Title: Ancester Figure or moai
  • Location: Ahu O'Pepe, Easter Island (Rapa Nui), Chile, Polynesia
  • Physical Dimensions: 1 x 2 m
  • Type: Figure
  • Rights: This image was obtained from the Smithsonian Institution. The image or its contents may be protected by international copyright laws. http://www.si.edu/termsofuse
  • External Link: View this object record in the Smithsonian Institution Collections Search Center
  • USNM Catalog Number(s): E128368
  • Photo Credit: James Di Loreto, Smithsonian Institution National Museum of Natural History
  • Field: Ethnology
  • Date Collected: 1886-12-18
  • Accession Date: 1887-05-04

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