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Ancestor number "moai", Hoa Hakananai"a, made of basalt. Easter Island, 1000–2000.

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Hoa Hakananai'a on collection online

The Museum cares because that two large stone moai from Rapa Nui (Easter Island): Hoa Hakananai"a and Moai Hava. Moai space megalithic statues often placed top top ahu (ceremonial platforms). They are stated to be the aringa ora, the living faces of the ancestors.

Hoa Hakananai"a (meaning "lost, hidden, or stolen friend") is one of around ten moai well-known to have actually been sculpted from basalt, and also dates from around 1000–1200. The earlier of the statue attributes intricate petroglyphs associated with the tangata manu, or birdman religion. This moai is on permanent display in the Museum in Room 24, as part of the Living and Dying exhibition.

Moai Hava (translated together "dirty, repudiated, garbage or lost") dates to in between 1100–1600 and is made of volcanic tuff, a type of stone widely used in the make of moai and also mainly sourced indigenous the quarry that Rano Raraku. Moai Hava has been carved to show arms, torso and head. At the bottom of the statue"s torso are carved hands and a loin cloth (hami). In recent years, this moai has actually been lent to museums throughout the country for exhibitions at the civilization Museum Liverpool, the Manchester Museum, and most recently in 2018 at the imperial Academy of arts in London. Not currently on permanent display, Moai Hava can be accessed by appointment as component of the museum"s examine collection.

Where space they from?

Hoa Hakananai"a and also Moai Hava originate native Rapa Nui (Easter Island), additionally referred to as Te Pito o car Henua ("the navel that the World"), and resolved by skilled Polynesian navigators approximately 1000. In 1888, the island was annexed by Chile.

Hoa Hakananai"a to be kept buried up come his shoulders in a house named Taura Renga in ~ the ceremonial village of Orongo, near Rano Kau. It is thought that this residence was the second placement the this moai, and also that he might have previously stood on one ahu-like framework (ceremonial platform) before his ritual function changed. Within the ceremonial residence at Orongo, the frostbite was more strongly connected with the tangata manu, or birdman religion, which developed roughly 1400, fine after Hoa Hakananai"a was carved. Orongo was the epicentre the this new ritual practice establishing a vain among Rapanui chiefly teams to obtain the very first egg the the sooty tern from the nearby islet of Motu Nui. The chiefly victor came to be the tangata manu (birdman) and represented the patron god of the royal family tree for one year.

Moai Hava was buried in the ancient gathering location of clans and in proximity with interment sites, in an area now well-known as Mataveri.


Basalt statue Basalt statue Ancestor number or moai, referred to as Moai Hava, made of volcanic tuff.

In 1868, the crew of a British inspection ship, HMS Topaze, saw Rapa Nui.

The crew was brought about the place of Moai Hava at Mataveri, and built up this very first moai ~ above 2 November 1868. Quickly after, Hoa Hakananai"a was discovered in the house at Orongo by two crew members browsing the village. Commodore Richard Powell decided to unearth this second moai, through the will of bringing them both to Britain. The rock house was dismantled, and also Hoa Hakananai"a transported top top a sledge to shore. A Rapanui man, well-known as Tepano, ultimately recalled the the crew, adhered to by a Rapanui chief, dragged Hoa Hakananai"a down to the beach, before floating it the end to the delivery on a raft. Later, he had actually the step tattooed ~ above his arm.

Upon the return the HMS Topaze come England in 1869, Hoa Hakananai"a was available to Queen Victoria through the Admiralty, which had been made conscious of his visibility by Commodore Powell. Queen Victoria ultimately donated Hoa Hakananai"a come the brothers Museum. Top top 6 October 1869, the arrival of the statue at the Museum to be officially reported to the Trustees, noting the beginning of a brand-new chapter in the complicated history the Hoa Hakananai"a. V him was likewise Moai Hava, that was donated straight to the Museum by the Admiralty.

What has actually been requested?

A created request for the return that Hoa Hakananai"a and also Moai Hava was made on instead of of Rapa Nui in July 2018. Following this request, a delegation from Rapa Nui was invite to the Museum. This official visit by representatives of the Rapanui community took location in November 2018.


Drawing the hut where Hoa Hakananai'a to be found Drawing the hut wherein Hoa Hakananai'a was found A drawing on record by lieutenant MJ Harrison depicting the house where Hoa Hakananaiʻa to be found, at the ceremonial village of Orongo, Rapa Nui, 1868.

While in London in November 2018, to represent of the Rapanui ar invited Museum officials come Rapa Nui for further discussions. This reciprocal visit took location in June 2019. Brother Museum employee were required to see various social sites to far better understand elements of Rapanui culture, the definition of the statue, and also the community"s aspirations. Because then, there have actually been discussions about a Memorandum that Understanding in between the Museum and the Rapanui community regarding possible collaborative projects. The Museum welcomed a visit come the collections in respectable 2019 by a employee member the the father Englert Anthropological Museum, Hanga Roa, Rapa Nui.

The brothers Museum"s position

The Museum recognises the meaning of Hoa Hakananai"a and Moai Hava for the Rapanui neighborhood today, and acknowledges the influence of their removal indigenous the island in 1868.

The Museum is developing a permanent relationship with the neighborhood of Rapa Nui, to carry staff time and also resources to collaborative research and also reinterpretation of the Rapanui collections because that the advantage of the community and the wider world. V the Memorandum that Understanding, we setup to develop mutually helpful projects with artists, scholars and also other ar members in Rapa Nui.

Hoa Hakananai"a represents among the world"s good sculptural traditions, and is a witness to the global significance that Rapanui culture. That presence boosts public understanding of the history of Rapa Nui, its people"s artistic accomplishments past, present and also future, and the obstacles faced by the ar today. The stamin of the brother Museum"s collection is its breadth and also depth which enables millions of visitors an expertise of the cultures of the world and also how lock interconnect – whether v trade, migration, conquest, tranquil exchange or other interactions – both in the past and today.

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Where else have the right to moai it is in seen?

There are roughly 900 moai ~ above Rapa Nui. Other moai eliminated from the island deserve to be checked out in museums across the human being such as at the Musée du quai Branly Jacques Chirac in Paris, France; the Smithsonian school in Washington, USA; the Otago Museum in Dunedin, new Zealand; the Natural history Museum in Santiago, Chile, and also the Musées Royaux d"Art et d"Histoire in Brussels, Belgium.

Further reading

Jo anne Van Tilburg, Hoa Hakananai"a. British Museum Objects in Focus (The brothers Museum Press, 2004)Jo ann Van Tilburg, Remote Possibilities: Hoa Hakananai"a and HMS Topaze in Rapa Nui (The british Museum research Publication, 158, 2006)Adrienne L. Kaeppler and also Jo anne Van Tilburg, The top Tattooed man of Easter Island (Mana Press, 2018)