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Easter Island Statue

British Museum Highlights


Main Floor - Room 24
British Museum: Easter Island Statue

Easter Island Statue, Easter Island/Rapa Nui, Chile(South Pacific), about 1400

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A basalt statue known as Hoa Hakananai'a (probably 'Stolen' or 'hidden friend').

This statue, representing an ancestral figure, was possibly first displayed in the open air. It was later moved into a stone house at Orongo, the center of a birdman cult. Low-relief designs carved on the back are associated with this cult. The statue seems to have been used in both contexts to express ideas about leadership and authority.

Donated by H M Queen Victoria.

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