The giant stone heads or Moai were carved out of basaltic volcanic rock by the islanders. The official European story is that the islanders were a bunch of cannibals and destroyed their own statues, but I think that we do not see evidence of any other Polynesian society destroying statues; however, in his war against the Incas the Spanish Conquistador Fransisco Pizarro destroyed statues and said that this helped prove that the Christian God was stronger and that the will of the Indians to fight turned to water when their gods were destroyed.
So to make a long story short, the priests had much to gain by destroying their statues, the islanders had nothing to gain. The islanders were nature lovers and worshipped the manutara a sooty tern that looks a bit like a seagull.
By slaughtering the Rapaniu perople and burning the Rongorongo wooden tablets that contain their history written in a mysterious ancient language very little remains of this once vibrant culture. The Eurocentric view of history is that all other people are cannibals and savages, but in fact, they the "enlightened" Europeans are the ones that go around slaughtering and killing. It is sad thay we do not know more about Easter Island.
In fact, very little remains, but the enigmatic splendid statues, a distant echo of a civilization far different from our own.
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