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Photo of south coast of Easter Island Statue Mold En Route
by Liesl Clark
April 22, 1998

"The Rapa Nui people are tied to the moai by their roots," says Petero Edmunds, the mayor of the island community here on Easter Island. Petero can trace his genealogy back 30 generations on this remote island, to a time when moai carving was not too far in the past. He has graciously offered us permission to conduct our moai transport and raising experiments. On the eve of this experiment, we asked the mayor how he thinks the moai were moved. His eyes lit up as he explained in vivid terms the power of "mana." "When you live in a place from generation to generation, isolated from the world, you have more time to bring up your mind to a maximum. It was possible, back then, that there was this paranormal phenomenon, called 'mana'."

Petero, and many of the Rapa Nui people believe the moai walked as a result of mana—the ability of a priest or a person endowed with a deep spiritual acuity to move colossal stone. "We as humans use not even one quarter of our minds. They perfected something because they were able to concentrate more than we are able to today." The power of mind over matter, says Petero, was unique to this island hundreds of years ago. It's certainly true that in their isolation, the Rapa Nui people had few distractions to occupy them. Petero has demonstrated this for us, in a small way. Through his assistance and power of focus, along with those of the governor, he has helped us move the mold for the replica moai out of customs in Santiago and onto a plane to Easter Island. This is no small feat.

The roosters have begun crowing, and the sun is cresting over the horizon behind a bank of murky gray clouds. Rebar (reinforcing bars) must be cut, a hole will be dug for the mold, and tomorrow the pouring of concrete in the mold will begin under the direction of Darus Ane.

Lessons Learned (May 11)
A New Way to Move a Moai (May 9)
Moai is Upright (May 6)
Moai Nearly Raised (May 5)
A Tourist Attraction (May 3)
The Secret of the Sledge (May 2)
Moai Ready to be Raised (May 1)
The Moai is Moved (April 30)
15-Ton Moai Removed from Mold (April 27)
Moai Platform Complete (April 26)
Moai Mold is Filled (April 24)
Moai Mold Ready for Concrete (April 23)
Statue Mold En Route (April 22)
The Team Arrives (April 20)
Arrival on Rapa Nui (April 17)

Photo: Liesl Clark

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