26th April: Easter Island (Ahu Hanga Kio’e)

Ahu Hanga Kio'e

We arrived at Ahu Hanga Kio’e before dawn, with only a few horses for company.

Ahu Hanga Kio'e

This is reputedly the last ahu built, in the mid 1600s.  The moai is in reasonably good repair and appears to have eye sockets so presumably the ivi atua (priests) would have inserted eyes on special occasions.

Ahu Hanga Kio'e

There is also a second, smaller ahu here with a fragment of a moai.  I haven’t featured it here but the rounded bump on the far right skyline is that moai fragment.

Ahu Hanga Kio'e

Moai contemplating the dawn.

Ahu Hanga Kio’e means ahu on Kio’e Bay and kio’e is rat so it’s the ahu on rat bay.  To us that might sound like noxious rodent ahu but the Rapanui were particularly short of meat and rats were part of their diet so maybe it was more like the ahu on fast food bay.

just behind the ahu

Just after dawn, a couple of riders ushered about 50 horses past on the road.  Ahu Hanga Kio’e is on the northern edge of Hanga Roa.  I am taking this photograph from beside the ahu so you can see how close some of the houses are.  The volcanic cone in the background is Maunga TangaroaMaunga Puna Pau, where the Rapanui excavated the pukao or topknots is probably visible but off frame to the right.

We are not far here from where we found some petroglyphs at the side of the road, unheralded on flat pieces of lava.  Lots of horses wandering around obviously accelerate erosion of the petroglyphs.

8 comments on “26th April: Easter Island (Ahu Hanga Kio’e)

  1. ashleypaige4 says:

    These photos are so gorgeous! Great post- Easter Island is on my list! Thanks for sharing!


  2. Murray Foote says:

    Thanks very much, Ashley.


  3. […] 26th April: Ahu Hanga Kio’e […]


  4. Nesher Asner says:

    Beautiful photos, great descriptions/travelogue.
    Just got back from Easter Island, trying to geotag my photos. I was at Hanga Kio’e three days ago – looks the same as your photos.
    BTW, my guide book says the name translates to Mouse Bay, because of a legend that a woman carried a mouse in her mouth after her husband died, until she could inter his remains in the ahu here.
    Either way, a lovely site with no one else around. Thanks again for your site!


  5. neshera says:

    [My apologies if this is a duplicate comment]
    I was just there three days ago – the moai has not changed his expression.
    Beautiful pictures, great travelogue – thanks! I’m working on geotagging my photos, and found your site looking for the exact location of the site.
    BTW, my guide book says the name hanga kio’e translates to Mouse Bay, because of a legend that a woman carried a mouse in her mouth after her husband died until she could inter his remains at the ahu there.
    (But I suspect some legends are crafted after the fact to explain an already existing phenomenon.)
    In any case, thanks again and safe travels.


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