25th April: Easter Island (Puna Pau)

Puna Pau was the scoria quarry where the Rapanui extracted the red pukao or topknots, which fitted on top of the heads of some moai.  They may have represented hats, hair tied up or feather headdresses.  They are a later innovation, so not all moai had them and only about 100 have been found.

Pukao awaiting transportation

Here is a group of pukao moved out below the crater, awaiting transportation to unknown destinations.  Their shape suggests rolling to move them though it is not known whether this occurred.

Pukao with canoe petroglyph

Carving for the pukao was completed on the ahu, so the pukao here are larger than they would end up being and they are unfinished.  Even so, some have petroglyphs.

Inside the quarry

Google maps location.

This is the inside of the quarry, with several pukao visible.

The average pukao was 2.4 metres high, 1.5 metres in diameter and weighed 5 tonnes, while the heaviest weighed 12 tonnes.  It appears that they were added to moai using a ramp of small stones, after the moai were erected.

View from Puna Pau

Here is a view from Maunga Puna Pau, looking inland towards the North.  On the right is Maunga Tangaroa, mid-left is Maunga Roiho and in the far distance is Maunga Tereveka.  The agricultural zones were in the inland part of the island.