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photograph of current display in the Grand Vestibule

A display highlighting the interaction between the monarchy and the wider world

Easter Island

Moai sculpture 20th century

RCIN 69665

Grand Vestibule, Windsor Castle

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The 887 large stone sculptures called moai on Easter Island (Rapa Nui) in Polynesia are thought to have been made between 1100 and 1600 AD. They are carved primarily from solidified volcanic ash and may represent deceased ancestors who keep watch over the island communities. This small stone model replicates the sculptures’ distinctive form, with a stylised human head and hands resting on the stomach. The surface is carved in imitation of tattoos including a bird, human figures and mask-like forms.

It was possibly presented to Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh during his visit to Easter Island, 18 February 1971.