Sea & Marine Creatures in Easter Island Rock Art
Petroglyphs depicting sea creatures on Easter Island take various forms. Some are barely suggested; others are quite explicit. Marine creatures include recoqnizable sea forms such as fish and turtles, but also those that are more difficult to place into specific categories. The majority are from Easter Island's north coast.
Aside from direct references to marine life in the ocean that surrounds Easter Island, it is possible that petroglyphs of fish may refer to human sacrifice, for human victims were regarded as "fish for the gods" (ika) throughout polynesia. Many of Easter Island's sea creatures are associated with elaborate myths and legends, especially those that are said to represent spirits. It is likely that most had legends at one ime, but few are remembered today.
Fish (species unidentified), tuna, swordfish, needlefish, shark, whale (or dolphin), eel, and crab together total 165 examples; a selection of which are shown below.
|Dolphin, Anakena||Shark, Ava O Kiri||Shark, Ahu Ra'ai|
|Dos Caras, Anakena||Whale, Hua||Pua Tivaka, Hua|
|Turtle Motif, Omohe||Paenga, Ahu Ra'ai||Ral Pikea, Anakena area|
|Tuna, Ava O Kiri||Two Turtle Motifs, Ahu Ra'ai||Fish, Ahu Mahatua|
→ Easter Island Introduction
→ Sentinels in Stone - Rise & Fall of Easter Island's Culture | Page | 1 | 2 | 3 |
→ The Rock Art of Easter Island
→ The Birdman Cult / Motif of Easter Island
→ Sea & Marine Creatures in Easter Island Rock Art
→ Designs & Motifs of Easter Island's Rock Petroglyph Carvings
→ Dr Georgia Lee - Publications on Easter Island
→ Moai Location Map & Islanders
→ Contemporary Easter Island Art
→ Easter Island Glossary
→ Easter Island Conclusion