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Te Pito Te Henua, or Easter Island, by William J. Thompson, [1891], at


One of our guides produced from a hiding place three ancient skulls, described elsewhere, upon the top of which these same mystical figures had been cut. They were not shown until a reward had been promised, and the guide claimed to have obtained them in their present condition from the King's platform.

On the outside of the crater of Rana Roraka, near the top and looking towards the southwest, we found a workshop containing fifteen small images. These had been overlooked in our former trips to this place.

Scattered over the plain, extending towards Vaihu are a large number of images, all lying face downward. The indications are that they were being removed to their respective platforms when the work was suddenly arrested. These heavy weights were evidently moved by main strength, but why they were dragged over the ground face downward instead of upon their backs, thus protecting their features. is a mystery yet unsolved. One statue in a group of three is that of a female; the face and breast is covered with lichen, which at a short distance gives it the appearance of being whitewashed.

December 29.--We continued the work of exploration from Vaihu around the southwest points of the island. Excavations were made wherever the indications were good, but the results did not differ from those already described. Mount Orito was visited, from whence the obsidian was obtained for spear-heads, and also the quarries that produce the red pigment from which the natives make a red paint by rubbing it down with the juice of the sugar-cane. The remainder of the stay on Easter Island was devoted to the collection of traditions, translations of tablets, and similar matters of interest.

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