Rapa Nui Collection
Although famous for its megalithic moai (statues) and ahu (monumental architecture), material culture produced during the island’s prehistoric past and post-contact history highlight Rapanui (Easter Islanders) creativity, ingenuity, longevity, and Oceanic continuity.
The Field Museum’s collection highlights the varied and at times magnificent material culture of this remote Oceanic culture. In total, the Museum has 402 objects made of raw materials such as bone, stone, fiber, and wood.
Pieces include moai miro (wood figurines) such as moai kava kava (wooden male statue with projecting ribs)
The Museum's Easter Island collection also contains utilitarian items such as needles, adzes, obsidian implements, mata'a (spearhead), fishhooks of both stone and bone, and examples of tapa (bark cloth) and fiber work.
Sources for these collections include visitors, traders, and collectors. A large part of the collection (n=292) comes from the Capt. A. W. F. Fuller Collection purchased in 1958. Robert Trier of the Field Museum also gifted Easter Island objects to the Field Museum.
Currently, the museum has 3 Rapanui artifacts on display in the Pacific Spirits Hall. These include a very fine moai kava kava, a mangai ma'ea piko (stone fishhook), and a moko manu uru (lizard figure).