All Rapa Nui statues have individual names: ‘moai’ means ‘statue’ or ‘image’ in the Rapanui language and ‘hava’ best translates as ‘to be lost’. Moai Hava is quite a mysterious character. Most moai were carved from volcanic tuff, a relatively soft rock, have a distinctive style and were made to commemorate ancestral chiefs. Moai Hava, however, is one of the few moai made from basalt, a much harder rock and is in a slightly different style. We don’t know exactly why he was made.
We’re really excited to see him, as there are only two of these Rapa Nui statues in the UK and Moai Hava isn’t usually on display. Luckily he’ll be here for a while (at least a year and probably three) and you can meet him in the World Museum atrium from Tuesday 17 May 2011.