The Rise & Fall of Easter Island's Culture

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.

easter sea marine creatures easter sea marine creatures easter sea marine creatures
Dolphin, Anakena Shark, Ava O Kiri Shark, Ahu Ra'ai

easter sea marine creatures easter sea marine creatures easter sea marine creatures
Dos Caras, Anakena Whale, Hua Pua Tivaka, Hua

easter sea marine creatures easter sea marine creatures easter sea marine creatures
Turtle Motif, Omohe Paenga, Ahu Ra'ai Ral Pikea, Anakena area

easter sea marine creatures easter sea marine creatures easter sea marine creatures
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

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