Polynesian Easter Island heads and Terracotta heads Comparison

One can hint The Pacific state of arts can back to the fifth century when several communities were making their first advances in occupying the country. It was initiated by the Ife group, which had dominated the northern part of the us of a by the end of the fifteenth century. Most of their artifacts were carved from stones, by the use of the then primitive equipment such as the wood and natural inks made from plant sap and animal physique fluids. Conquer of the Pacific land entailed by several communal clashes that mostly involved the Ife and the Igbo communities. Most of the artifacts found in these areas were made for the remembrance of the periods of wars, and for paying tributes to the ancient leaders of the communities. The artifacts were also made to remind citizens of the sacrifices that were made by the ancient occupants, to ensure that all was in place for their posterity.

Similarities between Polynesian and Terracotta heads.

People initially made carvings from wooden sculptures, but due to the demerits of decomposition and lack of precision in dimensioning, the artists thought of carving the images from stones and metallic equipment (Heyerdai Thor 18). Some of the most dominant sculptures are the terracotta heads and Polynesian Ester Island heads which were mainly carved from stones, which were mainly to remind the community of their past struggles and most importantly, their way of life. The heads are found in most of the archeological sites and museums, and due to their historical value, they are the main tourist attraction facilities in the region. The carvings are also vital for research purposes, since they provide vital historical information of how the lives of the people were, and hence can be used to provide a prediction of hoe the future lives of the people shall be, within that region.

The Terracotta heads and the Polynesian Easter island heads are one and the same thing, but in some aspects, there are noticeable differences in their looks. However, the general symbolism of the heads has a common message to the people, but their structural features differ from one another (Mccall 123). This has been understood differently by the researchers, as some give different understandings concerning the meanings of the symbols. The terracotta heads and the Polynesian heads have same weight distributions. The general weigh if the Terracotta head is 12 kilograms, similar to the Polynesian heads. The shaping of the heads also take a similar profile since they appear spherical at the back. The positioning of the eyes is mainly at the top center of the face, both lined with angular eye brows and marked with brown paint. The most conspicuous part of the head is the forehead, which is inclined upwards towards the center of the head. The forehead is also characterized by rough marks, which is a symbol of how much the ancient people struggled to win the current place of residence. The shape of the heads are a resemblance of the physiological characteristics of the ancient people which has also been understood by some of the researchers as a show of their feeding habits, and their connection to the purported origin of mankind.

The Terracotta heads and the Polynesian Easter Island have perforated pupils, noses and mouths that may be a symbol of their struggles, and their nature of life in the jungle. Some of the archeologists also argue that the marks are a show of how much the heads had stayed below the soil before they were excavated for research purposes (Rupert 47). The other important feature of the heads is the detailed hair styles that show the genetic characters of the indigenous people of the land. The shown hairstyles and nature are of an African origin, since they are a black color on a brown background. The faces shown in the stone carvings depict facial paralysis by the different colorings on the face. Moreover, the faces show chiefly heads, that is translated to the authoritative nature of the ancient leaders. The Ife community had their chiefs decorated with different colorings, and even the crowns had a different design from any other kingdom. However, the crowns are seen to be the same as those of Polynesian Easter Island heads. The shapes of crowns are also designed in the same way.

Differences between Polynesian and Terracotta heads.

However, there are some noticeable differences between the Terracotta heads and the Polynesian Easter Island heads in some forms of their construction and decoration. The Polynesian Easter heads have heavy brows and elongated nostrils while that of the Terracotta heads are very light with very short nostrils (J. A. Van Tilburg 70). The long nostrils symbolize the difference in the genetic origins of the occupants of those regions while that of the eye brows shows how the difference in environments of living had a great influence on the physical characteristics of the people. Initially, scholars argued that the terracotta people first inhabited the dense forests of the area, which was a relatively cool environment, hence necessitated for the physical adaptations, for their survival in the low temperature conditions. These features can still be observed with the current generations of the Terracotta people and the Polynesian people.

Another difference in the morphology of the terracotta and Polynesian heads lie in the nature of their lips, and hoe the lips are housed within the pout (J. A. Van Tilburg 58). The terracotta lips are thin and less elongated. Moreover, the lips are not conspicuously protruding as the Polynesian ones. The lips of the Polynesian heads are thin and protruding and from the sculptures, it can be noticed that they are roughly 1 inch from the face surface. Terracotta heads have lips that are not more than one centimeter long, and are given a purplish coloring, to represent their past and current living environments. The Polynesian lips are colored navy blue or purple, a clear indicator of the nature of their original environment of living. Some researchers believe that the different coloring of the lips were for decoration purposes, while others believe that this was meant for camouflage in their environments of living. Moreover it is also argued that the coloring was only done during traditional ceremonies of the ancient people. Different coloring also shows the difference in cultural beliefs of the Polynesian people and the terracotta people.

The Polynesian head has an elongated nose and ears, while the terracotta head have a sort and protruding nose (Heyerdai Thor 93). The ears can be said to be larger than the Polynesian ears, and this is also connected to the nature of their past lifestyles of hunting and gathering. Biologically, it is believed that an animal develops wide and large ears to increase their sensitivity to the sounds of prey. Moreover, the noses are designed for a strong sensitivity to the smell of prey. This was the ancient tactic that could be used by the terracotta people to enhance their survival in the jungle. Before the end of the 14th century, it was believed that the Polynesian population also survived by hunting and gathering. However, no physical feature of the Polynesian head can be connected to such past events.

The Polynesian Easter Island head have protruding jaws, and an elongated neck. The protruding jaws are connected to their immediate relation to the initial humans (Mccall 107). Historians believe that the Polynesian head is a close semblance to the first initial man. The elongated neck might have been due to the initial shelter forms, which were basically constructed at the middle of the tree stems. Researchers argue that this neck elongation was due to their struggle to reach the basement of their houses. However, scholars have disputed the theory above citing that none of a temporarily-acquired feature can be transferred from one generation to another, since they do not affect the genetic sequence of the DNA strands. The Terracotta head on the other hand has short jaws and neck. The basic argument for this is the difference in genetic characters, and this has also not been connected to any of their past ways of life.


The Polynesian Easter island head and the Terracotta head have similarities and differences based upon their physical look, and by digging deep into the characteristics, one is likely to notice that the differences are also a show of the difference in lifestyles of the ancient people. Variations are observed in their noses, eyes, jaws, hair brows, and even the eye sockets. The general construction also portrays some differences that are significant for learning the history of the Polynesian and Terracotta people.

Works Cited

Heyerdai Thor, Pavel Pavel. The walking Moai of Easter Island. Oceania: KLuwer academic publishers, 2015.

Mccall, Grant. Rapanui (Easter Island). Rapanui: Pacific Islands, 2015.

Rupert, Mathews. Easter Island:Encyclopaedia of prehistory. Oceania: Plenum Publishers, 2015.

Van Tilburg, Jo Anne. Easter Island. Oceania: Kluwer academic Press, 2015.

Van Tilburg, Joe Anne. Remote possibilities. Rapa Nui: Rapa Nui publishers, 2016.

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