Rapa Nui, also known as Easter Island (a name given to it by Europeans), is famous for its carvings of moai, human-faced statues. But who carved them and for what purpose? According to legend, a chief named Hotu Matu’a led a small group of colonists, perhaps no more than 100 people, to the island. Ancient stories say the statues “walked” from the quarries to their place on stone platforms (known as ahu). They may have been carved to honor people or deities located within Rapa Nui itself.