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Easter Island

Easter Island (Polynesian languages​​: Rapa Nui, Spanish: Isla de Pascua) is an island belonging to Chile, located in the southern Pacific Ocean. Although the distance is 3515 km west of mainland Chile, administratively it belongs to the province of Valparaiso. Easter Island is shaped like a triangle. Nearest land is uninhabited Pitcairn Island is a distance of 2075 km to the west. Easter Island Area of 163.6 km ². According to the 2002 census, the population numbered 3791 souls majority settled in the capital of Hanga Roa. The island is famous for its many statues (moai), 400-year-old statue carved from stone which now lies along the coastline.

Pacific sea Located 27 degrees south line of the Equator, 2200 miles to the west coast Chilie, there is an island, very, very remote and isolated in the World. Easter Island ...! The island is home to hundreds of giant stone statues are regarded as the most mysterious island in the world. The presence of giant stone statues that surround the island is to impress the tourists, archaeologists, and the scientists. However, behind the beauty, Easter Island more mystery. Until now, researchers can not know for sure, who creates giant sculptures they will be, and how do they move? 


The person who first occupied the Easter Island are descendants of immigrants from the Polynesian island of Mangareva probably came from the west or Pitcairn. The history of these islands can be connected thanks to the king list of Easter Island that has been reconstructed, complete with a series of events and the approximate date since the year 400. The inhabitants of Polynesian origin are bringing a number of bananas, taro, sweet potatoes, sugar cane, mulberry paper (paper mulberry) and chicken. At one time, this island sustains a relatively advanced civilization and complex. Dutch navigator Jakob Roggeveen discovered Easter Island on Easter Day 1722. Roggeveen estimated that approximately 2000-3000 people inhabit this island, but it reaches a population of 10000-15000 inhabitants in the 16th century and 17th. The civilization of Easter Island have declined drastically since 100 years before the arrival of Dutch, mainly due to too dense population, deforestation and exploitation of limited natural resources on the island is very isolated. However, until the mid-19th century, the population had grown to 4,000. Only time-lapse 20 years later, the deportation to Peru and Chile as well as a variety of diseases brought by Westerners almost destroyed the entire population, with only 111 inhabitants in the island in 1877. The island was annexed by Chile in 1888 by Policarpo Toro. The number of indigenous ethnic Rapanui has slowly increased from a record low numbered 111 souls.

Please note that the name "Rapa Nui" Easter Island is not the original name given by the tribe Rapanui. The name was created by the immigrant workers from indigenous Rapa in the Bass Islands, who equate it with his hometown. Rapanui tribal name given to this island is Te Pito o te henua ("Puser World") because of remoteness, but the term is also taken from another location, possibly from a building in the Marquesas.
The events of recent have shown significant improvement in the tourism sector, coupled with the large number of people coming from mainland Chile which threatens synchronized, there must Polynesians on Easter Island. The problem of land ownership has created political tension in the last 20 years, with some indigenous Rapanui opposed to personal property but agrees with the traditional land of the commons


Modern Easter Island has a few trees. This island was once ever had a palm tree forest. According to popular thinking is developing, the first inhabitants of this island have exploited trees throughout the island to make the statues and building fishing boats and buildings. There is evidence to suggest gundulnya island coincided with the collapse of the civilization of Easter Island. Midden context at that time showed an abrupt decrease in the number of fish and bird bones as the population loses sense to build fishing boats and the birds lost their nests. Chickens and rats became principal of the human breakfast. Based on the remains of humans, there is evidence that cannibalism took place.
Small population who still live successfully developed a new tradition to give away the few remaining sources. In the human worshiper group of birds (manutara), a match is formed when each year a representative from each tribe, elected by their respective leaders, diving into the sea and swam to Motu Nui, a small island neighbor, to find the first egg hatched by a Sooty Tern on spawn season. The first swimmer who returned with an egg that can control the source of the island for his tribe during that year. This tradition is still applied at the time Europeans landed on the island.
However, new research suggests that the real situation was more complex. The extent of the island is cleared of trees is just one end of the final in a series of misfortunes suffered by Easter Island. A study of environmental factors in 69 islands in the Pacific said that although filled with the stones of worship, the gods were angry against the island.
Easter Island is a vast land that is infertile and dry. The land is too barren to grow trees again after the original crop is harvested. The island is not to benefit from the fertile volcanic ash like the other islands. So, once the island was cleaned, there is no hope for recovery.


Easter Island, along with the Sala-y-Gomez, a small island neighbors are not occupied, known by its ecological as ecological region called the subtropical broadleaf forests Rapa Nui. subtropical moist broadleaf forests of the original has now disappeared, but paleobotanis studies on fossil pollen and tree fungus that is a relic lava flows indicate that this island was dense forest, with different species of trees, shrubs, ferns and grasses. A large palm tree, which is associated with the Chilean wine palm (Jubaea chilensis) is a type of the majority of the trees, as well as toromiro tree (Sophora toromiro). Palm tree is now extinct, and toromiro extinct in the wild, so now the island is almost entirely met by pasture. The scientists are introducing back toromiro on Easter Island.

Cultural artifacts


Large sculptures of stone, or moai, which became a symbol of Easter Island were carved during the earlier than expected. Archaeologists now estimate the gouge is held between 1600 and 1730, the last statue carved when Jakob Roggeveen discovered the island. There are more than 600 huge monolithic stone statues (moai). Although the part that is often seen only the "head", moai actually have a complete torso, but many moai that have been buried up to his neck. Most were carved out of rock at Rano Raraku. Quarry there seems to have been abandoned abruptly, with half-finished sculptures are left in the stone. The theory is that the statues were carved by the Polynesian inhabitants (Rapanui) at the island was largely planted with trees and resources were plentiful, supporting a population of 10,000-15,000 native Rapanui. The majority of moai still standing upright when Roggeveen arrived in 1722. Captain James Cook also saw many standing statues when he landed on the island in 1774. Until the 19th century, the statue has fallen due to internecine warfare.

Moai are statues found on Easter Island, carved from stone. Most of the monolithic statue of the manifold, or carved from one stone, although there also have a separate additional Pukau stone placed at the head. There are more than 600 Moai scattered throughout the island. Most of the moai were carved from soft volcanic rock found in the Rano Raraku, where the remains of about 400 other unfinished moai. The mine was apparently abandoned suddenly. Nearly all the finished moai were carved and then destroyed by the local indigenous population in the period after the end of construction.Map showing the location of the Easter Island Moai
Although usually identified through the 'head', many statues that have a shoulder, arm and torso that had been buried for years. The meaning of "moai" is still unknown although many theories about the origin of these statues.The "keeper" of the island
The theory is the most recognizable statues were carved by the Polynesian inhabitants of origin more than a thousand years ago. Moai is believed to represent ancestral spirits (as a grave marker), or may represent a prominent figure and as a symbol of family status. Moai carved and very expensive to take a long time. Moai also be transported to reach the final location along the island. It is not known exactly how the moai transported, but the process certainly requires a hoist or / and logs.
Local ancient legend tells the story of a chief who seek a new home. The location he chose is now known as Easter Island. When he died, the island is to be distributed to his sons. Each time the chief of this tribe died, a moai placed on the graves of the chiefs. Locals believe the sculpture will capture the "where" (supernatural powers) chiefs. According to them, by keeping the "where" on the island, luck will happen, rain will fall and the plants will grow. This legend may have differed from the original because he is descended from many generations. Perhaps this legend added "thrill" to be more interesting.
Some speculate that the statues built by the lower classes to glorify the upper class. Lower-class people are forced to work in this field. After years of work, the lower classes revolted violently. As a result, many statues were destroyed, the population was reduced by hundreds of people and hoard the history of Easter Island in perpetuity.


There are different sheets (tablets) were found on the island containing the mysterious inscription. Writings, known as Rongorongo, yet can be described in spite of various generations of linguists have tried. A Hungarian scholar Wilhelm or Guillaume de Hevesy, in 1932 attracted the attention of the similarity between some characters rongorongo Easter Island and the writings of pre-historic Indus Valley in India, which connects dozens (at least 40) rongorongo with a seal from Mohenjo-daro. This relationship has been reissued in various books. Meaning rongorongo possibility is peace-peace, and his writings may be recorded peace treaty document, for example between the ear length and short-eared ruler. However, the explanation is still under debate.


According to the 2002 census, the population numbered 3791 souls. This figure is up from 1936 inhabitants in 1982. Large increase in population was mainly caused by the arrival of people of European descent from mainland Chile. As a result, the island is threatened with loss of native Polynesian identity. In 1982, approximately 70% of the population of ethnic Rapanui (the native Polynesian). But in the 2002 census, Rapanui only covers 60% of the population of Easter Island. Chilean nation European descent covers 39% of the population, and the remaining 1% are ethnic Native American from mainland Chile. Almost the entire population living in the city of Hanga Roa.

Rapanui tribe has migrated from the island. At the 2002 census, there were 2 269 Rapanui living on the island, while another 2378 living in mainland Chile (half live in the metropolitan area of Santiago).

Easter Island population density only 23 inhabitants per km ²; amount is smaller than the glorious sculpture (17th century) when between 10,000 and 15,000 indigenous people living on the island of Rapanui. The population has declined until 2000-3000 the population before European settlement. In the 19th century, a disease caused by contact with the Europeans, as well as 2000 Rapanui deportation to Peru as slaves, and forced the departure of the remaining Rapanui to Chile tribe cause deterioration of the Easter Island population to a record low as 111 residents in 1877. From 111 Rapanui, only 36 who have offspring, and they are the ancestors of the Rapanui population is now 2269.
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