Easter Island History

All you need to know about Easter Island

Overview

Rapa Nui, also known as Easter Island, is famous for the human-like status called Moai. 2,400 miles west of the coast of Chile and 2,500 miles east of Tahiti. The 2500 inhabitants have the honor of being the remotest population on the face of the Earth.

Religon

From Polynesian religion at the time of settlement to worshiping the ancestors, the rise of the Birdman cult and finally Christianity.

Environment

Rapa Nui is a now a barren island, but when colonised was a paradise of lush, subtropical forest. Within 400 years, deforestation was underway. After 700 years, the forests were gone, every species of land bird was extinct and shellfish were overexploited.

An Island Born

In the fantastic time-scale of planetary evolution, all volcanic islands are likely to be transitory. The birth and growth of Rapa Nui might have been spectacularly rapid; its decline through the long process of erosion being so slow as to be virtually imperceptible.

First contact

With his three ships, "Eagles", "Thienhoven" and the "African Galley", the Dutch Admiral, Jacob Roggeveen, went in search of the "Southern Continent". On april 6th, 1722, his course brought him to a lonely island. Being Easter, he baptised the island "Easter Island".

Rapa Nui writing

Found on wooden tablets, Rongorongo is the name given to the forgotten hieroglyph script used on Rapa Nui. Once sacred and in the hundreds, the population found Christianity and used the tabets for firewood, planking in fishing boats and other uses. There are few tablets left and the script has yet to be translated.
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