Easter Island - Tourist Information

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Officially the Island is a territory of Chile and a few of the worlds most isolated regions, located on a triangle of volcanic rock in the South Pacific more than 2,000 kilometers from the nearest population centers of Tahiti and Chile.

alojamiento en isla de pascua is known as one of the world's most sacred sites, famous for its giant stone busts, built centuries ago, they signify the history of this dramatic rise and collapse of an isolated Polynesian culture.

Early settlers called the island "Te Pito O Te Henua" (Navel of The World). It had been called Easter Island with a European, Admiral Roggeveen who arrived on the island on Easter Sunday 1722. Locally today it is called Rapa Nui.

There has been much controversy and confusion as to the source of the Easter Islanders. Some believe Peruvians built the figurines, some feel that the Island is a slice of a continent that was lost. DNA has proven that Polynesians were the first settlers coming around 400 AD from the west in large ships. This is regarded as remarkable given that Easter Island is such a great distance from other land. Legend has it they were searching for other land as their own island was being swallowed by the sea.

The island was a paradise and the islanders prospered -- archaeological evidence proves that the island was covered with a variety of various trees, including the largest palm tree species on the planet. The natives used the wood and bark to get cloth, rope, and canoes. Birds were plentiful and supplied meals. The weather was mild and the water provided a wealth of oysters and fish.

Their faith developed with its centerpiece the giant moai, or heads, that are the island's most distinguishing feature now. This was probably considered a boon or a watchful eye on each little village. The ruins of the Rano Raraku crater, the stone quarry where countless moai sit now, show how these figures were important. The birdman civilization (as seen from the petroglyphs) was obviously the islanders' fascination with their capacity to travel to remote lands.

In addition to the figurines, petroglyphs (stone carvings), conventional wood carvings, tapa (barkcloth), crafts, tattooing, series figures, dancing and songs, the islanders possessed the Rongorongo script, the only written language in Oceania. As time went on optimism in their religion was lost as disagreements broke out. This can be reflected in the ruins of the moai statues which were deliberately toppled by human hands.

At its peak the island had over 10,000 population, straining the capability of it's ecosystem. As a result lush palm forests were destroyed for agriculture and the gigantic figurines, and resources became scarce. The once thriving advanced social network descended into a bloody civil war, also seemingly cannibalism since they ran out of food sources. The islanders tore down the statues, that today have been re erected by archaeological efforts.

Through contact with western civilization, slavery and disease the island inhabitants by around 1800 had dropped to approximately 110. Approximately 1888 following the annexation of Chile the population climbed to more than 2,000. Despite the Chilean presence there's still a strong Polynesian identity.



Access is from Chile and Tahiti, tourism around the island is run by the Rapanui themselves. There are lots of package tours and various resorts and guesthouses around the Isle. There are chances to remain in a private home, a great way to have the island and culture.

There are a series of continuing excavations, conservation and preservation projects.All but one of the 22 standing figurines in Rano Raraku Quarry interior have been previously exposed through unscientific and undocumented digging.

Even the Easter Island Statue Project (EISP) includes a 20 year history of an archaeological investigation, the objective of which will be the creation of a complete, complete, island-wide monolithic and mobile statue stock and also the compilation of an historical image record for every.

In 1982 the EISP group started a 5 year Easter Island Statue Project, mapping the inside of Rano Raraku, the volcanic quarry from which 95 percent of those figurines were created. Over 1 million figurines were recorded throughout the entire island and made the world's largest archaeological record

Rano Raraku, a volcanic crater on the island's eastern simple, was the origin of the sideromelane (basaltic) by which 95 percent of the statues were carved. This origin is incontrovertible as there are 397 in situ statues, of which 141 at various stages of completion have recently been mapped by EISP from the interior quarries. Much rarer statue lithologies are basalt (hawaiite lavas) in three termed areas.

 

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