Rapa Nui

Traditional Offerings::Easter Island::
Traditional Offerings
South Shore::Easter Island::
South Shore
Maunga Terevaka::Easter Island::
Maunga Terevaka
Poike::Easter Island::

Locals do not use the name Easter Island; they call it Rapa Nui. This Polynesian name seems to connect this remote and isolated island with other cultures in Oceania. The name is more accurate in defining cultural roots of this island.

In the seventeenth century, the island went through drastic environmental changes. Easter Island is the most extreme example of deforestation. The whole forest on the island was destroyed by the islanders themselves. This fact had serious consequences. Not only native trees became extinct, but the lack of food for humans caused extermination of all land birds. Also some plants and local fish vanished forever. The remote island had no contact with other societies and was not able repair its losses.

There is a lesson for us humans to learn. Rapa Nui was isolated in the Pacific like Earth is alone in the universe. When a forest is completely destroyed and native species of fauna and flora were wiped out, there is no replacement. The damage to natural environment triggers civilization’s self-destruction, it ends with violence, war, death and cannibalism. This is exactly what happened to Easter Island.

Maunga Tangaroa::Easter Island::
Maunga Tangaroa

© 2009 Maciej Swulinski