Easter Island Statues

Easter Island Statues

Easter Island Statues

Easter Island is an island and special territory of Chile in the southeastern Pacific Ocean, at the southeasternmost point of the Polynesian Triangle in Oceania. The island is most famous for its nearly 1,000 extant monumental statues, called Moai, which were created by the early Rapa Nui people. There has been much speculation about the exact purpose of the statues, the role they played in the ancient civilization of Easter Island and the way they may have been constructed and transported. In 1995, UNESCO named Easter Island a World Heritage Site, with much of the island protected within Rapa Nui National Park. The name “Easter Island” was given by the island’s first recorded European visitor, the Dutch explorer Jacob Roggeveen, who encountered it on Easter Sunday (5 April) in 1722, while searching for “Davis Land“. Roggeveen named it Paasch-Eyland (18th-century Dutch for “Easter Island“). The island’s official Spanish name, Isla de Pascua, also means “Easter Island“. Experts disagree on when the island’s Polynesian inhabitants first reached the island.

While many in the research community cited evidence that they arrived around 800 C.E. / A.D., convincing data presented in a 2007 study suggested the time to be 1200 C.E. / A.D. The inhabitants created a thriving and industrious culture, as evidenced by the island’s numerous enormous stone moai and other artifacts. However, land clearing for cultivation and the introduction of the Polynesian rat led to gradual deforestation. By the time of European arrival in 1722, the island’s population was estimated to be 2,000 to 3,000. European diseases, Peruvian slave raiding expeditions in the 1860s, and emigration to other islands such as Tahiti further depleted the population, reducing it to a low of 111 native inhabitants in 1877. Chile annexed Easter Island in 1888. In 1966, the Rapa Nui were granted Chilean citizenship. In 2007 the island gained the constitutional status of “special territory“. Easter Island is one of the most remote inhabited islands in the world.

Easter Island Statues on Amazon.

Easter Island Statues on eBay.

Easter Island on Wiki / Welcome to Easter Island

Easter Island Statues

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