Rapa Nui – Easter Island


I am on Easter Island for the second day and tomorrow we sail for Pitcairn – 2.5 days at sea.  The island has been fantastic and I’ve learned so much from the friendly people here about their lives today and the one-of-a-kind history of the island.  The bad news is that we will not have internet on the ship until early February, so my posts until then will be few and far between.  The next time I’m likely to have access to the web is January 4, 2013 from Papeete, Tahiti.  I promise to upload photos and stories from my travels then.  The internet access today is too slow for many photos.  So, until next year, I wish you all Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.  I will be thinking of you from the other side of the world and sending love across the seas.  Read on for a little more about where I am right now…

Moai - A traditional statue for the ancestors on Easter Island

Moai were a tie to your family that reached back three generations. After the last person passed of the third generation died, then the moai was toppled and broken into pieces that were used to make the foundation (platform) of a new statue. Recycling of the lineage.

The moai (ancestral statues) of Easter Island not only photograph well, but they fascinating to learn about.  How they were carved with stone tools and lots of sweat is well understood, and we have visited the largest quarry on the island.  The largest moai there was never finished, but it measures 21 meters from head to toe — it would have been massive.  What is not well understood though is how the statues were moved many miles around the island to be placed in their final resting spots.  The landscape we see today is mostly open and dry, but at one point, this was a lush palm tree forested island.  The cycle of degradation of the land and over-use of natural resources might just serve as a warning to us today.

A beautiful artifact of the old ancestor-worshipping culture of the island is the deep pride and connection of family I can see everywhere here.  Grandfathers smile upon their sons with their own children in a way that human-kind shares across cultural, political and national borders.

The more I travel, the more I understand how very similar we all are.

Moai in a row

Here you can clearly see the platform around the moai. This foundation is made up of many, many generations of crushed moai statues that were knocked down after three generations. If you think about it, three generations is about all we as people remember back. It would be hard for me to tell you anything about my great, great grandparents.


P.S.  I GOT MY SUITCASES!!!  So, I’m all good to go.  Big Smiles.

6 thoughts on “Rapa Nui – Easter Island

  1. Tom Gaskill

    Looking good Kit! I saw a show recently about Easter Island where a couple of scientists were trying to figure out how the Moai were moved. They made a replica and managed to drag it in an upright position with a team of people pulling on various ropes. It was crazy looking, but they managed to move it about a foot. Whooo hoooo! It was very cool.

    Travel well!

  2. Michael Snyder

    Great pictures so far! You are sooooo luck they found your bags. Holy cow! Smooth sailing my friend! Cheers. -Michael-

    1. admin Post author

      Hi Samantha, I don’t know how many there are left now, but there were probably statues all around the island at one point. Lots of the ones we saw had fallen over and been propped back up so people can see how they once were.


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