Cyprus Mail

Easter Island: the resilience of a remote and ancient Pacific culture

In this documentary ‘Amo’ by Max Lowe and Clay Mason, we take a pre-Covid trip to one of the most remote places on earth: Rapa Nui, known widely as Easter Island.

Situated more than 2,000 miles in the southeastern Pacific Ocean, off the coast of Chile, Easter Island was once home to Polynesia’s most advanced megalithic culture.

Here, we meet Heu Rapu Haoa, an Easter Island inhabitant, and one of the 800 remaining speakers of his native tongue.

At its peak, from 1100 to 1680 C.E., 20,000 Rapanui people lived on the island, part of a complex society that erected thousands of magnificent stone statues, called ‘moai’, to commemorate their ancestors. Then, everything collapsed under murky circumstances, and by the mid-19th century, fewer than 1,000 Rapanui remained.

Archaeologists still debate the official cause of Rapa Nui’s decline – most probably due to factors that include resource depletion, disease, civil war and invasive species.

The obscurity of Easter Island continued until the Sixties, with the Chilean territory insulated from the modern world, and accessible only by ship. Yet, flash forward to our present times and, up till the breakout of the pandemic, it had been attracting over 100,000 tourists a year, as a Unesco world heritage site.

View the original video here.

Good Living is the Cyprus Mail’s portal of curated content from across the internet, showcasing local and global ideas, cultural highlights, and scientific and technological developments to inspire a sustainable life.

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