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Home » Easter » Easter Island » Ancient Easter Island

Ancient Easter Island

Ancient Easter Island was considered to be the center or navel of the earth, represented by the phrase “Te Pito o Te Henua,” by the people of the ancient civilization who inhabited the island at that time. The locals now call themselves Rapa Nui. They also call the island and their language Rapa Nui. There’s no proper written record on the history of the ancient Easter Island until the time of Europeans who landed there in the beginning of 18th Century.Dutch Admiral Jacob Roggeveen set foot on the Island on April 5, 1722.
Then arrived the missionaries who were soon followed by slave traders. In recent times, the Easter Island has come under the governance of Chile. When the natives were free to live on their own land, they had by that time forgotten most of their ancient culture and customs. No matter how much we try to revive the past, all that’s gone is gone forever.
Easter Island is formed of volcanoes which are extinct now. It is a triangular shaped island which is thousands of miles away from the Chilean coastline. The ancient inhabitants of the island are said to be Polynesians who reached the island on boats and formed a unique society of their own. At present, the island is without a single tree which has become a matter of concern for environmentalists, as rapid soil erosion is taking place on the island due to lack of trees.
Geologists have proved that once the island was covered with lush greenery and enormous trees. Different theorists have come up with different reasons for the mass disappearance of the trees in the island. A brief ice age, major climatic change, or an increase in the sea level, researches are still trying to find out the reason behind this disaster. These trees were perhaps used to transport the huge stone heads from the quarries where they were built. The famous giant heads of the island that dot its coastline have intrigued researchers for centuries. They were supposedly used for religious purposes and have a spirit of their own which is known as mana in native language. The stone statues stand on even more giant platforms made of volcanic rock. These platforms are known as ahu.

The ancient script of the people of Easter Island is known as Rongorongo which perhaps stands for “peace-peace”. A popular cult known as birdman cult was also prevalent on the island. People used to make small wooden statues of a man who was half-bird. The birdman cult also disappeared from the island as time passed and Europeans captured the island and captivated and killed its inhabitants. Read on to know more about Easter Island on Dgreetings.
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