Easter Island Essay

2101 words - 8 pages

The Rapa Nui culture of Easter Island may be the most enigmatic and unexplained historical topic ever studied. This advanced society is probably best known for its monolithic statues, which were called Moai by the natives. Despite the culture?s peaceful and artistic beginning, it soon experienced a near collapse. Although there are many theories explaining the downfall of Easter Island culture, scientific evidence has shown that the islanders? sacred Moai may have played an important role in the demise of the Rapa Nui culture.To understand how and why the culture collapsed, its origin must be briefly examined. There is much controversy over the origin of the original inhabitants of Easter Island. One theory, which seems to be used often to describe odd occurrences on the island, is that extra terrestrials may be responsible. Another theory is that Easter Island is the remains of the lost continent of Atlantis. Thor Heyerdahl, a Norwegian explorer popularized the idea that South Americans traveled to the island by boat and founded the culture. His reasoning for this theory is that the Moai are quite similar to other Incan stonework, but after extensive archaeological, ethnographic, and linguistic research this was proved invalid.This South Pacific island is over two thousand miles from its nearest neighbors, Chile and Tahiti. This distance gap makes Easter Island the most isolated place on the planet. Even the Rapa Nui people noticed this fact, and they named the island ?Te Pito O Te Henua,? or, ?The Navel of the World.? This makes it somewhat difficult for people to believe that anyone could have traveled by boat to this island.Island legend tells of a heroic man named Hotu Matua escaping his home island with his family after being defeated in war. They landed on the shores of the island, and the culture began. This legend would suggest a Polynesian background, which happens to be quite possible. Recent DNA tests have confirmed this fact. The Polynesians were a seafaring people, and it was not unheard of for them to take long voyages of up to five thousand miles. They took their journeys in sophisticated boats, and used the stars to navigate. They were very successful in traveling this way.Even using the advanced boats they had, the trip must have taken months. Their arrival was estimated to be somewhere between 380 and 400 CE. Observing the island at arrival, with its lush forests, tropical plants, endless array of birds, and huge schools of fish, must have seemed like an inexhaustible blessing. ?? we can imagine their joy at seeing this sight after what must have been months at sea.? (Wassmann) With the plentiful resources on the island, the Rapa Nui culture rose greatly in population and became rich, artistic, and full of religion. There was a deep sense of culture with the ritual dances and music. Another unique compliment to this thriving culture was that it had developed the only written language in Oceania. Many tablets with this...

Find Another Essay On Easter Island

Easter Island and the Environment: A Warning to the World

918 words - 4 pages Easter Island and the Environment: A Warning to the World The progression of human development has come with its costs. The environment provides an array of resources available for use or appreciation. However, changing elements of this structure such as by removing trees can bring about unintended consequences. These alterations also can cause problems that cannot be fixed by the human population and as a result the population must cope

Outline the developments in the easter island uprising

1669 words - 7 pages On Easter Monday, April 24, 1916, a force of Irishmen attempted to seize Dublin, with the ultimate intention of eliminating British rule and creating a completely independent Ireland. Their leaders, such as Patrick Pearse and James Connolly, knew that they were destined to die, but saw the importance of independence, thus the rebellion was inevitable. In the eyes of many the rebellion was a complete failure, with the loss of lives and damage of

Book Review

632 words - 3 pages In the book The Lost World of Easter Island, the author Ronald A. Reis takes the reader through a timeline of the evolution of Easter Island. As mentioned by Reis, Easter Island is the world’s most inhabited land of mystery. From ancient civilization to present habitants, this book tells us the story of the Rapa Nui civilization in Easter Island. Although no one knows exactly how Easter Island was completely deforested. According to Reis, years


608 words - 2 pages , from the beautiful and lush hilltops of Romania to the magnificent pyramids of Egypt, and to the paradise and intrigue of Easter Island. This thrilling vacation is sure to be unmatched by any other vacation you have ever taken.Your first destination will be the legendary Bermuda Triangle. Here, you will be staying on the beautiful tropical island of Bermuda. While you are staying in Bermuda, you will have the wonderful opportunities of going to

Did Extraterrestrials Help with the Pyramids of Gizah?

1603 words - 7 pages in this time you would know, but now there are many different theories for the way they were transported from place to place. They do not have trees in Egypt, so there is no way they used a normal pulley system of that time to move the massive stones. The focus of this essay is going to be on Ancient Egypt like already explain, Easter Island and the weird sculpted stone heads, a place in Peru, and lastly the newest known great rock building

The Easter Islander's Rise And Fall

1618 words - 6 pages The original inhabitants of Easter Island serve to show us what the ingenuity of the human spirit can accomplish and the follies that can accompany them. The first islanders were the Polynesians that arrived around 400 AD from south-east Asia. It is estimated that their were between twenty and thirty individuals that made the colossal journey. By the innovation of the double canoe it allowed them to travel a great distance to an island where

A summary of the thesis and arguments discussed in Ronald Wright's book 'A Short History of Progress'.

781 words - 3 pages “People all over the world, time and again, have made similar advances and mistakes” states Wright in his book A Short History of Progress (Wright, p 57). From the time civilizations have come together, humans have made similar mistakes which have had similar results leading to the destruction of the environment around them and a disastrous end to their own civilizations. Various civilizations such as Easter Island, Catal Huyuk and

Early Humans and the Environment

915 words - 4 pages the environment due to the development of agriculture. In the case of Easter Island, human interaction with the environment actually lead to the demise of that civilization when that interaction became unsustainable and destructive. The early Easter Islanders understood that there were only a few resources on that tiny little island (Ponting 3). The only crop the land could support was the sweet potato, and since it wasn't a very demanding crop

Ponce De Leon

597 words - 2 pages Higuey.In 1512 King Ferdinand chose Ponce de Leon to lead an expedition to colonize the island that was called Bimini. The Spaniards thought that it was in the northern part of Cuba, but they were mistaken. In 1492 Ponce de Leon reportedly fought in a long Spanish Campaign ship. Some other people think that after this he joined the vast second expedition of the famous Christopher Columbus.His fleet reached Hisponiole. Hisponish is a Spanish

The Westward Spread of Inca and Egyptian Culture

2698 words - 11 pages Easter Island, Hawaii, and the other Pacific islands. The most common misconception about these early travels is that they took place on boats or ships. This is definitely not the case. In fact, the Egyptians and Incas relied on rafts; the Incas used balsa logs ( Kon-Tiki 21), the Egyptians used bundles of papyrus reeds (Ra 3). One striking piece of evidence for Egyptian-Inca contact is the existence of reed rafts on Lake Titicaca that

Importance of Collapse

1686 words - 7 pages merely displayed the power of a particular chief who was capable of erecting an “88 ton” statue with out use of a crane. Such displays of power caused deforestation on an Island that depended on wood for items like boats, ropes, fire wood, and tools. Even if the Easter islanders did not deforest their island simply for the statues, the chiefs failed successfully preventing environmental damage. Hence the Easter Island’s chiefs actions over the

Similar Essays

Easter Island Essay

546 words - 2 pages Easter Island is one of the most unusual places on the planet. It is one of the most isolated places occupied by humans. In 'A Green History of the World' Clive Ponting notes, “Easter Island is one of the most remote, inhabited places on earth. Only some 150 square miles in area, it lies in the Pacific Ocean, 2,000 miles off the west coast of South America and 1,250 miles from the nearest inhabitable land of Pitcairn Island.” (Ponting

Easter Island Essay

609 words - 2 pages Easter Island was once a haven for its inhabitants. It provided them with all of their needs, food, shelter, tools, and even the ability to create great works of art. They abused this Eden, and turned it into a disaster, with almost no natural resources. This could very well happen to us, because our earth is the same Eden that Easter Island once was.      The people of Easter Island came over to their new land, and

Chernobyl And Easter Island Essay

808 words - 3 pages this event and the collapse of Easter Island in several ways.One of the main examples is that both of these places' societies collapsed, and many people were affected by what happened. From the explosion in Chernobyl, many people died, became sick, and had no choice but to leave their homes in Chernobyl. This is one of the more obvious similarities, but it is not the only similarity between Chernobyl and Easter Island and their societies

The People Of Easter Island Essay

740 words - 3 pages When I first picked this book up looking at the comic style cartoon on the cover my initial thought was that it was just another children’s introduction to problems in the environment type book, but as I began to read it this book is turning out to be much more than that. Chapter one begins with the mystery of the statues on Easter Island where the few inhabitants lived a meager existence on the scarce resources that they had available. The