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Easter Island and the Easter Island heads

Easter IslandEaster Island is renowned throughout the modern world, mostly due to its heads, known as moai. You might ask, "Where is Easter Island?" because you couldn't find it on a map. Well, it is an island, and it's located off the coast of Chile in South America.

In order to reach Easter Island, the island is accessible by regular commercial air service to Hanga Roa, Chile (IPC), and tourism is the main industry of the island. Still, it is rather "out of the way" for most people, with a minimum of more than 5.5 hours in the air from the nearest continent, and very limited routes to get there. About the only scenario in which Easter Island is "conveniently located" is on a round-the-world voyage, in which it provides an interesting stop on the way between Polynesia and South America.


However, the main artifacts of the island are the moai, or the Easter Island heads. They face outwards, to the sea, where the dead were supposed to be in the afterlife, so you really don't need to travel the island - you could travel by the island on a boat. The Soren Larsen sails to Easter Island from New Zealand once a year. The voyage takes 35 days. It has about 5,800 residents, of which some 60% are descendants of the aboriginal Rapa Nui. Polynesian people colonized Easter Island in the first millennium CE, and created the culture of making moai and other artifacts.


It is widely believed, that these moai, made of ash, were largely the cause of the extinction of the Rapa Nui on Easter Island. After all, they wasted their resources on the Easter Island heads, and these Easter Island statues, were used to communicated with the dead. In fact, it was believed that the dead ancestors support the living - in return, the Rapa Nui built the Easter Island heads to communicate with them - and the Easter Island heads represented the ancestors. The Easter Island statues helped the dead "live" in the afterlife. However the Easter Island statues and the rats that the Polynesians brought with them caused a shortage of trees; no trees, no boats, no fish; no trees, no nests, no birds.


Later, the inhabitants of Easter Island believed in a bird man, who communicated with the dead, and was the ruler and dictator of Easter Island.

Easter Island
Human activity and overpopulation led to deforestation and extinction of natural resources, which caused the demise of the Rapa Nui civilization. By the time of European arrival in 1722, the island's population had dropped to 2,000 from approximately 15,000 a century earlier. Diseases carried by European sailors and Peruvian slave raiding of the 1860s further reduced the Rapa Nui population, down to 111 in 1877.
Easter Island is one of the most remote inhabited islands in the world.
Easter Island is a special territory of Chile that was annexed in 1888. Administratively, it belongs to the Valpara√≠so Region and more specifically, is the only commune of the Province Isla de Pascua. 

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