Living: Travel: AN EASTER MYSTERY

Sunday Mercury (Birmingham, England), March 10, 2002 | Go to article overview

Living: Travel: AN EASTER MYSTERY


Byline: JANET FUSCOE

AS cultural images go, the giant stone statues of Easter Island take some beating.

Just about everyone has seen them at one time or another on TV or, if they're lucky, in person.

Yet they remain one of the great mysteries of the planet.

Easter Island is one of the most remote inhabited places on earth - a tiny volcanic island in the middle of the South Pacific. So who were the people who travelled such great distances to get here hundreds of years ago? How did they survive?

And what was the significance of the statues - known as moai - which were erected on stone platforms all over the island?

One of the least likely theories is that these monolithic giants were planted on the island by aliens.

Let's face it, it's not particularly likely.

We wanted to find out for sure, hence our trek to the island, which took us via Santiago in Chile.

Dutch Admiral Roggeveen was the first European to visit the island. He came upon it on Easter Day in 1722 - and not surprisingly named it Easter Island. For modern travellers, visiting the island has been possible only relatively recently.

The airstrip was completed in the 1960s and since that time a small but steady stream of visitors has come to learn more about this extraordinary place, which is still shrouded in mystery.

We were met at Mataveri airport on Hanga Roa - the island's only village - by Ramon, whose family guest house is THE place to stay, if not the only place to stay.

He offered us a typical Pacific islanders' welcome - a garland of fresh scented flowers - before we set off for the place that would be home for the next five days.

Ramon and his wife Josie know more about the island than most - Josie's grandfather was archaeologist William Mulloy, who restored the first moai in the 1960s.

And Ramon's grandfather wasEdmunds, the island's 'manager' when Norwegian archaeologist and explorer Thor Heyerdahl first visited the statues in 1955.

After an enormous breakfast we would set out for a day of walking, exploring and listening to fascinating tales of life on the island, many pieced together from oral history and years of archaeological research.

Most of the island's 3,000 inhabitants live in and around Hanga Roa itself where there are schools, a few shops and several restaurants, as well as a little Catholic church which boasts wonderful wood carvings.

Not surprisingly, owing to the island's connection with European and later Chilean colonials, Easter is a particularly special time to be here.

The roads outside the village are best tackled with a good 4x4 or by horse. We opted for wheels and set off across the island to see one of our first sites - Ahu Akivi - where seven great monoliths, their backs to the sea, were re-erected by Mulloy.

Nothing can prepare you for their impact.

The sheer size of them is awesome and the more you look, the more incredible they appear. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Living: Travel: AN EASTER MYSTERY
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.