Sunday, April 30, 2006

Rapanui word for the day: TINGO

Let's not borrow from culture that tangos with tingo
Albany Times Union
First published: Sunday, April 30, 2006
Whether tingo gains currency in English isn't the point of the book; rather, it allows us to wonder what's happening on Easter Island that they would need such a word.
The above article reviews Adam Jacot de Boinard's book "The Meaning of Tingo and Other Extraordinary Words from Around the World" (Penguin Press; $19.95; 209 pages).

Saturday, April 29, 2006

Edward Albee on Easter Island

Easter Island: The Dream at the End of the World

(Photography by Tomas Munita for The New York Times)
New York Times
Central and South America > Chile
Published: April 30, 2006
Way before the movie "Planet of the Apes" showed us the Statue of Liberty half buried in the sand, I have felt the need to experience cultures which grew, fell into decadence and vanished. These are probably cautionary tales even beyond their aesthetic marvel.
The print edition of this piece by the seventy-eight year-old, award-winning playwright, Edward Albee is worth checking out for the HUGE photographs. See the online article for a multimedia slideshow.
For the record, this blog's administrator would like to commend the New York Times for its recent coverage of Rapa Nui which, in addition to Albee's article, includes the following:
April 22's profile of Rapanui artist Benedicto Tuki Pate, and
April 1's article about the potential of a casino to be built on the island.

Friday, April 28, 2006

Easter Island on the Hudson

Ted Ludwiczak's Easter Island on the Hudson
By Carol Millsum Studer and Victor Studer
(Photograph by Aame Anton)
The Folk Art Messenger,
Volume 10, Number 2, Winter 1997
"Oh, some people say my stone faces remind them of Easter Island. I know what they mean. I've seen the pictures. But I've made my own Easter Island -- an Easter Island on the Hudson."
The above article is about a Haverstraw, New York artist, whose carved stone heads are reminiscent of moai.
Recently, the artist won a visual artist award for his stone sculptures, as can be read in the following article:
Rockland arts awards honor a sculptor, organist among others

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Rapa Nui among "New7Wonders" candidates

Seven World Wonders Finalists Picked
By Jennifer Viegas
Discovery News
April 27, 2006
Only 21 finalists remain in the final stretch of the public's selection of the new seven most noteworthy landmarks in the world, the Swiss-based New7Wonders Foundation has told Discovery News ... Finalists for the new group [include] Easter Island Statues ...
Individuals may vote via phone or Internet for the final group of seven wonders ... The winning seven landmarks are to be announced January 1, 2007. More about the contest and New7Wonders can be found at their website,

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

British Columbia family breeds unique Easter Island chickens

Taste in chicken has changed over the years
by NEIL HORNER New Reporter
(Photograph by Neil Horner)
Parksville Qualicum Beach News
April 25, 2006
Wayne and Dawn Osborne operate Omega Blue Farms in the Spider Lake area of British Columbia, where their focus is on heritage breeds of chickens and other poultry. Among Omega Blue’s different breeds, is one descended from Easter Island stock which is “about as genetically different as could be possible,” lays blue eggs, and may “offer something unique for disease resistance down the road."

Monday, April 24, 2006

Rats play role in the understanding of early human travels through the Pacific.

Rat tracks tell story of Pacific
Jan TenBruggencate Advertiser Columnist
Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Monday, April 24, 2006
On remote Rapa Nui, or Easter Island, the dominant tree was also a palm, and archaeologists say that nearly every old seed they've found has been munched by rats. It's possible the rats, as much or more than humans, were responsible for the loss of the tree cover there.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Returning moai's ETA

Easter Island stone statue heads home from Chile
Source: Xinhua
People's Daily Online
UPDATED: 15:44, April 23, 2006
The Chilean navy ship [which carries the returning moai] is expected to reach Easter Island before May 4, the date of a local traditional festival.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Returning moai update

Photo caption: Chileans look at a moai, a statue made of compressed volcanic ash in front of the presidential palace La Moneda, in Santiago, Chile, Friday, April, 21, 2006. The statue was returned to Chile after three decades in Argentina and will be sent back to Easter Island. (AP Photo/Santiago Llanquin) (Santiago Llanquin - AP)
Easter Island Statue Heads Home
The Associated Press
The Washington Post
Friday, April 21, 2006; 7:37 PM
After a few hours on display in front of Chile's presidential palace, the head, one of hundreds of huge Easter Island statues known as Moais, was placed in a wooden crate and trucked from Santiago to the neighboring port city of Valparaiso. A navy ship was to take it on the 2,500-mile trip home across the Pacific Ocean.

In-depth New York Times article about Rapa Nui artist

An Artist Sets Sail, but South Pacific Pulls Him Home
(Photograph by Tomas Munita)
The New York Times
The Saturday Profile
Published: April 22, 2006
MOE ROA, Easter Island

"People my age were the last to have lived without what the world calls civilization," he said. "I'm proud to be a part of that generation, and I don't want us to lose any more than we have already lost ."
The above New York Times article is about Rapanui sculptor Benedicto Tuki Pate.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Around the world cruises to offer Easter Island excursions

This year five Cruise Lines International Association members (Crystal Cruises, Cunard Line, Holland America Line, Regent Seven Seas Cruises and Silversea Cruises) plan offer world cruises aboard seven ships.

Cruises lines to launch world cruises
Vicky Karantzavelou
Travel Daily News International
Thursday, April 20, 2006
Around-the-world voyages enable guests to couple relaxing days at sea with visits to some of the world`s most exciting destinations ... Sightseeing excursions offered in connection with world cruises are equally compelling. Guests can opt for tours that include four-wheel drive excursions in the Namibian desert, evening concerts at Ephesus in Turkey, or explorations of the mystical Moai statues on Easter Island.
Ticking off the world
Even a `toe touch' counts as having been there for these dedicated world travellers

Toronto Star
Apr. 20, 2006. 01:00 AM
Holland America's 2007 global cruise will touch six continents and include such collectable destinations as Easter Island, Pitcairn Island, American Samoa, New Caledonia, Vietnam, Indonesia, Oman, United Arab Emirates and Croatia.
Click here for the complete article.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Tricked-out Custom Cadillac features "lava-spewing" moai

Stars and Cars
Jump aboard the mother ship of two exhibits delivering a wild ride
Carlos Suarez De Jesus
New Times
Article Published Apr 20, 2006
Sporting more chrome than a Roswell weather balloon, the car features two pink lava-spewing Easter Island heads affixed above the headlights, a green brontosaurus with a rhinestone spine for a hood ornament, and a gaudy tiara smack-dab in the middle of the roof over the front windshield.

Explora en Rapa Nui

Recently, travel articles have appeared in the Chicago Sun-Times and the Financial Times about visiting Rapa Nui through up market Chilean expedition company Explora.

In the company of man and monoliths
BY LORI RACKL Staff Reporter
Chicago Sun-Times
April 16, 2006

An island made in an ogre's kitchen
By Paul Miles
Financial Times
Published: March 18 2006 02:00
Last updated: March 18 2006 02:00

More about Explora's Rapa Nui services:

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Still More about the Moai's Return to Rapa Nui

This AP article appearing in The Age, an Australian newspaper, is similar to other recently published AP articles about the moai due to return to Rapa Nui but with a little more detail about the moai's trek across the world and about its current owner and her reasons for returning it to the people of Rapa Nui.
Easter Island statue heads home
The Age
Buenos Aires
April 18, 2006

Monday, April 17, 2006

More Easter Madness from the Lope

Check out this "Happy Easter Island" blog from the Lope, which mixes a little Rapa Nui history with a little bit of camp and a whole lot of great images:
The Lope's blog aptly demonstrates how the island's mysterious moai have captured the imagination of millions throughout the world since that fateful Easter in 1722.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Yep. It's Easter Sunday.

Yes, it was Easter Sunday 1722 when Dutch explorer, Jacob Roggeveen, happened upon the tiny island of Rapa Nui (more on all that at Wikipedia, etc). Since then, Easter Island's been associated with this spring time holiday in all sorts of dubious ways. For example, I can remember as a child being told that the Easter Bunny lived on Easter Island. Apparently, I wasn't the only child to have been handed such a slice:
In today's St. Paul Pioneer Press, I found a brief mention of Easter Island in an article about Peeps and what people do with them:
'Maybe it's just the fact that they're these modular cute things that are just begging to have something done to them," said Mark Masyga, a Brooklyn-based artist and co-author of a new book, "Peeps: A Candy-Coated Tale" ($14.95, Abrams Image).
Masyga, a native of Winona, Minn., describes the book as "a zany parody of pop culture through the eyes of marshmallow candy" in which a celebrity family of Peeps goes on a vacation to Easter Island and gets trapped in a chocolate egg.
Here are some more details about the article:
People can't help but play with the squishy neon food
Pioneer Press
April 16, 2006
See the full article here:
Happy Easter,

Friday, April 14, 2006

Rapa Nui Inspiration for Skull Island?

by Brad Cook

Once we reach the island, there’s some good conflict between Denham and the ship captain, who’s ready to go home after realizing he’ll probably get stiffed for the trip. I also appreciated changing the natives into people living a desperate existence, much like I imagine the situation became on Easter Island in the 1700s, after natural resources had been depleted.

See the full article here:
I found this review of the newly released Two-Disc Special Edition King Kong DVD. I thought readers might take interest in the comparison of King Kong's Skull Island to "Easter Island in the 1700s, after natural resources had been depleted."

Thursday, April 13, 2006

More about the Returning Moai

Easter Island Statue Heads Home
Associated Press Writer
3:04 AM PDT, April 13, 2006

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina -- The huge stone head is framed by a wooden crate that casts shadows across its vacant eyes and elongated nose. After an odyssey of more than 80 years, the sculpture is set for what should be its final journey -- home to Easter Island.
This Associated Press article appears in many of today's papers throughout the world. The photo of this rather unique moai was taken by AP photographer Natacha Pisarenko.
Here's a link to the full article via USATODAY:

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Moai to be Returned to Rapa Nui

By Lauren Amundsen (
Santiago Times
April 11, 2006

One of Easter Island’s trademark “moai” will soon be returned its rightful place on the tiny Pacific island. The eight-foot high statue and its red cap were first sent to Chile in 1927, and then taken out of Chile in 1970. On Tuesday evening, the statue will be given a farewell party in Buenos Aires’ Recoleta Cultural Center before making its journey home.

See the rest of the article here:

Saturday, April 08, 2006

A Casino on Easter Island?

Easter Island Casino Plan Raises Fear of Cultural Erosion
Published: April 1, 2006
HANGA ROA, Easter Island — This is, as the saying here goes, "the most insular of islands," the place on earth farthest from any other place on earth. Most people here seem to like it that way, which is why a new plan to build a casino on this speck in the South Pacific has created an uproar among the island's 3,800 residents.

The above article was published in the New York Times and describes a situation where Pedro Riraroko, a Rapanui businessman and landowner whose interests include a hotel and travel agency, has been lobbying on the Chilean mainland to get the go-ahead for this project – along with his Chilean partners who already own a casino.

So on one side, there’s Hanga Roa’s mayor’s position:

"I welcome any project that would develop Rapa Nui society, and this is one that would create 150 jobs that I don't have today," he said in an interview. "Plus, a chunk of the profits and sales would stay here on the island and give me more money to build roads and maybe afford to buy a dialysis unit for the hospital."

And on the other:

"A casino would mean the instantaneous destruction of this island as we know it, in which our livelihood is based on a kind of cultural tourism found nowhere else in the world," said Mario Tuki, a fisherman and schoolteacher who is a member of a council of elders. "If people want to gamble, let them go somewhere else, like Las Vegas or Monaco."

Of course, pushing this issue toward further complication is the fact that on a per capita basis, "More is spent in Rapa Nui than in any municipality in Chile," according to Claudio Agurto, a Chilean Interior Ministry official, in an interview with the writer of the article.

Any further information or articles (that are not re-edits of the above New York Times article) would be greatly appreciated. The idea of building a casino on Rapa Nui has been in the news for a few years, and to the best of this blogger’s knowledge, it’s still that – just an idea.

About Rapa Nui News and Its Administrator


Welcome to Rapa Nui News, one man's humble attempt to keep abreast of the news pertaining to one of the world's most fascinating places - Rapa Nui.

About Rapa Nui News

The South Pacific island of Rapa Nui hangs in a precarious balance between a mysterious past and an uncertain future. The goal of this blog is to present current news about the island, its people, and its culture in such a way as to allow readers to determine their positions for themselves. Of course, comments and opinions pertaining to Rapa Nui from readers of this blog are certainly welcome and even encouraged.

About the Administrator

This blog is administrated by Tiki Chris, whose first exposure to Rapa Nui was as a small child glued to the television while watching the Easter Island episode of the Leonard Nimoy narrated series, “In Search of …” Since then, his fascination with - not just Rapa Nui but - all things Polynesian has deepened. Recently, Chris fulfilled a lifelong dream by visiting Rapa Nui, an adventure chronicled in the 22-page travelogue, The Law of the Island: A Rapa Nui Travelogue.


By no means does Chris see himself as an expert on all things Rapanui neither does he purport to represent the views of anyone, let alone those of the Rapanui people. With that said, h
e certainly welcome any suggestions and leads from others interested in staying up-to-date on Rapa Nui happenings.