Photo of the Week: Island Expressions

Travel more than 2,000 miles off the coast of Chile to the remote Easter Island where the native Polynesian culture is on display.

Photo of the Week: Island Expressions

Easter Island, Chile, Chile For LessIf these statues could talk, what untold secrets could they tell us?
Photo by Track Pete/ Flickr

This week’s photo takes us more than 2,000 miles west of continental Chile to Easter Island. The featured seven stone statues in this photograph are a cultural tribute to its first Polynesian inhabitants. Once called Rapa Nui, the island was discovered by the outside world when Dutch explorer Jacob Roggeveen chanced upon it in 1722 on Easter Sunday, thus becoming known as Easter Island.

Over-population and the exploitation of Easter Island’s natural resources caused severe deforestation starting in the 16th century. These factors caused widespread inter-tribal warfare and ultimately the fall of the original culture, consequentially the island’s native population dwindled to about 100 people . Fortunately, the native Rapa Nui language and oral history was continued that has provided important insight to understanding the native culture.

Easter Island welcomed an international audience in 1967  when its airport opened. Still considered one of the most remote places in the world, travelers that come here marvel at the island’s architectural and natural wonders.

Easter Island, Chile, Chile For LessGet close to some island history.
Photo by Paul James Campbell/Flickr

Easter Island, Chile, Chile For LessPhoto by Steffen Dubouis/Flickr

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