Mo'ai kipovi na Uskršnjem otoku

Mo'ai kipovi na Uskršnjem otoku


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Tajna Uskršnjeg otoka: otkrivena "skrivena tijela" kamenih kipova otkrivena od strane arheologa

Veza je kopirana

Stonehenge: Stručnjak raspravlja o "čudnom" otkriću napravljenom 1925

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Poznati kao Moai od strane ljudi Rapa Nuija koji su stvorili figure u tropskom južnom Pacifiku, zapadno od Čilea, ti su ogromni kipovi isklesani od kamena pronađenog na otoku između 1100. i 1500. godine. Gotovo polovica je još uvijek u Rano Rarakuu, glavnom kamenolomu mo ʻai, ali stotine su odatle prevezene i postavljene na kamene platforme zvane ahu po obodu otoka. Mo ʻai su živa lica oboženih predaka, ali s vremenom su arheolozi otkrili da su dijelovi kipova ukopani u sediment i stijenu.

U trendu

Tim stručnjaka s UCLA -e razvio je Projekt statue Uskršnjeg otoka kako bi bolje proučio i sačuvao artefakte.

Kroz ovaj rad istraživači su iskopali nekoliko glava kako bi otkrili temeljni trup i tijelo.

Jo Anne Van Tilburg, istraživačica sa Kalifornijskog sveučilišta, rekla je 2012. godine: & ldquoRazlog zašto ljudi misle da su [samo] glave je to što postoji oko 150 kipova zakopanih do ramena na padini vulkana.

& ldquoOvo su najpoznatiji, najljepši i najfotografiraniji od svih kipova Uskršnjeg otoka.

Arheolozi su istraživali kipove Uskršnjeg otoka (Slika: GETTY/UCLA)

Glave su izgrađene između 1000. i 1500. godine (Slika: GETTY)

& ldquoOvo je sugeriralo ljudima koji nisu vidjeli fotografije [drugih otkrivenih kipova na otoku] da su to samo glave. & rdquo

Tim je dokumentirao i proučio gotovo 1.000 kipova na malom pacifičkom otoku.

Projekt se protegao kroz devet godina pri čemu je tim koliko je mogao odredio značenje, funkciju i povijest svakog pojedinačnog kipa.

Nakon odobrenja, arheolozi su iskopali dvije glave Uskršnjeg otoka kako bi otkrili njihov torzo i krnji struk.

Glave su bile prekrivene uzastopnim naslagama masovnog transporta na otoku koje su kipove zatrpale donjom polovicom.

Neki ljudi nisu vidjeli cijele kipove (Slika: GETTY)

Ti su događaji obavijeli kipove i postupno ih zakopali dok su otoci prirodno proživljavali i erodirali kroz stoljeća.

Uskršnji otok nalazi se unutar ploče Nazca i vulkansko je žarište koje je proizvelo greben Sala y Gomez koji se proteže prema istoku dok se Tihi ocean otvarao kroz istočni dio Pacifika.

Sam otok nastao je uzastopnim pliocenskim i holocenskim vulkanskim tokovima koji se sastoje od bazalta i andezita.

Osim toga, vulkanski tufovi taloženi su u vulkanskom krateru, koji je primarni kamen za rezbarenje monolitnog Moai kipovi.

Većina kipova nalazi se uz vulkanski stožac Rano Raraku, koji je djelovao kao kamenolom koji je opskrbljivao Rapa Nui monolitno kamenje koje se koristilo za rezbarenje.

Tijekom iskopavanja kipova tim je pronašao urezane petroglife na poleđini figura, obično u obliku polumjeseca koji predstavljaju polinezijske kanue.

Otok je pun različitih kipova (Slika: GETTY)

Arheolozi su uspjeli iskopati nešto (Slika: UCLA)

Motiv kanua vjerojatno je simbol rezbareve obitelji, pružajući tragove o različitim obiteljskim ili grupnim strukturama na otoku.

Kako bi isklesao i postavio kipove uspravno, Rapa Uni je koristio velika debla drveća koja su postavljena u duboke rupe uz kipove.

Zatim su upotrijebili uže i veliko deblo da podignu kip uspravno.

Rapa Nui je isklesao glave i prednju stranu kipova dok su ležali na tlu, a zatim je dovršio leđa nakon što je uspravio kamene kipove. Najviši kip ima visinu od 33 stope i poznat je kao Paro.

Obilni crveni pigment pronađen je na ljudskim grobnicama nekoliko pojedinaca, što ukazuje na to da su kipovi vjerojatno obojeni u crveno vjerojatno tijekom ceremonija.

Ovi ukopi često okružuju kipove, što ukazuje na to da su Rapa Nui sahranili svoje mrtve s kipom obitelji.


Ovo je pitanje mnogih rasprava među znanstvenicima na tom području, iako postoji konsenzus da su izgrađeni negdje između 400. i 1500. godine. To znači da su svi kipovi stari najmanje 500 godina, ako ne i mnogo više.

Veličina svakog Moaija značajno varira, ali u prosjeku su visoki 13 metara (4 metra) i teški 13 tona. Neki su ipak mnogo veći, a najviši ima ogromnih 12 metara i teži 82 tone. Najveći nedovršeni Moai imao bi 21 metar i težio čak 270 tona. Nije poznato zašto ovaj div nikada nije dovršen.


Kipovi se ruše

Kada je prvi europski brod stigao na Uskršnji otok 1722. godine, svi kipovi o kojima se izvještavalo još su stajali. Kasniji posjetitelji izvještavaju o više kipova koji su pali kako godine prolaze, a krajem 19. stoljeća ne stoji niti jedan kip. Najčešća teorija ovoga je da su kipovi srušeni u plemenskom ratu kako bi ponizili neprijatelja. Argument za to je činjenica da je većina kipova pala naprijed s licem u zemlju.

Postoji i legenda o ženi koja se zove Nuahine P īkea 'Uri koji je posjedovao snažno mana ovlasti i učinili da kipovi padnu u bijesu kad joj četvero djece jednom prilikom nije ostavilo ništa za jesti. Neki starješine Uskršnjeg otoka i dalje vjeruju da je ovo prava priča.


Činjenice o Uskršnjem otoku

Kada su stigli prvi stanovnici Uskršnjeg otoka?

Teško je odrediti datum kada su polinezijski navigatori naselili Uskršnji otok. Bilo bi to između 400. i 1200. godine, a najnovije razdoblje bilo je vjerodostojnije u očima suvremenih arheologa.

Zašto su izgrađeni Moai kipovi?

Izvorno isklesani u ljudskim razmjerima u 12. stoljeću, Moai s vremenom postaju sve veći i veći, dosežući prosječnu visinu od 4 do 9 metara (sa svojom crvenom kapom od vulkanskog tufa, "pukao") i težinom od 15 do 80 tona kada je njihova proizvodnja prestala u 16. stoljeću. Nitko zapravo ne zna koja je njihova stvarna funkcija, iako njihov položaj na rubu otoka jasno sugerira da su oni igrali ulogu duhovne zaštite, a možda i snažno odvraćanje od mogućih morskih osvajača, uplašeni viđenim od ovih kamenih divova. Slično, orijentacija kipova, tijelo okrenuto prema unutrašnjosti otoka, vjerojatno je imala zaštitnu ulogu za sela, poput predaka koji su izbjegavali svoju djecu da upadnu u sporove ili smrtonosne ratove. Jer iznimno je vjerojatno da su kipovi Moaija bili predmet štovanja predaka i da bi prestižno natjecanje između različitih otočkih klanova moglo natjerati velike obitelji da se natječu u utrci s gigantizmom monolita.

Posjet uglednih istraživača

Nekoliko poznatih navigatora i istraživača imalo je priliku posjetiti Uskršnji otok slijedeći Jakoba Roggeveena. Među njima, Španjolac Felipe Felipe González de Ahedo (1714. - 1802.) 1770., koji je pogrešno shvatio identitet otoka, Englez Jame Cook (1728. - 1779.) 1774. i Francuz Jean -François de la Pérouse (1741. - 1788.) ) 1786. godine.

Karta Uskršnjeg otoka, objavljena 1797. © Jean -François de La Pérouse (1741 - 1788) (izvor) Licenca

Misterij transporta Moai kipova

Vulkanski tuf izvađen za uporabu u izgradnji Moai skulptura dolazi uglavnom iz kamenoloma Rano Raraku. S obzirom na mnoge nedovršene skulpture prisutne na ovom drevnom kamenolomu, moguće je zaključiti da su blokovi kamenja isklesani prije transporta do mjesta izgradnje, gdje je, usidren duboko u tlo, donji dio tijela ponekad zatrpan do sanduka , tada su dobili svoju crvenu kamenu glavu i oči. Svečane platforme razbacane po rubovima otoka mogle su primiti nekoliko Moaija, postavljenih jedan pored drugog, očiju okrenutih prema unutrašnjosti. Međutim, baš kao i za prijevoz kamenih blokova i izgradnju velikih egipatskih piramida, zagonetka ostaje o tehnikama koje su domoroci koristili za transport i podizanje ovih monolita od nekoliko tona. Do sada su pokušani mnogi eksperimenti u eksperimentalnoj arheologiji, od kojih niti jedan nije jednoglasno odobren od strane znanstvene zajednice. Naravno, hipoteza o korištenju stotina drvenih trupaca za valjanje monolita do njihovog odredišta, vjerojatno u kombinaciji sa specifičnim splavovima, izvor je teorije o krčenju šuma otoka. što bi donijelo glad, građanski rat, pad starog poretka i napuštanje kulta predaka ilustriranog monumentalnim moajskim skulpturama.

Moai kipovi ostaju sveti

Posjetiteljima je zabranjeno dodirivati ​​kipove Moaija na Uskršnjem otoku. Vrlo krhki zbog svoje neprekidne izloženosti klimatskim hirovima, istodobno je poštovanje polinezijske kulture i tradicije koje stanovnici nastoje očuvati koliko i njihovu neprocjenjivu vrijednost, budući da je to jedan od najvećih tragova ljudskog genija .

Posljedice klimatskih promjena za Uskršnji otok

S klimatskim promjenama i porastom voda zbog postupnog otapanja polarnog leda, egzistencijalna prijetnja postoji za arheološka nalazišta Uskršnjeg otoka, budući da su kipovi Moaija uglavnom postavljeni na njegovim obalama.


Sadržaj

Ime "Uskršnji otok" dao je prvi zabilježeni europski posjetitelj otoka, nizozemski istraživač Jacob Roggeveen, koji ga je susreo na Uskrs (5. travnja) 1722. godine, dok je tragao za "Davisovom zemljom". Roggeveen ga je nazvao Paasch-Eyland (Nizozemski iz 18. stoljeća za "Uskršnji otok"). [10] [11] Službeni španjolski naziv otoka, Isla de Pascua, također znači "Uskršnji otok".

Sadašnji polinezijski naziv otoka, Rapa Nui ("Big Rapa"), nastao je nakon napada robova početkom 1860 -ih, a odnosi se na topografsku sličnost otoka s otokom Rapa u skupini Bass Islands iz skupine Austral Islands. [12] Međutim, norveški etnograf Thor Heyerdahl je to tvrdio Rapa bio izvorni naziv Uskršnjeg otoka i to Rapa Iti je dobio ime od tamošnjih izbjeglica. [13]

Fraza Te pito o te henua govori se o izvornom imenu otoka otkad mu je francuski etnolog Alphonse Pinart u svom romanu dao romantični prijevod "Pupak svijeta" Putovanje à l'Île de Pâques, objavljeno 1877. [14] William Churchill (1912) raspitivao se o frazi i rečeno mu je da postoje tri te pito o te henua, to su tri rta (kopneni krajevi) otoka. Čini se da je izraz korišten u istom smislu kao i oznaka "Land's End" na vrhu Cornwalla. Nije uspio otkriti polinezijski naziv za otok i zaključio je da ga možda nije ni bilo. [15]

Prema Barthelu (1974.), usmena predaja kaže da je otok prvi put dobio ime Te pito o te kainga a Hau Maka, "Mali komadić zemlje Hau Maka". [16] Međutim, izgovaraju se dvije riječi pito u Rapa Nuiju jedno znači 'kraj' i jedno 'pupak', pa izraz stoga može značiti i "Pupak svijeta". Drugo ime, Mata ki te rangi, znači "Oči gledaju u nebo". [17]

Otočani se na španjolskom nazivaju pascuense međutim, uobičajeno je da se pripadnici starosjedilačke zajednice nazivaju kao Rapa Nui.

Felipe González de Ahedo ga je nazvao Isla de San Carlos ("Otok svetog Karla", zaštitnik Španjolskog Karla III.) Ili Isla de David (vjerojatno fantomski otok Davis Land ponekad preveden kao "Davisov otok" [18]) 1770. [19]

Uvod

Usmena predaja kaže da je otok prvo naselila ekspedicija s dva kanua, podrijetlom iz Marae Renge (ili Marae Toe Hau), a koju su vodili poglavica Hotu Matu'a i njegov kapetan Tu'u ko Iho. Otok je prvi put istražen nakon što je Haumaka sanjao o tako dalekoj zemlji. Hotu je smatrao da je vrijedno mjesto za bijeg od susjednog poglavara, od kojeg je već izgubio tri bitke. U vrijeme njihova dolaska na otok je živjela jedna usamljena doseljenica, Nga Tavake 'a Te Rona. Nakon kratkog boravka u Anakeni, kolonisti su se naselili u različite dijelove otoka. Hotuov nasljednik, Tu'u ma Heke, rođen je na otoku. Tu'u ko Iho smatra se vođom koji je donio kipove i naveo ih da hodaju. [20]

Otočani Uskrsa smatraju se jugoistočnim Polinezijcima. Slične svete zone sa kipovima (marae i ahu) u Istočnoj Polineziji pokazuje homologiju s većinom istočne Polinezije. U kontaktu, populacija je bila oko 3.000-4.000. [20]: 17–18, 20–21, 31, 41–45

Do 15. stoljeća dvije su konfederacije, hanau, društvenih grupa, mata, postojao, temeljen na lozi. Zapadni i sjeverni dio otoka pripadali su Tu'u, koji je uključivao kraljevski Miru, s kraljevskim središtem u Anakeni, iako su Tahai i Te Peu služili kao raniji glavni gradovi. Istočni dio otoka pripadao je 'Otu' Itu. Ubrzo nakon nizozemskog posjeta, od 1724. do 1750., 'Otu' Itu borio se protiv Tu'ua za kontrolu nad otokom. Ta borba trajala je do 1860 -ih. Glad je uslijedila nakon paljenja koliba i uništavanja polja. Društvena kontrola nestala je jer je uređeni način života ustupio mjesto bezakonju i grabežljivim grupama dok je klasa ratnika preuzimala vlast. Prevladalo je beskućništvo, a mnogi žive pod zemljom. Nakon španjolskog posjeta, od 1770. nadalje, razdoblje rušenja kipova, huri mo'ai, započeo. Ovo je bio pokušaj konkurentskih skupina da unište društveno-duhovnu moć, ili mana, predstavljeni kipovima, pazeći da ih slomite u jesen kako biste bili sigurni da su mrtvi i bez struje. Nijedan nije ostao na mjestu do dolaska francuskih misionara 1860 -ih. [20]: 21–24, 27, 54–56, 64–65

Između 1862. i 1888. godine, oko 94% stanovništva je stradalo ili emigriralo. Otok je od 1862. do 1863. bio žrtvom utovara, što je rezultiralo otmicom ili ubojstvom oko 1.500, a 1.408 je radilo kao sluge u Peruu. Samo se desetak njih na kraju vratilo na Uskršnji otok, ali su donijeli velike boginje koje su desetkovale preostalih 1500 stanovnika. Među onima koji su poginuli bili su i otoci tumu ivi 'atua, nositelji otočke kulture, povijesti i rodoslovlja osim rongorongo stručnjaci. [20]: 86–91

Naselje Rapa Nui

Procijenjeni datumi početnog naseljavanja Uskršnjeg otoka kretali su se od 300. do 1200. godine, iako je trenutna najbolja procjena kolonizacije u 12. stoljeću. Kolonizacija Uskršnjeg otoka vjerojatno se poklopila s dolaskom prvih doseljenika na Havaje. Ispravke u radiokarbonskom datiranju promijenile su gotovo sve ranije postavljene datume ranog naseljavanja u Polineziji. Arheološke studije u tijeku daju ovaj kasni datum: "Datumi radiokarbona za najranije stratigrafske slojeve u Anakeni na Uskršnjem otoku i analiza prethodnih datuma radiokarbona ukazuju na to da je otok koloniziran kasno, oko 1200. godine prije Krista. Značajni ekološki utjecaji i velika kulturna ulaganja u monumentalnu arhitekturu a kip je tako počeo ubrzo nakon početnog naseljavanja. " [21] [22]

Prema usmenoj predaji, prvo naselje bilo je u Anakeni. Istraživači su primijetili da mjesto slijetanja Caleta Anakena pruža otoku najbolje zaklon od prevladavajućih bujica, kao i pješčanu plažu za iskrcavanje i spuštanje kanua, pa je to vjerojatno rano mjesto naseljavanja. Međutim, radiokarbonsko datiranje zaključuje da su druga mjesta prethodila Anakeni mnogo godina, osobito Tahai nekoliko stoljeća.

Otok su naselili Polinežani koji su najvjerojatnije plovili kanuima ili katamaranima s otoka Gambier (Mangareva, udaljenih 2.600 km) ili Marquesaskih otoka udaljenih 3.200 km (2.000 mi). Prema nekim teorijama, poput teorije o polinezijskoj dijaspori, postoji mogućnost da su rani polinezijski doseljenici stigli iz Južne Amerike zbog svojih izvanrednih sposobnosti navigacije morem. Teoretičari su to podržali kroz poljoprivredne dokaze o slatkom krumpiru. Batat je generacijama bio omiljen usjev u polinezijskom društvu, ali potječe iz Južne Amerike, što ukazuje na interakciju između ova dva zemljopisna područja. [23] Međutim, novija istraživanja ukazuju na to da se slatki krumpir mogao proširiti na Polineziju rasipanjem na velike udaljenosti mnogo prije nego što su Polinežani stigli. [24] Kad je James Cook posjetio otok, jedan od članova njegove posade, Polinežanin iz Bora Bore, Hitihiti, uspio je komunicirati s Rapa Nuijem. [25]: 296–97 Jezik koji je najsličniji Rapa Nuiju je mangarevan, s procijenjenih 80% sličnog rječnika. Godine 1999. plovidba rekonstruiranim polinezijskim brodovima uspjela je stići na Uskršnji otok iz Mangareve za 19 dana. [26]

Prema usmenim predajama koje su misionari zabilježili 1860 -ih, otok je izvorno imao snažan klasni sustav: an ariki, ili visoki poglavar, imao je veliku moć nad devet drugih klanova i njihovim poglavarima. Visoki poglavar bio je najstariji potomak kroz prvorođene redove legendarnog osnivača otoka, Hotu Matu'e. Najvidljiviji element u kulturi bila je proizvodnja masivnih kipova moaija za koje neki vjeruju da predstavljaju obožene pretke. Prema National Geographic, "Većina znanstvenika sumnja da su moai stvoreni u čast predaka, poglavara ili drugih važnih ličnosti. Međutim, na otoku nema pisane i malo usmene povijesti, pa je nemoguće biti siguran." [28]

Vjerovalo se da živi imaju simbiotski odnos s mrtvima u kojem mrtvi pružaju sve što je potrebno živima (zdravlje, plodnost zemlje i životinja, bogatstvo itd.), A živi, ​​kroz prinose, mrtvima osiguravaju bolje mjesto u duhovnom svijetu. Većina naselja nalazila se na obali, a većina moaija podignuta je uz obalu, pazeći na svoje potomke u naseljima prije njih, leđima okrenut prema duhovnom svijetu u moru.

Jared Diamond sugerirao je da se kanibalizam dogodio na Uskršnjem otoku nakon što je izgradnja moaija doprinijela degradaciji okoliša kada je ekstremno krčenje šuma destabiliziralo već neizvjestan ekosustav. [29] Arheološki zapisi pokazuju da je u vrijeme početnog naseljavanja na otoku bilo mnogo vrsta drveća, uključujući najmanje tri vrste koje su narasle do 15 metara (49 stopa) ili više: Paschalococos (vjerojatno najveće palme na svijetu u to vrijeme), Alphitonia zizyphoides, i Elaeocarpus rarotongensis. Poznato je da na otoku živi najmanje šest vrsta kopnenih ptica. Glavni faktor koji je pridonio izumiranju više biljnih vrsta bilo je unošenje polinezijskog štakora. Studije paleobotaničara pokazale su da štakori mogu dramatično utjecati na reprodukciju vegetacije u ekosustavu. U slučaju Rapa Nuija, izvađene ljuske sjemenja biljaka pokazale su oznake da su ih štakori grizli. [3] Barbara A. West napisala je: "Negdje prije dolaska Europljana na Uskršnji otok, Rapanui su doživjeli golem preokret u svom društvenom sustavu uzrokovan promjenom ekologije njihovog otoka. Do dolaska Europe 1722. stanovništvo otoka palo je na 2.000-3.000 s približno 15.000 samo stoljeće ranije. " [30]

Do tada je 21 vrsta drveća i sve vrste kopnenih ptica izumrle nekom kombinacijom prekomjerne berbe, pretjeranog lova, grabežljivosti štakora i klimatskih promjena. Otok je bio uvelike pošumljen i nije imao drveća viših od 3 m (9,8 stopa). Gubitak velikog drveća značio je da stanovnici više nisu mogli graditi plovila za plovidbu, što je značajno umanjilo njihove ribolovne sposobnosti. Jedna je teorija da su se stabla koristila kao valjci za premještanje kipova na mjesto podizanja iz kamenoloma u Rano Raraku. [31] Krčenje šuma također je uzrokovalo eroziju koja je uzrokovala nagli pad poljoprivredne proizvodnje. [3] To je pogoršano gubitkom kopnenih ptica i kolapsom populacija morskih ptica kao izvora hrane. Do 18. stoljeća otočani su se uglavnom održavali uzgojem, a domaći pilići bili su primarni izvor proteina. [32]

Kako je otok postao prenaseljen, a resursi smanjeni, ratnici poznati kao matatoa stekao veću moć i prestao je Kult predaka, ustupivši mjesto kultu Čovjeka ptica. Beverly Haun je napisala: "Koncept mana (moći) uložen u nasljedne vođe preoblikovan je u osobu ptičara, očito počevši oko 1540. godine, a poklapajući se s posljednjim ostacima razdoblja moaija." [33] Ovaj kult je tvrdio da, iako su preci još uvijek brinuli o svojim potomcima, medij putem kojeg su živi mogli kontaktirati mrtve nisu više kipovi, već ljudska bića izabrana putem natječaja. Bog zaslužan za stvaranje ljudi, Makemake, odigrao je važnu ulogu u tom procesu. Katherine Routledge, koja je sustavno prikupljala otočke tradicije u svojoj ekspediciji 1919. godine, [34] pokazala je da su natjecanja za Bird Man (Rapa Nui: tangata manu) započeo je oko 1760., nakon dolaska prvih Europljana, a završio 1878., izgradnjom prve crkve od strane rimokatoličkih misionara koji su službeno stigli 1864. Petroglifi koji predstavljaju ljude ptica na Uskršnjem otoku isti su kao i neki na Havajima, što ukazuje na to da su ovaj koncept vjerojatno donijeli izvorni doseljenici, samo što je samo natjecanje bilo jedinstveno za Uskršnji otok.

Prema Diamond i Heyerdahlovoj verziji povijesti otoka, huri mo'ai -"rušenje kipova"-nastavilo se 1830-ih kao dio žestokih unutarnjih ratova. Do 1838. jedini su moai stajali na obroncima Rano Raraku, u Hoa Hakananai'i u Orongu i Ariki Paro u Ahu Te Pito Kuri. Studija koju je vodio Douglas Owsley objavljenu 1994. ustvrdila je da postoji malo arheoloških dokaza o predeuropskom društvenom kolapsu. [ potreban je citat ] Patologija kostiju i osteometrijski podaci otočana iz tog razdoblja jasno ukazuju na to da se nekoliko smrtnih slučajeva može pripisati izravno nasilju. [35]

Europski kontakt

Prvi zabilježeni europski kontakt s otokom imao je 5. travnja 1722., na Uskrsnu nedjelju, nizozemski moreplovac Jacob Roggeveen. [25] Njegov posjet rezultirao je smrću desetak otočana, uključujući tumu ivi 'atua, i ranjavanje mnogih drugih. [20]: 46–53

Sljedeći strani posjetitelji (15. studenog 1770.) bila su dva španjolska broda, San Lorenzo i Santa Rosalia, pod zapovjedništvom kapetana don Felipea Gonzaleza de Aheda. [25]: 238,504 Španjolci su bili zadivljeni "stojećim idolima", koji su svi u to vrijeme bili podignuti. [20]: 60–64

Četiri godine kasnije, 1774., britanski istraživač James Cook posjetio je Uskršnji otok i izvijestio da su neki kipovi srušeni. Tumačenjem Hitihitija, Cook je saznao da su kipovi obilježavali njihove bivše visoke poglavare, uključujući njihova imena i činove. [25]: 296–97

Dana 10. travnja 1776. francuski admiral Jean-François de Galaup, grof de Lapérouse usidrio se u Hanga Roi na početku obilaska Pacifika. Napravio je detaljnu kartu zaljeva, uključujući njegove točke sidrišta, kao i općenitiju kartu otoka, te neke ilustracije. [36]

19. stoljeća

Niz razornih događaja ubio je ili uklonio većinu stanovništva 1860 -ih. U prosincu 1862. napali su peruanski pljačkaši robova. Nasilne otmice nastavile su se nekoliko mjeseci i na kraju zarobile oko 1500 muškaraca i žena, polovicu otočkog stanovništva. [37] Među zarobljenima su bili najvažniji otočki poglavica, njegov nasljednik i oni koji su znali čitati i pisati rongorongo pismo, jedino polinezijsko pismo koje je do danas pronađeno, iako postoji rasprava o tome je li to protopis ili pravo pisanje.

Kada su pljačkaši robova bili prisiljeni repatrirati ljude koje su oteli, nositelji malih boginja iskrcali su se zajedno s nekoliko preživjelih na svaki od otoka. [38] To je stvorilo razorne epidemije od Uskršnjeg otoka do Markizanskih otoka. Stanovništvo Uskršnjeg otoka svelo se na točku da neki od mrtvih nisu ni pokopani. [20]: 91

Tuberkuloza, koju su kitolovci uveli sredinom 19. stoljeća, već je ubila nekoliko otočana kada je prvi kršćanski misionar, Eugène Eyraud, umro od ove bolesti 1867. U konačnici je ubila približno četvrtinu otočkog stanovništva. Sljedećih godina upravitelji ranča za ovce i misionari počeli su kupovati novo dostupnu zemlju pokojnika, što je dovelo do velikih sukoba između domorodaca i doseljenika.

Jean-Baptiste Dutrou-Bornier otkupio je cijeli otok osim područja misionara oko Hanga Roe i preselio nekoliko stotina Rapa Nuija na Tahiti kako bi radio za svoje podupiratelje. Godine 1871. misionari su, posvađavši se s Dutrou-Bornierom, evakuirali sve osim 171 Rapa Nuija na otoke Gambier. [39] Ostali su uglavnom stariji muškarci. Šest godina kasnije na Uskršnjem je otoku živjelo samo 111 ljudi, a samo njih 36 imalo je potomstvo. [40] Od tog trenutka, stanovništvo otoka polako se oporavilo. No, s obzirom da je više od 97% stanovništva umrlo ili otišlo u manje od deset godina, velik dio kulturnog znanja otoka izgubljen je.

Alexander Salmon, Jr., sin engleskog židovskog trgovca i princa iz dinastije Pōmare, na kraju je radio na repatrijaciji radnika sa svoje naslijeđene plantaže kopra. Na kraju je otkupio svu zemlju na otoku s izuzetkom misije i bio joj jedini poslodavac. Radio je na razvoju turizma na otoku i bio je glavni doušnik britanskih i njemačkih arheoloških ekspedicija na otok. Poslao je nekoliko komada pravog Rongoronga mužu svoje nećakinje, njemačkom konzulu u Valparaísu u Čileu. Losos je 2. siječnja 1888. čileanskoj vladi prodao posjed Uskršnjeg otoka Brander i potpisao kao svjedok ustupanja otoka. Vratio se na Tahiti u prosincu 1888. Učinkovito je vladao otokom od 1878. do svog prijelaza u Čile 1888. godine.

Uskršnji otok Čile je 9. rujna 1888. pripojio Policarpo Toro putem "Ugovora o pripajanju otoka" (Tratado de Anexión de la isla). Toro, koji predstavlja čileansku vladu, potpisao je sporazum s Atamuom Tekenom, kojeg su rimokatolički misionari imenovali "kraljem" nakon što su preminuo poglavar i njegov nasljednik. Neki Rapa Nui još uvijek osporavaju valjanost ovog ugovora. Službeno, Čile je otkupio gotovo sveobuhvatni ranč ovaca Mason-Brander, koji se sastoji od zemljišta kupljenog od potomaka Rapa Nuija koji je umro tijekom epidemija, a zatim je zatražio suverenitet nad otokom.

20. stoljeće

Do 1960 -ih, preživjeli Rapa Nui bili su ograničeni na Hanga Roa. Ostatak otoka iznajmljen je tvrtki Williamson-Balfour kao farma ovaca do 1953. To je primjer uvođenja privatnog vlasništva u Rapa Nui. [41] Otokom je tada upravljala čileanska mornarica do 1966., kada je otok u cijelosti ponovno otvoren. Godine 1966. Rapa Nui su kolonizirani i dobivaju čileansko državljanstvo. [42]

Nakon čileanskog državnog udara 1973. godine kojim je Augusto Pinochet došao na vlast, Uskršnji je otok stavljen pod izvanredno stanje. Turizam se usporio, zemljište je razbijeno, a privatno vlasništvo podijeljeno je investitorima. Za vrijeme dok je bio na vlasti, Pinochet je u tri navrata posjetio Uskršnji otok. Vojska je izgradila vojne objekte i gradsku vijećnicu. [43]

Nakon dogovora 1985. između Čilea i Sjedinjenih Država, pista na međunarodnoj zračnoj luci Mataveri povećana je i otvorena 1987. Pista je proširena 423 m (1.388 ft), dosegavši ​​3.353 m (11.001 ft). Pinochet je odbio prisustvovati inauguraciji u znak protesta zbog pritisaka Sjedinjenih Država zbog ljudskih prava. [44]

21. stoljeće

Ribari iz Rapa Nuija pokazali su svoju zabrinutost zbog ilegalnog ribolova na otoku. "Od 2000. godine počeli smo gubiti tunu, koja je temelj ribolova na otoku, pa smo tada počeli uzimati ribu s obale kako bismo prehranili svoje obitelji, ali za manje od dvije godine iscrpili smo je sve" , Rekao je Pakarati. [45] Dana 30. srpnja 2007. ustavna reforma dala je Uskršnjem otoku i otocima Juan Fernández (poznatom i kao otok Robinson Crusoe) status "posebnih teritorija" Čilea. Do donošenja posebne povelje, otokom se i dalje upravlja kao pokrajinom V. regije Valparaíso. [46]

Vrste riba sakupljane su na Uskršnjem otoku mjesec dana u različitim staništima, uključujući plitke bazene lave i duboke vode. Unutar ovih staništa postoje dva holotipa i paratipa, Antennarius randalli i Antennarius moai, otkriveni su. Ove se ribe smatraju žabljim ribama zbog svojih karakteristika: "12 leđnih zraka, posljednja dva ili tri razgranata koštana dijela prve leđne kralježnice nešto kraće od drugog tijela leđne kralježnice bez podebljanih oznaka nalik zebri prsne zrake 11 ili 12 ". [47]

Vlada je 2018. odlučila ograničiti razdoblje boravka turista s 90 na 30 dana zbog društvenih i ekoloških problema s kojima se Otok suočava kako bi očuvao svoju povijesnu važnost. [48]

Pokret za prava domorodaca

Počevši od kolovoza 2010., članovi autohtonog klana Hitorangi okupirali su Eko selo i toplice Hangaroa. [49] [50] Okupatori tvrde da je hotel kupljen od Pinochetove vlade, kršeći čileanski sporazum s autohtonim Rapa Nuijem, 1990 -ih. [51] Okupatori kažu da su njihovi preci prevareni u odustajanju od zemlje. [52] Prema izvješću BBC -a, 3. prosinca 2010. najmanje 25 osoba je ozlijeđeno kada je čileanska policija koristeći pištolje za pelete pokušala istjerati iz ovih zgrada grupu Rapa Nuija koja je tvrdila da je zemljište na kojem su zgrade bile nezakonito uzeti od njihovih predaka. [53]

U siječnju 2011. godine, posebni izvjestitelj UN -a za starosjedilačke narode, James Anaya, izrazio je zabrinutost zbog postupanja čileanske vlade prema autohtonom Rapa Nuiju, pozivajući Čile da "uloži sve napore da vodi dijalog u dobroj vjeri s predstavnicima Rapa Nuija" ljudima da što je prije moguće riješe stvarne temeljne probleme koji objašnjavaju trenutnu situaciju ". [49] Incident je završio u veljači 2011., kada je do 50 naoružanih policajaca upalo u hotel kako bi uklonilo posljednjih pet stanara. Vlada ih je uhitila, a ozlijeđenih nije bilo. [49]

Uskršnji otok jedan je od najizoliranijih naseljenih otoka na svijetu. Njegovi najbliži naseljeni susjedi su čileanski otoci Juan Fernandez, udaljeni 1.850 km (1.150 mi) istočno, s približno 850 stanovnika. [ potreban je citat ] Najbliža kontinentalna točka nalazi se u središnjem Čileu u blizini Concepcióna, na 3.512 kilometara (2.182 mi). Zemljopisna širina Uskršnjeg otoka slična je onoj u Calderi u Čileu i nalazi se 3.510 km (2.180 mi) zapadno od kontinentalnog Čilea na najbližoj točki (između Lote i Lebua u regiji Biobío). Isla Salas y Gómez, 415 km (258 mi) na istoku, bliže je, ali je nenaseljeno. Arhipelag Tristan da Cunha u južnom Atlantiku natječe se za titulu najudaljenijeg otoka, koji leži 2.430 km (1.510 mi) od otoka Sveta Helena i 2.816 km (1.750 mi) od južnoafričke obale.

Otok je dug 24,6 km (15,3 mi), 12,3 km (7,6 mi) najširi kraj, a ukupni oblik je trokutast. It has an area of 163.6 km 2 (63.2 sq mi), and a maximum elevation of 507 m (1,663 ft) above mean sea level. Postoje tri Rano (freshwater crater lakes), at Rano Kau, Rano Raraku and Rano Aroi, near the summit of Terevaka, but no permanent streams or rivers.

Geologija

Easter Island is a volcanic high island, consisting mainly of three extinct coalesced volcanoes: Terevaka (altitude 507 metres) forms the bulk of the island, while two other volcanoes, Poike and Rano Kau, form the eastern and southern headlands and give the island its roughly triangular shape. Lesser cones and other volcanic features include the crater Rano Raraku, the cinder cone Puna Pau and many volcanic caves including lava tubes. [54] Poike used to be a separate island until volcanic material from Terevaka united it to the larger whole. The island is dominated by hawaiite and basalt flows which are rich in iron and show affinity with igneous rocks found in the Galápagos Islands. [55]

Easter Island and surrounding islets, such as Motu Nui and Motu Iti, form the summit of a large volcanic mountain rising over 2,000 m (6,600 ft) from the sea bed. The mountain is part of the Salas y Gómez Ridge, a (mostly submarine) mountain range with dozens of seamounts, formed by the Easter hotspot. The range begins with Pukao and next Moai, two seamounts to the west of Easter Island, and extends 2,700 km (1,700 mi) east to the Nazca Ridge. The ridge was formed by the Nazca Plate moving over the Easter hotspot. [56]

Located about 350 km (220 mi) east of the East Pacific Rise, Easter Island lies within the Nazca Plate, bordering the Easter Microplate. The Nazca-Pacific relative plate movement due to the seafloor spreading, amounts to about 150 mm (5.9 in) per year. This movement over the Easter hotspot has resulted in the Easter Seamount Chain, which merges into the Nazca Ridge further to the east. Easter Island and Isla Salas y Gómez are surface representations of that chain. The chain has progressively younger ages to the west. The current hotspot location is speculated to be west of Easter Island, amidst the Ahu, Umu and Tupa submarine volcanic fields and the Pukao and Moai seamounts. [57]

Easter Island lies atop the Rano Kau Ridge, and consists of three shield volcanoes with parallel geologic histories. Poike and Rano Kau exist on the east and south slopes of Terevaka, respectively. Rano Kau developed between 0.78 and 0.46 Ma from tholeiitic to alkalic basalts. This volcano possesses a clearly defined summit caldera. Benmoreitic lavas extruded about the rim from 0.35 to 0.34 Ma. Finally, between 0.24 and 0.11 Ma, a 6.5 km (4.0 mi) fissure developed along a NE–SW trend, forming monogenetic vents and rhyolitic intrusions. These include the cryptodome islets of Motu Nui and Motu Iti, the islet of Motu Kao Kao, the sheet intrusion of Te Kari Kari, the perlitic obsidian Te Manavai dome and the Maunga Orito dome. [57]

Poike formed from tholeiitic to alkali basalts from 0.78 to 0.41 Ma. Its summit collapsed into a caldera which was subsequently filled by the Puakatiki lava cone pahoehoe flows at 0.36 Ma. Finally, the trachytic lava domes of Maunga Vai a Heva, Maunga Tea Tea, and Maunga Parehe formed along a NE-SW trending fissure. [57]

Terevaka formed around 0.77 Ma of tholeiitic to alkali basalts, followed by the collapse of its summit into a caldera. Then at about 0.3Ma, cinder cones formed along a NNE-SSW trend on the western rim, while porphyritic benmoreitic lava filled the caldera, and pahoehoe flowed towards the northern coast, forming lava tubes, and to the southeast. Lava domes and a vent complex formed in the Maunga Puka area, while breccias formed along the vents on the western portion of Rano Aroi crater. This volcano's southern and southeastern flanks are composed of younger flows consisting of basalt, alkali basalt, hawaiite, mugearite, and benmoreite from eruptive fissures starting at 0.24 Ma. The youngest lava flow, Roiho, is dated at 0.11 Ma. The Hanga O Teo embayment is interpreted to be a 200 m high landslide scarp. [57]

Rano Raraku and Maunga Toa Toa are isolated tuff cones of about 0.21 Ma. The crater of Rano Raraku contains a freshwater lake. The stratified tuff is composed of sideromelane, slightly altered to palagonite, and somewhat lithified. The tuff contains lithic fragments of older lava flows. The northwest sector of Rano Raraku contains reddish volcanic ash. [57] According to Bandy, ". all of the great images of Easter Island are carved from" the light and porous tuff from Rano Raraku. A carving was abandoned when a large, dense and hard lithic fragment was encountered. However, these lithics became the basis for stone hammers and chisels. The Puna Pau crater contains an extremely porous pumice, from which was carved the Pukao "hats". The Maunga Orito obsidian was used to make the "mataa" spearheads. [58]

In the first half of the 20th century, steam reportedly came out of the Rano Kau crater wall. This was photographed by the island's manager, Mr. Edmunds. [59]

Klima

Under the Köppen climate classification, the climate of Easter Island is classified as a tropical rainforest climate (Af) that borders on a humid subtropical climate (Cfa). The lowest temperatures are recorded in July and August (minimum 15 °C or 59 °F) and the highest in February (maximum temperature 28 °C or 82.4 °F [60] ), the summer season in the southern hemisphere. Winters are relatively mild. The rainiest month is May, though the island experiences year-round rainfall. [61] Easter Island's isolated location exposes it to winds which help to keep the temperature fairly cool. Precipitation averages 1,118 millimetres or 44 inches per year. Occasionally, heavy rainfall and rainstorms strike the island. These occur mostly in the winter months (June–August). Since it is close to the South Pacific High and outside the range of the intertropical convergence zone, cyclones and hurricanes do not occur around Easter Island. [62] There is significant temperature moderation due to its isolated position in the middle of the ocean.

Climate data for Easter Island (Mataveri International Airport) 1981–2010, extremes 1912–1990
Mjesec Siječanj Veljače Ožujka Travnja svibanj Lipnja Srpnja Kolovoza Rujna Listopada Studenoga Prosinca Godina
Rekordno visoka ° C (° F) 32.0
(89.6)
31.0
(87.8)
32.0
(89.6)
31.0
(87.8)
30.0
(86.0)
29.0
(84.2)
31.0
(87.8)
28.3
(82.9)
30.0
(86.0)
29.0
(84.2)
33.0
(91.4)
34.0
(93.2)
34.0
(93.2)
Prosječno visoka ° C (° F) 26.9
(80.4)
27.4
(81.3)
26.8
(80.2)
25.3
(77.5)
23.3
(73.9)
21.9
(71.4)
21.0
(69.8)
21.0
(69.8)
21.5
(70.7)
22.4
(72.3)
23.8
(74.8)
25.4
(77.7)
23.9
(75.0)
Srednja dnevna ° C (° F) 23.3
(73.9)
23.7
(74.7)
23.1
(73.6)
21.9
(71.4)
20.1
(68.2)
18.9
(66.0)
18.0
(64.4)
17.9
(64.2)
18.3
(64.9)
19.0
(66.2)
20.4
(68.7)
21.8
(71.2)
20.5
(68.9)
Prosječno niska ° C (° F) 20.0
(68.0)
20.6
(69.1)
20.3
(68.5)
19.3
(66.7)
17.8
(64.0)
16.8
(62.2)
15.9
(60.6)
15.6
(60.1)
15.8
(60.4)
16.2
(61.2)
17.4
(63.3)
18.7
(65.7)
17.9
(64.2)
Rekordno niska ° C (° F) 12.0
(53.6)
14.0
(57.2)
11.0
(51.8)
12.7
(54.9)
10.0
(50.0)
7.0
(44.6)
9.4
(48.9)
7.0
(44.6)
8.0
(46.4)
8.0
(46.4)
8.0
(46.4)
12.0
(53.6)
7.0
(44.6)
Average rainfall mm (inches) 70.4
(2.77)
80.2
(3.16)
99.2
(3.91)
139.9
(5.51)
143.4
(5.65)
110.3
(4.34)
130.1
(5.12)
104.8
(4.13)
108.5
(4.27)
90.6
(3.57)
75.4
(2.97)
75.6
(2.98)
1,228.1
(48.35)
Prosječna relativna vlažnost zraka (%) 77 79 79 81 81 81 80 80 79 77 77 78 79
Prosječni mjesečni sunčani sati 274 239 229 193 173 145 156 172 179 213 222 242 2,437
Source 1: Dirección Meteorológica de Chile [63]
Source 2: Ogimet (sun 1981–2010) [64] Deutscher Wetterdienst (extremes and humidity) [65]

Easter Island, together with its closest neighbour, the tiny island of Isla Salas y Gómez 415 km (258 mi) farther east, is recognized by ecologists as a distinct ecoregion, the Rapa Nui subtropical broadleaf forests. The original subtropical moist broadleaf forests are now gone, but paleobotanical studies of fossil pollen, tree moulds left by lava flows, and root casts found in local soils indicate that the island was formerly forested, with a range of trees, shrubs, ferns, and grasses. A large extinct palm, Paschalococos disperta, related to the Chilean wine palm (Jubaea chilensis), was one of the dominant trees as attested by fossil evidence. Like its Chilean counterpart it probably took close to 100 years to reach adult height. The Polynesian rat, which the original settlers brought with them, played a very important role in the disappearance of the Rapa Nui palm. Although some may believe that rats played a major role in the degradation of the forest, less than 10% of palm nuts show teeth marks from rats. The remains of palm stumps in different places indicate that humans caused the trees to fall because in large areas, the stumps were cut efficiently. [66] In 2018, a New York Times article announced that Easter Island is eroding. [67]

The clearance of the palms to make the settlements led to their extinction almost 350 years ago. [68] The toromiro tree (Sophora toromiro) was prehistorically present on Easter Island, but is now extinct in the wild. However, the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew and the Göteborg Botanical Garden are jointly leading a scientific program to reintroduce the toromiro to Easter Island. With the palm and the toromiro virtually gone, there was considerably less rainfall as a result of less condensation. After the island was used to feed thousands of sheep for almost a century, by the mid-1900s the island was mostly covered in grassland with nga'atu or bulrush (Schoenoplectus californicus tatora) in the crater lakes of Rano Raraku and Rano Kau. The presence of these reeds, which are called totora in the Andes, was used to support the argument of a South American origin of the statue builders, but pollen analysis of lake sediments shows these reeds have grown on the island for over 30,000 years. [ potreban je citat ] Before the arrival of humans, Easter Island had vast seabird colonies containing probably over 30 resident species, perhaps the world's richest. [69] Such colonies are no longer found on the main island. Fossil evidence indicates six species of land birds (two rails, two parrots, one owl, and one heron), all of which have become extinct. [70] Five introduced species of land bird are known to have breeding populations (see List of birds of Easter Island).

Lack of studies results in poor understanding of the oceanic fauna of Easter Island and waters in its vicinity however, possibilities of undiscovered breeding grounds for humpback, southern blue and pygmy blue whales including Easter Island and Isla Salas y Gómez have been considered. [71] Potential breeding areas for fin whales have been detected off northeast of the island as well. [72]

Satellite view of Easter Island 2019. The Poike peninsula is on the right.

Digital recreation of its ancient landscape, with tropical forest and palm trees

View toward the interior of the island

View of Rano Kau and Pacific Ocean

The immunosuppressant drug sirolimus was first discovered in the bacterium Streptomyces hygroscopicus in a soil sample from Easter Island. The drug is also known as rapamycin, after Rapa Nui. [73] It is now being studied for extending longevity in mice. [74]

Trees are sparse, rarely forming natural groves, and it has been argued whether native Easter Islanders deforested the island in the process of erecting their statues, [75] and in providing sustenance for an overconsumption of natural resources from a overcrowded island. [ potreban je citat ] Experimental archaeology demonstrated that some statues certainly could have been placed on "Y" shaped wooden frames called miro manga erua and then pulled to their final destinations on ceremonial sites. [75] Other theories involve the use of "ladders" (parallel wooden rails) over which the statues could have been dragged. [76] Rapa Nui traditions metaphorically refer to spiritual power (mana) as the means by which the moai were "walked" from the quarry. Recent experimental recreations have proven that it is fully possible that the moai were literally walked from their quarries to their final positions by use of ropes, casting doubt on the role that their existence plays in the environmental collapse of the island. [77]

Given the island's southern latitude, the climatic effects of the Little Ice Age (about 1650 to 1850) may have exacerbated deforestation, although this remains speculative. [75] Many researchers [78] point to the climatic downtrend caused by the Little Ice Age as a contributing factor to resource stress and to the palm tree's disappearance. Experts, however, do not agree on when the island's palms became extinct.

Jared Diamond dismisses past climate change as a dominant cause of the island's deforestation in his book Collapse which assesses the collapse of the ancient Easter Islanders. [79] Influenced by Heyerdahl's romantic interpretation of Easter's history, Diamond insists that the disappearance of the island's trees seems to coincide with a decline of its civilization around the 17th and 18th centuries. He notes that they stopped making statues at that time and started destroying the ahu. But the link is weakened because the Bird Man cult continued to thrive and survived the great impact caused by the arrival of explorers, whalers, sandalwood traders, and slave raiders.

Midden contents show that the main source of protein was tuna and dolphin. With the loss of the trees, there was a sudden drop in the quantities of fish bones found in middens as the islanders lost the means to construct fishing vessels, coinciding with a large increase in bird bones. This was followed by a decrease in the number of bird bones as birds lost their nesting sites or became extinct. A new style of art from this period shows people with exposed ribs and distended bellies, indicative of malnutrition, and it is around this time that many islanders moved to live in fortified caves, and the first signs of warfare and cannibalism appear.

Soil erosion because of lack of trees is apparent in some places. Sediment samples document that up to half of the native plants had become extinct and that the vegetation of the island drastically altered. Polynesians were primarily farmers, not fishermen, and their diet consisted mainly of cultivated staples such as taro root, sweet potato, yams, cassava, and bananas. With no trees to protect them, sea spray led to crop failures exacerbated by a sudden reduction in freshwater flows. There is evidence that the islanders took to planting crops in caves beneath collapsed ceilings and covered the soil with rocks to reduce evaporation. Cannibalism occurred on many Polynesian islands, sometimes in times of plenty as well as famine. Its presence on Easter Island (based on human remains associated with cooking sites, especially in caves) is supported by oral histories. [ potreban je citat ]

Benny Peiser [5] noted evidence of self-sufficiency when Europeans first arrived. The island still had smaller trees, mainly toromiro, which became extinct in the wild in the 20th century probably because of slow growth and changes in the island's ecosystem. Cornelis Bouman, Jakob Roggeveen's captain, stated in his logbook, ". of yams, bananas and small coconut palms we saw little and no other trees or crops." According to Carl Friedrich Behrens, Roggeveen's officer, "The natives presented palm branches as peace offerings." According to ethnographer Alfred Mètraux, the most common type of house was called "hare paenga" (and is known today as "boathouse") because the roof resembled an overturned boat. The foundations of the houses were made of buried basalt slabs with holes for wooden beams to connect with each other throughout the width of the house. These were then covered with a layer of totora reed, followed by a layer of woven sugarcane leaves, and lastly a layer of woven grass.

Peiser claims that these reports indicate that large trees existed at that time, which is perhaps contradicted by the Bouman quote above. Plantations were often located farther inland, next to foothills, inside open-ceiling lava tubes, and in other places protected from the strong salt winds and salt spray affecting areas closer to the coast. It is possible many of the Europeans did not venture inland. The statue quarry, only one kilometre ( 5 ⁄ 8 mile) from the coast with an impressive cliff 100 m (330 ft) high, was not explored by Europeans until well into the 19th century.

Easter Island has suffered from heavy soil erosion in recent centuries, perhaps aggravated by agriculture and massive deforestation. This process seems to have been gradual and may have been aggravated by sheep farming throughout most of the 20th century. Jakob Roggeveen reported that Easter Island was exceptionally fertile. "Fowls are the only animals they keep. They cultivate bananas, sugar cane, and above all sweet potatoes." In 1786 Jean-François de La Pérouse visited Easter Island and his gardener declared that "three days' work a year" would be enough to support the population. Rollin, a major in the Pérouse expedition, wrote, "Instead of meeting with men exhausted by famine. I found, on the contrary, a considerable population, with more beauty and grace than I afterwards met in any other island and a soil, which, with very little labor, furnished excellent provisions, and in an abundance more than sufficient for the consumption of the inhabitants." [81]

According to Diamond, the oral traditions (the veracity of which has been questioned by Routledge, Lavachery, Mètraux, Peiser, and others) of the current islanders seem obsessed with cannibalism, which he offers as evidence supporting a rapid collapse. For example, he states, to severely insult an enemy one would say, "The flesh of your mother sticks between my teeth." This, Diamond asserts, means the food supply of the people ultimately ran out. [82] Cannibalism, however, was widespread across Polynesian cultures. [83] Human bones have not been found in earth ovens other than those behind the religious platforms, indicating that cannibalism in Easter Island was a ritualistic practice. Contemporary ethnographic research has proven there is scarcely any tangible evidence for widespread cannibalism anywhere and at any time on the island. [84] The first scientific exploration of Easter Island (1914) recorded that the indigenous population strongly rejected allegations that they or their ancestors had been cannibals. [34]


Easter Island Moai

View of the northeast of the exterior slopes of the quarry, with several moai (human figure carving) on the slopes a young South American man with a horse is standing in the foreground for scale, Easter Island, photograph, 8.2 x 8.2 cm © Trustees of the British Museum

The moai of Rapa Nui

Three views of Hoa Hakananai’a (‘lost or stolen friend’), Moai (ancestor figure), c. 1200 C.E., 242 x 96 x 47 cm, basalt (missing paint, coral eye sockets, and stone eyes), likely made in Rano Kao, Easter Island (Rapa Nui), found in the ceremonial center Orongo © Trustees of the British Museum. This monumental carving of the head and torso of a man is almost twice life-size. The proportions are typical of these statues, with the head one-third of the total height.

Easter Island is famous for its stone statues of human figures, known as moai (meaning “statue”). The island is known to its inhabitants as Rapa Nui. The moai were probably carved to commemorate important ancestors and were made from around 1000 C.E. until the second half of the seventeenth century. Over a few hundred years the inhabitants of this remote island quarried, carved and erected around 887 moai. The size and complexity of the moai increased over time, and it is believed that Hoa Hakananai’a (below) dates to around 1200 C.E. It is one of only fourteen moai made from basalt, the rest are carved from the island’s softer volcanic tuff. With the adoption of Christianity in the 1860s, the remaining standing moai were toppled.

Their backs to the sea

Moai Hava (“Dirty statue” or “to be lost”), Moai (ancestor figure), c. 11-1600 C.E., 156 cm high, basalt, Easter Island (Rapa Nui) © Trustees of the British Museum

This example was probably first displayed outside on a stone platform (ahu) on the sacred site of Orongo, before being moved into a stone house at the ritual center of Orongo. It would have stood with giant stone companions, their backs to the sea, keeping watch over the island. Its eyes sockets were originally inlaid with red stone and coral and the sculpture was painted with red and white designs, which were washed off when it was rafted to the ship, to be taken to Europe in 1869. It was collected by the crew of the English ship HMS Topaze, under the command of Richard Ashmore Powell, on their visit to Easter Island in 1868 to carry out surveying work. Islanders helped the crew to move the statue, which has been estimated to weigh around four tons. It was moved to the beach and then taken to the Topaze by raft.

The crew recorded the islanders’ name for the statue, which is thought to mean “stolen or hidden friend.” They also acquired another, smaller basalt statue, known asMoai Hava (left), which is also in the collections of the British Museum.

Hoa Hakananai’a is similar in appearance to a number of Easter Island moai. It has a heavy eyebrow ridge, elongated ears and oval nostrils. The clavicle is emphasized, and the nipples protrude. The arms are thin and lie tightly against the body the hands are hardly indicated.

Bust (detail), Hoa Hakananai’a (‘lost or stolen friend’), Moai (ancestor figure), c. 1200 C.E., 242 x 96 x 47 cm, basalt (missing paint, coral eye sockets, and stone eyes), likely made in Rano Kao, Easter Island (Rapa Nui), found in the ceremonial center Orongo © The Trustees of the British Museum

Hoa Hakananai’a (‘lost or stolen friend’), Moai (ancestor figure), c. 1200 C.E., 242 x 96 x 47 cm, basalt (missing paint, coral eye sockets, and stone eyes), likely made in Rano Kao, Easter Island (Rapa Nui), found in the ceremonial center Orongo © The Trustees of the British Museum

In the British Museum, the figure is set on a stone platform just over a meter high so that it towers above the visitor. It is carved out of dark grey basalt—a hard, dense, fine-grained volcanic rock. The surface of the rock is rough and pitted, and pinpricks of light sparkle as tiny crystals in the rock glint. Basalt is difficult to carve and unforgiving of errors. The sculpture was probably commissioned by a high status individual.

Hoa Hakananai’a’s head is slightly tilted back, as if scanning a distant horizon. He has a prominent eyebrow ridge shadowing the empty sockets of his eyes. The nose is long and straight, ending in large oval nostrils. The thin lips are set into a downward curve, giving the face a stern, uncompromising expression. A faint vertical line in low relief runs from the centre of the mouth to the chin. The jawline is well defined and massive, and the ears are long, beginning at the top of the head and ending with pendulous lobes.

The figure’s collarbone is emphasized by a curved indentation, and his chest is defined by carved lines that run downwards from the top of his arms and curve upwards onto the breast to end in the small protruding bumps of his nipples. The arms are held close against the side of the body, the hands rudimentary, carved in low relief.

Later carving on the back

The figure’s back is covered with ceremonial designs believed to have been added at a later date, some carved in low relief, others incised. These show images relating to the island’s birdman cult, which developed after about 1400 C.E. The key birdman cult ritual was an annual trial of strength and endurance, in which the chiefs and their followers competed. The victorious chief then represented the creator god, Makemake, for the following year.

Back (detail), Hoa Hakananai’a (‘lost or stolen friend’), Moai (ancestor figure), c. 1200 C.E., 242 x 96 x 47 cm, basalt (missing paint, coral eye sockets, and stone eyes), likely made in Rano Kao, Easter Island (Rapa Nui), found in the ceremonial center Orongo © The Trustees of the British Museum

Carved on the upper back and shoulders are two birdmen, facing each other. These have human hands and feet, and the head of a frigate bird. In the centre of the head is the carving of a small fledgling bird with an open beak. This is flanked by carvings of ceremonial dance paddles known as ‘ao, with faces carved into them. On the left ear is another ‘ao, and running from top to bottom of the right ear are four shapes like inverted ‘V’s representing the female vulva. These carvings are believed to have been added at a later date.

Collapse

Around 1500 C.E. the practice of constructing moai peaked, and from around 1600 C.E. statues began to be toppled, sporadically. The island’s fragile ecosystem had been pushed beyond what was sustainable. Over time only sea birds remained, nesting on safer offshore rocks and islands. As these changes occurred, so too did the Rapanui religion alter—to the birdman religion.

This sculpture bears witness to the loss of confidence in the efficacy of the ancestors after the deforestation and ecological collapse, and most recently a theory concerning the introduction of rats, which may have ultimately led to famine and conflict. After 1838 at a time of social collapse following European intervention, the remaining standing moai were toppled.

Suggested readings:

S.R. Fischer, “Rapani’s Tu’u ko Iho versus Mangareva’a ‘Atu Motua: Evidence for Multiple Reanalysis and Replacement in Rapanui Settlement Traditions, Easter Island,” Journal of Pacific History, 29 (1994), pp. 3–48.

S. Hooper, Pacific Encounters: Art and Divinity in Polynesia 1760-1860 (London, 2006).

A.L. Kaeppler, “Sculptures of Barkcloth and Wood from Rapa Nui: Continuities and Polynesian Affinities,” Anthropology and Aesthetics, 44 (2003), pp. 10–69.

R. Langdon, “New light on Easter Island Prehistory in a ‘Censored’ Spanish Report of 1770,” Journal of Pacific History, 30 (1995), pp. 112–120.

J.L. Palmer, “Observations on the Inhabitants and the Antiquaries of Easter Island,” Journal of the Ethnological Society of London, 1 (1869), pp. 371–377.

P. Rainbird, “A Message for our Future? The Papa Nui (Easter Island) Eco-disaster and Pacific Island Environments,” Svjetska arheologija, 33 (2002), pp. 436–451.


What Are the Moai Statues of Easter Island?

The Easter Island, known initially as Rapa Nui, is situated in the Southeast Pacific and is famous for its carvings. The statues take the form of human nature, and are known by the natives as “moai.” History has it that the sculptures were made from 1000 C.E. By the time the century was halfway the inhabitants had curved and erected 887 moai. The residents believed that the moai watched over the Island, which explains why their backs faced the sea. The complexity and size of the statues increased over time.

What Are the Moai Statues of Easter Island?

Who lived on Easter Island?

Legend has it that a chief known as Hotu Matu’a learned about the Rapa Nui from a group of explorers. He decided to lead a group of colonialists to the Island. Where they came from is still a mystery, but it could have been the Marquesas Island, which is 2,300 miles from Easter Island. They may have also come from Rarotonga, which is 3,200 miles from the Island.

What Are the Moai Statues of Easter Island?

Deforestation on the Island

When the residents came to the Island, the chances are that they found a place covered with rich vegetation. By the 19th century, the land was bare. A popular myth claims that the inhabitants cleared the forest cover to make devices that could move the statues. However, other theories hold more ground. One of these is that the people came with Polynesian rats that reproduce fast. Without competition on the Island, the rat may have had a considerable role in the rapid deforestation.

The Moai mystery

Until today, nobody knows why the Island’s residents made the carvings. What most people have are theories. A YouTube video by Terry Hunt and Carl Lipo demonstrates the movement of the statues from the quarry sites to the seashore. Terry is a professor at Hawaii University, while Lipo is a professor at California State University Long Beach. Lipo and Carl explain that the road remnants on the islands aren’t part of a planned framework, but rather the routes the residents followed when moving the statues. While this could be true, it doesn’t explain why the residents carved the moai.

What Are the Moai Statues of Easter Island?

The collapse

The practice ceased around 1722. One theory claims that this was because the natives adopted Christianity, which is against making idols. Another approach says that the Island’s contact with explorers prompted the change of heart, as they wanted the European goods. Others say that when famine struck, the inhabitants no longer believed in the power of their ancestors, who may have been represented by the carvings.

The popularity of the moai

Although we are yet to know why the moai were constructed, we can’t deny that their popularity is on the rise. Many of the statues have been re-erected, and the Island now hosts over 5,000 people. The Rapa Nui is a tourism hub, with several hotels and facilities sustaining the industry.

What Are the Moai Statues of Easter Island?


New Discovery Just Changed Our Understanding of The Source of Easter Island's Moai

For hundreds of years, they stood watch in silence: the 'moai', a mysterious league of almost 1,000 carved monolithic statues, erected across the isolated landscape of Easter Island (Rapa Nui).

Just how these towering idols came to be has long fascinated researchers – as have the customs and collapse of the Polynesian society that engineered them – but the symbolic relevance of the figures themselves has never been fully understood.

Now, an international study offers fresh insights into what the moai could have represented to the islanders who toiled to quarry and carve the giant effigies.

Excavation and analysis at the site of two moai in Rano Raraku as part of the study. (Easter Island Statue Project)

Over 90 percent of the moai statues were produced in a quarry called Rano Raraku: a volcanic crater that at its base makes up less than 1 percent of the island's overall area, but nonetheless served as the single source of stone used to make the island's megalithic sculptural objects.

Yet there's more to Rano Raraku than just rock, the researchers say, based on an analysis of soil samples taken in the region.

"When we got the chemistry results back, I did a double take," explains geoarchaeologist Sarah Sherwood from the University of the South in Sewanee, Tennessee.

"There were really high levels of things that I never would have thought would be there, such as calcium and phosphorous. The soil chemistry showed high levels of elements that are key to plant growth and essential for high yields."

According to the research team, the established view of the quarry region is that it was an industrial site used to produce and temporarily store the moai prior to removal and transportation to other locations across the island.

Yet almost 400 of the monoliths remain in the quarry, and some are buried in the soil with support from fortified rock structures that suggest the placement is not temporary. The reason why, the researchers say, could be this uniquely rich soil.

"Everywhere else on the island the soil was being quickly worn out, eroding, being leeched of elements that feed plants," Sherwood says.

"But in the quarry, with its constant new influx of small fragments of the bedrock generated by the quarrying process, there is a perfect feedback system of water, natural fertiliser and nutrients."

In addition to evidence of the soil fertility, the researchers also found traces of ancient crops in the samples, including banana, taro, sweet potato, and paper mulberry.

These are all signs, the researchers think, that in addition to using the quarry for moai production, the Rapa Nui society also utilised the space as a place to grow foods they needed, leveraging the Rano Raraku's rich, tilled soils, which would have produced higher yields with lower labour costs.

"We venture the novel suggestion that based on these data, and on the ritualisation of Rano Raraku and its stone as megalithic resources, Rano Raraku soil/sediment itself was a valuable and protected commodity," the authors explain in their paper.

"Soil could have been transported from Rano Raraku to enrich those areas needing increased productivity."

It's a compelling case, but why were the moai also erected within the crater, amidst the land from which they were themselves produced?

It's long been theorised that the ceremonial purpose of the monoliths was associated with fertility rituals, and the researchers say their fieldwork provides chemistry-based evidence of this link – not to mention the discovery of the carved pits, suggesting the moai were likely erected to stand watch over these verdant gardens indefinitely.

"This study radically alters the idea that all standing statues in Rano Raraku were simply awaiting transport out of the quarry," says archaeologist Jo Anne Van Tilburg from UCLA.

"These and probably other upright moai in Rano Raraku were retained in place to ensure the sacred nature of the quarry itself. The moai were central to the idea of fertility, and in Rapa Nui belief their presence here stimulated agricultural food production."


History of the Moai Easter Island statues

Easter Island is a Polynesian island located in the southeastern Pacific Ocean. A tourist visiting Easter Island can view the Moai. The Moai are monolithic human figures which were carved between 1250 A.D. and 1500 A.D. About half of the Moai are at the main quarry at Rano Raraku.

The Rapa Nui people, a stone age culture, made these statues to represent deceased ancestors. The statues face inland, supposedly gazing across their clan. Later during conflicts they would be cast downward to symbolize the defeat of the Rapa Nui tribe that ended up on the losing side of the conflict.

There were 887 statues carved and moved. This is considered to have been quite a feat. The tallest statue is called Paro and is about 33 feet tall and weighs 75 &ldquotonnes&rdquo which is the same as 75 US tons. The statue of Ahu Tongariki is shorter and squat but weighs in at 86 tons. There is incomplete statue that if finished would have been 69 feet tall and 270 tons.

The characteristic of the statues vary. William Mulloy, an American archaeologist started and investigation into the production, transportation and erection the Moai. He also started a physical restoration in 1960 of some of the statues and in 1974 the ceremonial village at Orongo.

In 1979 a team of archaeologist discovered that the deep elliptical eye sockets were designed to hold coral eyes. Some of the statues have “pukao” on their heads which was topknots and headdresses. These were carved out of a very light rock called red scoria. In the beginning the Moai were polished to be smoothed with pumice but since has eroded.

In 1994 the Moai were includes in a list of UNESCO World Heritage sites. It is a crime to destroy or mutilate any of the statues but in 2008 a Finnish tourist chipped a piece of ear off one of the Moai. The tourist was fined $17,000 in damages and is banned from the island for three years.

Vas should follow me on twitter here.

Last updated by Barb Jungbluth on 28 February, 2011 in Destinations.


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