Just what is the Connection between Easter and Easter Island?

johnnydodStarred Page By johnnydod, 20th Jul 2010 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL http://nut.bz/1toxw5zw/
Posted in Wikinut>Travel>Oceania>Easter Island>Hanga Roa & Around

Is there a connection between Easter and Easter Island, and if so what is it?

The Mystery Unravels

Just what is the connection between Easter and an island 2,000 miles from Tahiti and Chile in one of the most isolated places on earth? This chunk of volcanic rock in the South Pacific, which the local Polynesians call "Rapa Nui" or "Big Rapa"

Big Rapa was renamed Easter Island by the first European to land on the island, a Dutch explorer called Admiral Jacob Roggeveen, he landed on the island on Easter Sunday 1722 he was actually looking for another island call David’s island, but when he realized it wasn’t David’s island he named it Paasch-Eyland which is 18th century Dutch for "Easter Island" The island is now Spanish its name Isla de Pascua, also means "Easter Island".

Just 15 miles long and 7 miles wide

When the island was first discovered it was lush with palm forests, but over time the population grew to a peak of more than 10,000 and for an Island of only 163.6 km2 that’s about 15 miles long and 7 miles wide, that’s a lot of people, the lush forests had to be cleared for agriculture to feed the now very overpopulated island, the massive stone Moai’s had to be moved as well, this once beautiful Polynesian island became an ecological disaster.

Easter Island is famous for its 887 giant stone monoliths littered all over the Island and there is much curiosity and speculation surrounding them.

Where did they come from, how and why were they carved, and for what purpose?

Radiocarbon has dated settlements on the island to somewhere between 700 to 1,100 AD

Eventually the growing population began to declined into bloody civil war lessened the population even more, the once thriving islanders took up cannibalism and all the Moais around the coastline were pulled down by the islanders, the island became a shall of its former self.

The statues were eventually re-erected by modern day archaeologists

Western "civilization” proved to be even more disastrous for the island population slavery and disease cut the population to around 110 at the turn of the century.
The Island was annexed by Chile in 1888 as it population grew to 2,000 and although the population is now made up of quite a wide diverse group, the original Polynesian identity is still very strong.

Helping kidney transplants

Apart from the mysterious statues the island is also famed for the immunosuppressant drug sirolimus, the bacterium Streptomyces hygroscopicus was found in a soil sample from Easter Island, this drug is used to prevent rejection in organ transplantation and it is especially useful in kidney transplants.

So there you have it, the connection between Easter and Easter Island is the date of its discovery. But the magic of the Moai still remains.
The Norwegian Thor Heyerdahl proposed that the people who built the statues were Peruvian, some say the Island is part of a lost continent while other wonder if there is an extra-terrestrial influence
Easter Island is one of the most unique places on earth; the once cannibalistic people are now some of the friendliest people you will ever come across.

Tags

Big Rapa, Cannibals, Civil War, Davids Island, Easter, Island, Kidney Transplants, Roggeveen, South Pacific

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Writers write while dreamers procrastinate.

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