The Rapa Nui Ecosystem

explanatory Essay
1266 words
1266 words

A millennium ago, sometime between 700 A.D to 1110 A.D, a group of about 40 Polynesian colonists left their homes and came to Rapa Nui (later to be renamed Easter Island). It is located 2,300 miles of the coast of Chile. The colonists did not have a clue what they were going to find on this new island, bad or good. They had been at open sea for weeks in open canoes. What they found and how they approached their new environment defined their way of life. Several factors contributed to the fate of the Rapa Nui population including the ecosystem, the creation of the Maoi, and the closeness to other South American islands.
Rapa Nui’s ecosystem was somewhat strange. Before, when there was no human settlement, there were no large or small mammals on Rapa Nui. The only animals they had were insects and at least one species of lizard. When settlers came to Rapa Nui, they brought with them the Polynesian rat. Sometimes they would eat the rats because they reproduced rapidly. When the settlers arrived at Rapa Nui, it was heavily forested by giant species of palm trees. There were about sixteen species of palm trees and woody shrubs. Unfortunately, the island was very small so the natural resources that they needed for survival were very limited.
The Rapa Nui started creating huge statues and they named them Moai. At the moment, more than eight hundred and eighty seven Moai are known. Historians don’t know how many Moai the Rapa Nui people originally created. Historians don’t know one hundred percent why the Rapa Nui people created the Moai but there are different theories. One theory that exists is that the Moai are totems that channeled the energy of the world in an effort to honor the Rapa Nui’s ancestors. Another theory suggests the Mo...

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...h the current struggles the island faces to thrive.
As you have read in this paper, the Moai were very important statues. They were the center of things on Easter Island. The Rapa Nui people did everything around them. Now we have seen what has happened on Easter Island due to their obsession with the Moai. The ecosystem has affected the fate of the Rapa Nui people. Easter Island is so small and the Rapa Nui used all of their needed resources too fast which resulted in a rebellion. The fascinating statues were built by the Rapa Nui. The islanders had a horrible past resulting in cannibalism, slavery, and rebellion. They have gone through similar things that other people have gone through. I think that the history behind Easter Island is so fascinating. And that the Moai themselves are amazing statues, and I would love to go to Easter Island one day in my life.

In this essay, the author

  • Describes how a group of polynesian colonists left their homes and came to rapa nui (later to be renamed easter island), 2,300 miles of the coast of chile.
  • Explains that rapa nui's ecosystem was strange. before there was no human settlement, there were no large or small mammals on the island.
  • Explains that the rapa nui started creating huge statues and they named them moai. historians don't know one hundred percent why, but there are different theories.
  • Explains that archaeologist jo anne van tilburg studied the statues for many years. she believes they were created to honor paramount chiefs and not individual portrait sculpture.
  • Explains that each moai is a human figure from head to abdomen. they can weigh up to eighty pounds, but most are about fourteen pounds.
  • Explains that the moai started to get badly damaged over time. the volcanic stone that was used to build them is prone to weathering.
  • Explains that on rapa nui, there was a special group of priest called ivi atua. they would conduct big funeral ceremonies in front of the moai.
  • Explains that the moai started moving from one side of the island to the other. many people believe that they walked themselves because many oral traditions say so.
  • Explains that rano raraku quarry is home to about 400 statues which are in all stages of completion. rapa nui ancient inhabitants left the quarry in fascinating condition.
  • Describes how the rapa nui people began to cut down trees and island topsoil washed away, which led to their crops failing. they were stuck on easter island with no food and no way to leave.
  • Explains that admiral roggeveen and other europeans came upon rapa nui in 1722 and changed the name to easter island.
  • Explains that in 1862, new ships arrived on easter island and peruvians invaded the island to capture the men and women to be sold as slaves.
  • Explains that the moai captured the imagination of countless explorers. rival clans toppled most of them, by the 19th century.
  • Explains that easter island is a national park and the weather is pleasant year-round. the rapi nui thrived for about six hundred years.
  • Explains that the moai define the rise and fall of rapa nui and their obsession continues today.
  • Opines that the rapa nui's obsession with the moai has affected their fate on easter island. the islanders had a horrible past resulting in cannibalism, slavery, and rebellion.
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