reached #4 Easter Island 

[2014.04.14 | Chile | one comment]

Preface: in some coding languages, a $ sign as first letter marks a variable. For easier understanding you usually name a variable with a word that gives you an idea of the variable content. $name probably means a random Name, maybe Stefan or Henry.


On the list of crazy things man invents in his - on crazy things extremely rich - history, "Moai" expected to be near the top. Almost 900 of these stone statues stand and lie around on Rapa Nui. Size: colossal, purpose: unknown. On top to that a still not decrypted written language, a bunch of ominous art and ritual objects, some vague descend customs and rites, all you need for a proper mystical civilization. That this civilization disappeared quite suddenly fits the topic perfectly.

Some facts: Rapa Nui - also known as Easter Island - with 160 km² as big as Liechtenstein or Disney World / Florida, 24km long and 13km wide, located in mid Pacific. 3500 km to the Chilean mainland, 2000 km to the next inhabited island, 5800 residents, subtropical climate, barren landscape. So far, so boring. But there are these impressive Moai. The "Jon DoeMoai" is on average 4 m tall and 12 tons heavy, the highest ever erected is near 10 m, an unfinished one even 21 m. Carved out of solid rock without metal tools, often moved for kilometers across the island, some are even got a heavy red stone "hat".

 

There are only speculations about the Who and Why. Relevant experts have different opinions, locals tell strange legends and you can yarn your own story while sitting in the shade of a Moai, watching the sunset. The (currently) preferred opinion's been a settlement sometime in the 5th century from West. Whether this was done by a group of heroic explorers, visionary artist, useless telephone sanitizer, nasty pirates and / or religious fanatics, no one can say for sure. Probably the nasty pirates unauthorized reproduced or distributed copyrighted stone statues, where investigated by the FBI and punished with lifetime exile. So the guilty ones where thrown into some canoes with course towards west. They had some space left, so they packed the lazy telephone sanitizers and the religious fanatics also into the canoes. Against all odds, the mob survived the trip, landed on a lonely island and named it Easter Island Rapa Nui. Here in the land of the free, home of the brave, the pirates where able to carve their statues warning letter free, the fanatics enjoying free speech even for their hate preaching, and due to the lack of phones, the telephone sanitizers are laying lazy around the beach all day long. Eventually they get hungry, but there is no one who cares about the food. A proper fanatic tends to be lazy but imaginative, so they explain the telephone sanitizers that the pirates are carving the status because of $imprtantReason, a $bigDisaster threats if the statues are not $keyFeature and if you work dutifully until death, a $unbelievableReward is waiting for them in the afterlife, all others will get $cruelPunishment. Who's not helping is promptly blamed for a recent $misfortune (logical, he has angered $god) and to motivate all others he will publicly $heavyPunishment. The sanitizers are now highly motivated working on the logistical support of the stone carvers and fanatics. This is working great for the next few hundred years, the statues are getting larger, more beautiful and powerful, the fanatics wear wonderful hats, invent funny dances and carve elaborate cult objects, the telephone sanitizers are turning slowly into professional agricultural economists and even colonize the barren inland. In between they fight a little bit about who owns the best / coolest / biggest stone sculpture, splits into a few clans, build alliances and breaks them, steals cult objects / food / women from the others, they just behave as you can expect from a decent high culture of that time. And as the high cultures have to be, one strives on higher and higher. Obvious, the new stone sculptures may under no circumstances less $keyFeature as the ones before. The small island only provides limited resources and so unsurprisingly at one point they start to secure trade routes and stone sources. From about 1500, the local defense industry develops high-tech spears withs sharp obsidian blades, raids and wars increase and the fanatics raise the crowds hard. Just imagine if the crowd would figure out that the $importantReason for carving the sculptures has nothing to do with $bigDisaster, also the $unbelievableReward in the afterlife is maybe nonsense and the whole thing seems just to serve the fanatics to live an easy and fun live. In fact, most would prefer to sanitize phones and hit the beach right after work (phones are not yet invented, so beach for the whole day) instead of work like a dog for vague promises. Time has come in the mid 17th century: the stone workers union calls for a general strike, the statue production stops, the exploited agricultural economists are waiting far too long for a reason to start a revolution and the fanatics lose most of their credibility as $bigDisaster fails to appear even as the statue productions has stopped. Their worldview erodes even more when the first European tourists stops by. There are reports from 1722 about intact ceremonial platforms and erected statues, just 50 years later (the next European visit) the facilities are abandoned, the Moai are overturned, the worldview of the fanatics finally bursts. What follows is the reasonably well documented (and as usual poorly processed) classic rape of an indigenous tribe by European "explorers" with all its disgusting cruelties and brutal savageness.

 

February 2014. During the first two weeks of the month, the most important festival - the Tapati Festival - takes place on Rapa Nui. A wild mix of sport competitions and modern entertainment, historic preservation and touristic attraction, traditional rites and put-on customs. At noon the gods propitiated with an archaic ritual including a chicken (what else?), just to race down a quite steep hill on banana trunks right afterwards, in the evening men with shirt and feather headdress playing accordion. There are competitions in spear throwing, swimming, paddling, face painting and dancing. Poorly insincere from time to time but mostly wonderful honest and sometimes with pleasent consideration to the present tourist, myself included. On addition the impressive ceremony facilities, the many small and large cultic sites, this very small island with its very large culture. During the whole time on the island I feel like a child, constantly discover new, understand everything and realize nothing.

 

Henry says: "Yeah, this Island is quiet impressive! We don't have figures like this back home in Sweden. At all, there where no Elk girls, but I met a very sweet and open minded ladybug. We discovered the island together, Stefan was distracted by filming and photographing all the time, sunrise here, sunset there, full moon over there... Oh dear was he stressed..."

 

eher übersichtlich nicht viel zu sehen die klassische Osterinsel Ein Wheinachtsbaum Speerwerfen Schilfboardpaddeln Rennstrecke die gesamte Insel Hühnchen Opfern selbstgebaut einer der Rennfahrer alle helfen mit bis zu 80km/h stolz präsentiert Abends wird getanzt und musiziert breit gegrinst die Hüften geschwungen und alte Rituale nachgespielt herrliche Bunte schlechtes Wetter zwischendurch dafür haben Blumen Ausflug unter Wasser der alte Mann große Parade mit Kind und Kegel ob ganz jung oder schon etwas älter schwer engagiert oder eher gechillt einheimisch oder Tourist mit den Kumpels oder allein hoch oben auf dem Wagen... Erkundung auf dem Rad Nachts am Friedhof Abends am Strand Nachts am Strand Apropos Palmen Freut den Esotheriker Bilder im Fels Bilder auf Fels Bilder im Fels Höhlenforschen manchmal steht manchmal wächst die berühmten Steinfiguren diese Moai An der Produktionsstätte Abtransport der größte Moai fast wie Gartenzwerge seltenes Exemplar Mit Vollmondpircing, 6 Moais Hutmacherei Tongariki beeindruckend groß ganz besonderer Moment oder dahinter und langsam die Sterne

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