Well if you ever wondered why Easter Island got it’s name? Well just looking at the picture above, well it’s pretty obvious isn’t it.
Yes of course it’s a joke, got to have some humour in the blog every now and then haven’t we.
But on a more serious note, Easter Island was actually named by the first European visitor to the island, a Dutch explorer named Jacob Roggeveen, who discovered the remote island on 5th April 1722, which happened to be Easter Sunday.
Easter Island, or Rapa Nui to it’s indigenous inhabitants, has been settled for many centuries, but nobody really knows for sure whether this was around 800AD or even 1200AD.
By the time the Europeans landed on the island, the native population was only around 2,000 to 3,000 and due to slave raiders from Peru, emigration to other islands and also disease, by 1877 the population had shrunk to only 111 people.
Without writing, the inhabitants had passed their history down by word of mouth over the centuries, much of the island’s history has sadly been lost in the sands of time.
So sadly, nobody really knows the history behind what Easter Island’s is best known for, it’s massive stone heads, known as Moai, of which a total of 887 have so far been discovered. Only recently has it been discovered that many of these are more than just heads, they have torsos as well, but these were buried, possibly intentionally or maybe by the passing of time.
The story of Easter Island is a fascinating one an despite having a desire to go and see these spectacular figures, maybe it’s a good thing that the island is so remote, to help preserve them for future generations.
Easter Island currently belongs to Chile and was designated Rapa Nui National Park in 1995.
If you would like to learn more about Easter Island, below are a few good resources: