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CE0Y/DK5VP CE0Y/DL8LR Easter Island

Joachim, DK5VP and Frank, DL8LR will be active from Easter Island 11 - 18 October 2014 as CE0Y/DK5VP and CE0Y/DL8LR.
They will be active on 40-6m.
QSL via home calls.

Easter Island: An Island Covered in Mystery

Eastern Island is a Polynesian Island situated in the southeastern Pacific Ocean and it is one of the most remote inhabited islands worldwide. This Island is mainly famous for its monumental statues, which are called moai and have been created by Rapa Nui people. There are many stories and mythology that are related to the island, as well as plenty of controversies, all of which were born due to the existence of those 887 extant statues. In 1995, Eastern Island was named by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. Although there were many scientific researches trying to solve out the mysteries coving Easter Island and especially its moai statues, it is still not known the exact meaning of them and there are still many question marks regarding the disappearance of the Rapa Nui people from this Island.

The Interesting Culture, Religion and Medicine

It is a known fact that the moai statues are very famous and they are also probably the main thing that made Easter Island so popular and visited. However, the moai statues are not the only interesting thing related to this Island, since an overlook upon the religious beliefs, the practices, ceremonies, culture and medicine would prove.

In the traditional times, there are minimum ninety different Gods and Spirits, all of which had their names. They were divided into two categories, which were:

  • High Gods – a category that included the Creator God, the Superior God and the Rain God
  • Lesser Gods – this category included Gods who had more limited powers, as well as ancestor spirits, nature spirits and even demons

In the past, priests could be either men or women and they were chosen from the noble class. There are not too many things known about what their role and status was, but it is known that the priests acted as healers and they were also able to communicate with the supernatural world, which was done through a possession trance. It is also believed that they could place curses. The traditional belief was replaced by Roman Catholicism.

Ceremonies used to take place on the Easter Island and they were meant to bring rain, ensure a rich harvest, sanctify new houses and also mark major life-cycle events. Some of the most important ceremonies that are known to have been held include the annual feast of the bird cult and the feast of the Bird-Man.

As in what regards arts on the island, it is known that arts were especially centered on stone-working and carving. This is especially proven by the existence of 600 large carved stone statues, which are mounted on stone platforms that are called ahu. It is generally believed that these statues represent portraits of ancestors and chiefs. Additionally to these finished statues, there are also around 150 unfinished ones.

Despite the fact that nowadays, Western medicine is used on Easter Island, as it is provided by Chile, in the past, healing was done by priests, who used several practices such as massage, steaming, binding, pharmacopoeia and also contact with different spirits.

Facts, Mysteries and Theories

As you already know, Easter Island is especially famous for its moai statues, which constitute a real point of interest not only for tourists who get to the island, but also – or especially – to scientists, who have tried over the years to determine the importance, use, meaning of these statues, as well as any other thing related to them. Although they constitute the main attraction of the Island, there are still many things unknown about them and these things have given birth too many mysteries and controversies, as people started to make their own ideas regarding the creation and existence of these mysterious statues. Nearly all of the moai statues were carved from the hard stone that comes from RanoRaraku volcano. Also, approximately 600 such statues, in different stages of completion, are scattered across the island. On average, the moai statues measure 14 feet, 6 inches tall and weigh 14 tons, but there are also moai statues that are 33 feet large and weigh over 80 tons. On some of the moai statues, it can be observed that in the past, they used to be capped with some sort of hats or crowns, which were made of red volcanic stone. However, no one has succeeded in understanding or finding out what they represented or what their purpose actually was.

Regardless of how much scholars have tried over the time to understand what was the moai statues’ meaning and use, they never succeeded. It is though believed that these statues were probably used for religious purposes. In Polynesian religions, it was believed that carved stone and wooden objects had magical spiritual essence, which they used to call mana. For this, archaeologists believe that it is very possible that moai statues were actually built for this purpose.

Famous yet not too visited

Although Easter Island is probably one of the most famous locations on the Earth, the tourism here is not as high as it would be expected. Still, visitors come to see the statues, as well as other attractions of this island and they are welcome by a wonderful volcanic Island which is capable to take its visitors into a magical adventure that they will never forget. Tourists who wish to explore this beautiful and interesting Island that is covered in mystery can easily do so, since there are many travel agencies that offer their packages and tours for those interested. There can be also found plenty of accommodation on the Island, as well as places where you can eat and drink. Despite the fact that many consider Easter Island as being interesting only for its moai statues, this is far from being true, since the island also offers other interesting attractions and plenty of activities that can be done during the time spent there.

Additionally to the moai statues, visitors can also enjoy sightseeing the caves, archaeological sites, volcanoes and beaches. Alongside with visiting the main attractions, tourists are also welcome to enjoy their stay while doing scuba diving, surfing, horseback riding and many other activities that are available on the Easter Island.

Video Easter Island