A Historical Ethnography by Sebastiaan Roeling
About the book
"Anyone who wants to know something about this intreguing island is at the right place!" -Biblion-
The Resilience of Easter Island gives a large but clear amount of information about the entire natural and cultural history of one of the most fascinating but isolated islands in the world. It starts with a description on how the island was created by force of nature and how the first plants and animals found their way to the island followed by a detailed description on how the Polynesians were able to colonize Easter Island and what influence their culture eventually had on their environment. Roeling describes his theory on the true cause of deforestation on Easter Island: firewood.
A description of the first European visitors is followed by a very extensive chapter on Rapa Nui culture with topics like appearance, family life, agriculture, festivities, rongorongo script, cannibalism and much more. Roeling also explores the truth about the allegation that the Rapa Nui were all thieves and prostitutes. The descriptions about Rapa Nui characteristics in the ship log's of the first European visitors give a complete new view on how we should interpret these Rapa Nui values. This chapter also explores the truth on the statement that the Rapa Nui initiated their own collapse, which is claimed by authors like Jarred Diamond.
When writing about Easter Island, one cannot pass by the megalithic statues of the moaicult and the later developed birdmancult. Both of these cults are described extensively in Chapter 4 followed by Rapa Nui mythology and religion. The final chapter describes the real downfall of Easter Island, caused by the Peruvian slave traders during the 1860s.
The Resilience of Easter Island is available as hardcover or e-book.