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THE RAPANUI PEOPLE
Rapa Nui
(Pablo Neruda)


"TEPITO-TE-HENÚA, ombligo del mar grande,
taller del mar, extinguida diadema.
De tu lava escorial subió la frente
del hombre más arriba del Océano,
los ojos agrietados de la piedra
midieron el ciclónico universo,
y fue central la mano que elevaba
la pura magnitud de tus estatuasÂ…

Â…Tu roca religiosa fue cortada
hacia todas las líneas del Océano
y los rostros del hombre aparecieron
surgiendo de la entraña de las islas,
naciendo de los cráteres vacíos
con los pies enredados al silencio."


The Polynesic Island-Nation of Rapa Nui does persist on the homonymous Island, which is also know as the Easter Island, about 3.000 km from the Pacific coast of continental Chile. It is estimated that the origin of this nation dates back to the 5th century according to our calculation of time. As per the islands´ oral records King Hotu Matu´a disembarked with over 100 people from the closer Polynesic Islands and created the first Rapa Nui settlement.

The Rapa Nui culture developed a unique system of believes and created the monumental Moai figures, which do not exist in any other part of the world. One of the most important ceremonies of the Rapa Nui was for a long time the selection of the spearhead of the community. Every year young representatives of the family clans competed to get the first egg of the Easter Island-swallow, also called Manutara. The first person to get the egg from the close by Motu-Isles was nominated the new Tangata Manu, the reincarnation of the god Make Make. In the following year the winner and his clan had rights on economic, political and religious privileges.

In 1722 the Dutch navigator Jacob Roggeveen was the first European to visit the island. In the following the island was regularly visited by whale hunter who used the place to refill provision and for commercial reasons. In 1888 the Ariki (meaning King in Rapa Nui) Atamu Tekena and the marine captain Policarpo Toro had an agreement on the incorporation of the island to the Chilean territory. The traditional language of the Rapa Nui people is the Vananga. Nowadays all Rapa Nui do speak Vananga and Spanish. 

   


TOURISM PROGRAM

AUTHENTIC EASTER ISLAND (6 Days / 5 Nights)

This unique culture-program will offer us a very personal insight view into the history, traditions and believes of the Rapa Nui people on the Easter Island. The Tuki family, one of the oldest and most important families on the Island, will not only show us the archeological sites but they also allow us to take part in their daily life. We will experience close by the authentic way to celebrate their ceremonies. We will learn the preparation of delicious dishes and will be kidnapped to the Polynesian world of the last century.


Day 1 - EASTER ISLAND

Arrival on the Easter Island, where we will be welcomed on the traditional way with a flower-lei and receive an introduction into the costums and traditions of the ethnic group on the island by our tour guide. When we get to the Hotel we will enjoy a welcome drink with our host-family Tuki, who will give us some hints how to behave responsibly on the island towards the culture of our local environment. 
We will have the afternoon for free, in order to recover from the long flight and to get to know the city of Hanga Roa.

Accommodation in Hotel Cabañas Mahia.


Day 2 - AHU AKAHANGA, TONGARIKI & CURANTO RAPA NUI
(Breakfast and dinner) 

In the morning we will depart for a half day tour to the most important groups of the famous Moai-figures. First of all we will visit the Ahu Akahanga, approximately 13 km from Hanga Roa on the southcoast of the island. This ceremonial center is a holy place for the Rapa Nui people, where according to their believes the first settler and king of this Polynesian island Ariki Hotu a Matu´a, is buried.
Afterwards we will continue to Rano Raraku, a territory which was once selected to create the majority of the tremendous Moai. We will continue along the North coast to Ahu Tongariki, the most important ceremonial site of the Easter Island, where we will find 15 figures. The highest one has 14 meters including his Pukao (Hair dress). 
Our excursion ends at the periphery of Hanga Roa, the capital, where we will prepare a traditional Rapa Nui- Curanto together with the Tuki Family. Nowadays the Curanto is a typical food on the Island of Chiloe, too. This supports the theory that there was an early settlement on Chiloe from the Polynesian islands. After having prepared the work intensive food we will enjoy this wonderful dish, and celebrate a small ceremony for success on our following travel days. 

Accommodation in Hotel Cabañas Mahia.


Day 3 - AHU AKIVI, ANAKENA BEACH & POLYNESIC CUSTOMS 
(Breakfast and lunch)

Today´s excursion will lead us to Puna Pau a crater of red bed ash, approximately 15 km from Hanga Roa. The red Stone is the material used to fabricate the "Pukao", the hairstyle of the Moai figures. 
From Puna Pau we will continue to Ahu Akivi – the only seven Moai which show into direction of the sea and according to the records representing the first seven scouts who arrived on the island. They where sent by the King Hotu Matu´a to the Easter Island before his own travel. Afterwards we will visit the famous beach of Anakena, famous for its warm turquoise waters and the coral sand. 
In continuation we will visit the area of Poike near Rano Raraku volcano. Here we will find the caves of Hanga Tu Hata and start the most interesting and extraordinary part of our day program: From the coast we will collect mussels and catch fish in the way the Rapa Nui did since centuries in this place. Together with members of the Tuki Family we will prepare our catch afterward on the traditional Polynesian way, roasted on fire which is covered with stones. Together we will enjoy the food we hunted and prepared by ourselves. 

Accommodation in the Hotel Cabañas Mahia.


Day 4 - DAY 4 VINAPU & ORONGO
(Breakfast) 

In the morning we depart for the exploration of the archeological sites Vinapu, Ana Kai Tangata and Orongo. Vinapu is located about 5 m from Hanga Roa on the southwest coast and concludes three Ahus. Here where honored the ancestors of the island families. We will have sufficient time to examine these Ahus in detail which have been built with a special technique, similar to the Inca-Constructions in Peru. 
Our tour continues to the Ana Kai Tangata Caves, on the cliffs, south of Hanga Roa, near the village of Mataveri. Here we will find the wall paintings of Manutara, a sea swallow, whose egg represents the center of the yearly traditional competition of the Rapa Nui. This competition is realized at the border of the holy village of Orongo, which we will visit afterwards.

Accommodation in Hotel Cabañas Mahia.


Day 5 - TEREVEKA & TRADTIONAL DANCES 
(Breakfast and dinner) 

Today we will get onto the top of the Ma-unga Terevaka Volcano, which is the highest point on the island with 512 meters. If desired there will be provided horses for this excursion. From here we have a 360° round view on the biggest ocean on the planet. On the horizon we can clearly recognize the curvature of the earth. 
During the afternoon we will have free time. 

To end a day full of new experiences, our host family will prepare a farewell dinner. On the traditional manner there will be served recently yielded fruits, besides other delicious local dishes and products. As usual during family-visits and according to their traditions there will be presented rhythmic Rapa Nui dances and music. 
In the end our hosts will hand over to us a handmade present as a souvenir and for the farewell.

Accommodation in Hotel Cabañas Mahia.


Day 6 - EASTER ISLAND – SANTIAGO/TAHITI 
(Breakfast) 

Transfer to the airport. As the last goodbye we will receive the traditional necklaces, made by ourselves with small mussels. We leave the island to Santiago or Tahiti. 
 

 

 
         
         
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