Easter Island Wrapup and Contents

It’s now been over two months since I returned from Patagonia, Antarctica, the Falklands, Iguazu Falls and Easter Island.  Most of that time I have been writing up Easter Island, which I have now finished.  Having got home I have been processing all images and therefore posting more of them.

Easter Island especially demands explanations to go with the images and I have given quite detailed accounts of many aspects of the history and archaeology of Easter Island.  There have been 24 posts, 150 images and lots of words.

It started out just about photography.  It’s become somewhat more than that, though the images remain central.


One thing I discovered, not in other accounts, was that Easter Island had a two-stage crisis.  First was an ecological crisis that lead to starvation and warfare.  Second and only after European contact, the overthrow of the old religion and the downing of the moai.

I finished up by considering whether the history of Easter Island offers a parable for our times.  I hope many people read this because I believe we all need to understand these issues to help build a consensus for positive change.

Ahu Hanga Kio’e

Below is a list of my special topics.  These are folded into the posts which have quite different names, specific to locations, that may not reflect the content of the special topics.  Further below I also present a list of the titles of the posts and then the sources of my research.

Special Topics

Ahu Te Peu


Note that posts are not necessarily chonological because they are also combined by content.

Easter Island map – click for larger size (so you can read the place names)

You need to click on the map to get it twice as large so you can read the place names.  The maps covers 16 of the 25 place names in the titles of posts.  Of those not covered:

  • Puna Pau is shown as Maunga Vai Ohao,
  • the South Coast is the whole south-east coast,
  • Ahu Vai Teka is just to the West of Ahu Akivi,
  • Ana Kakenga is just near Motu Tautara (which you can see from the cave),
  • Ahu Hange Kio’e is near Punta Cook,
  • Hanga Taharoa is the bay near Mahatua,
  • Hanga Piko is just below the big point at Hanga Roa,
  • Ana Te Pahu is about halfway between Ahu  Akivi and Ahu Te Peu on the South side of the road
  • and Ahu Runga Vae’e is just below Ahu Hanga Te Tenga.

Ahu Tongariki


My discourse on Easter Island reflects what I’ve read, my observations and my analysis. I don’t claim to be a scientist or an archaeologist.  Apart from being a photographer, I am an economic historian (in terms of academic qualifications) who found a career as a systems developer (and I’m now retired).  Here is a list of the books and articles I used:

Easter Island

– Books

– On the Web

Ahu Hanga Poukura


– Books

  • Tim Flannery:  Here on Earth(An Argument for Hope) 2010
    • Confusingly, there seem to be several books with very similar titles.  I suspect that this is publishers’ demand for different markets.  Since this is the Australian version, it is probably the book Flannery intended to write.
  • Tim Flannery:  The Weather Makers (2005)
  • Tim Flannery:  The Future Eaters (1994)
  • Tim Flannery:  The Eternal Frontier (2001)

– On the Web

Ranu Raraku

31 comments on “Easter Island Wrapup and Contents

  1. David Hooper says:

    magic…surreal images…thank you.


  2. Murray Foote says:

    Thanks very much, David


  3. Louise Roy says:

    Wow…great images. I’ll going to Easter Island and Tahiti next november. I’ll read all your posts before leaving. Merci pour ce partage!


    • Murray Foote says:

      Pas de tout! Merci!

      I notice you say in your blog that you have been reading up on Easter Island. I’m currently reading a book that does not appear in the lists above. It is “The Mystery of Easter Island” (1919) by Katherine Routledge, who spent eighteen months on the island in 1914-15 when she was still able to interview Rapanui who had grown up in the classical culture. It is recently back in print.


  4. Richard Soloway says:

    I totally agree with this analysis. We have multiple problems in the modern world but overpopulation and the consequent destruction of resources overshadows the whole future of mankind. Murray, if you were the first person to propose this parallel in microcosm I take my metaphorical akubra off to you:).


  5. Louise Roy says:

    Thanks Murray about “The Mystery of Easter Island”.


  6. Murray Foote says:

    Hi Louise. Yes, it’s a compelling book. It’s fascinating to read the insights of someone who was able to talk to some of the last survivors of the traditional society.


  7. Louise Roy says:

    Hello Murray! How are you doing? I got some questions for you… can I? I would like your opinion about which islands to absolutely visit in Polynésie françaises. I have an aunt (a nun living in a monastery) in Panaauina, near Papeete, where I will stay for 4-5 nights. I also want to visit Moorea Island and Huahine Island, as I told to my aunt. She get back to me with an offer of one of her relative in Moorea. She offers me accomodation and to show me all the secrets of Moorea and she says after visiting Moorea that way, no need to visit the others islands, I will know everything about Polynesia…

    I haven’t read all your articles yet, but I would like your opinion about her point of view.


  8. Murray Foote says:

    Hello Louise! I’m going well.

    Your aunt could well be right. After all I only spent one day in Tahiti and one in Moorea. Your priorities may well be different from mine so you may make different choices. Since you ask, though, this is what my attitude would be:

    I’m sure she will provide a wonderful time for you in Tahiti and Moorea. That leaves consideration of the Leeward Islands. The Leeward Islands in historical times were quite different from Tahiti and Moorea. They were more fragile and much more susceptible to environmental degradation and population pressures. Consequently, Tahiti and Moorea were sometimes invaded from islands in the Leeward Group. The political and cultural centre was not Tahiti but Raiatea.

    Particularly since you’re going to Huahine, I would be inclined to also visit Raiatea and Bora Bora, which are fairly close by. Marae Taputapuatea on Raiatea has to be worth visiting. Everything is expensive but it’s much better if you’re not rushed. I would suspect that the Leeward Islands, smaller and more remote, would be less tourist-centred or at least more Polynesian and laid back. I would be interested to get to know the Polynesian locals if possible and talk to them about their lifestyle, history, culture and politics. So it would be good to get away from the tourist hotels at least some of the time and stay in a local village. If you have the time, I think at least a full day on each island would be good so you can see the sunrise and sunset.

    I can’t pretend to be very knowledgable on this, though. You may well find someone else with different and more detailed advice.

    I’ll be interested to hear on how your trip goes.


  9. Louise Roy says:

    Thanks Murray! You’re are very kind. Susbscribe to my blog and I promise you to write few words in English just for you when I’ll be at Easter Island! By the way, do you authorize me to use your island map? It’s the best I’ve seen so far.

    Warm regards,


  10. Murray Foote says:

    OK, subscribed! There’s no copyright on the map from me anyway. I just found it on the web from a Government or academic site where I inferred it would be OK for me to use it.


  11. Superb images, Murray! Easter Island is such an intriguing destination. Your lovely photography just adds to its mystique. Makes me want to visit there even more!


  12. Amazing photos and an amazing place to be able to visit.


  13. paul says:

    Very interesting story…thank you for sharing and liking my post. Cheers…


  14. […] A gorgeous shot of Rapa Nui (Easter Island) by fellow WordPress blogger Murray Foote. […]


  15. Lois says:

    Thanks for including a map… it is always so infuriating when reading about something and not being able to see how different places connect or relate. Thanks too for the book list and other links… I think I’m going to be busy!


    • Murray Foote says:

      I’ve just added Katherine Routledge “The Mysteries of Easter Island” (1919) to the book list; previously it was only in the comments.


      • Lois says:

        I’m really fascinated in this now, Murray, you have awakened my dormant interest and I’m looking forward to reading your posts and looking at your photos then following up your links and book list.


  16. […] For a more careful account of these issues see Easter Island – A Parable for Our Times?, especially if you think anything I said above was overstated or inaccurate.  My bibliography for that account is at Easter Island – Wrapup and Contents. […]


  17. […] where all the trees and peoploe have gone.  I have many posts on Easter Island and this is on the Wrapup and Contents page.  More interesting, though is Easter Island – a Parable for our times? which also has a […]


  18. […] Wrapup and Contents (6 mono images) […]


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s