Who moved the giant monolithic statues of Rapa Nui, a remote island in the South Pacific? And how did they do it? These questions have been at the center of much speculation and debate since Europeans first arrived there on Easter Sunday, 1722, and called it “Easter Island”. The most popular theory was that this remote civilization destroyed itself -- cutting down all the trees to make contraptions for moving statues.
But according to the indigenous people of Rapa Nui, their ancestors didn’t need to cut down any trees to transport the statues. In fact, their oral history has always been clear about how the moai were transported.
This is a story about storytelling: what happens when your community becomes the subject of a global mystery? A parable of human failure and ecological collapse? What’s the true story? And who gets to tell it?
Featuring: Sergio Rapu Haoa, Carl Lipo, Terry Hunt, Sergio Mata’u Rapu, and Gina Pakarati
A profile of Sergio Rapu Haoa for the 2002 Rotary World Peace Scholars program at Berkeley
Eating Up Easter -- a documentary film produced by Sergio Mata’u Rapu, about how the people of Rapa Nui are grappling with environmental and social changes brought on by tourism and economic development.
The NOVA-National Geographic Documentary
A team of 18 volunteers move a 10-foot 5-ton statue for the NOVA-National Geographic documentary, Mystery of Easter Island
A figurine animation demonstrating five different theories of moai-transport through the years.
Mystery of Easter Island -- The NOVA-National Geographic Documentary in its entirety
Lectures by Terry Hunt and Carl Lipo
Reported and produced by Felix Poon
Edited by Taylor Quimby
Executive Producer: Rebecca Lavoie
Mixed by Felix Poon
Additional Editing: Justine Paradis, Jessica Hunt, Rebecca Lavoie, and Erika Janik
Special thanks to Effie Kong, and Daniela Allee for her Spanish and Rapanui voiceovers.
Theme: Breakmaster Cylinder
Additional Music by Blue Dot Sessions
This episode could use a review! Have anything to say about it? Share your thoughts using the button below.Submit Review