What’s Easter got to do with Easter Island?

Why is Easter Island called Easter Island?, I wondered. Has Easter got anything to do with the island at all? I searched on the internet and there it was: Easter Island was discovered 290 years ago by the Dutch explorer Jacob Roggeveen on Easter Sunday 1722.

Easter Island is famous for its statues, known as moai. There are actually 887 of them, forming a line around the island. Not that I’ve done scientific research on it, so I might be completely wrong, but by the way the statues are positioned it seems to me like they are there for protection. As if they are trying to look after the island from outside influences.

Looking at the names of places and stumbling upon some pictures of the island I can’t help but thinking that it all looks familiar to me. I notice a resemblance to Maori things I’ve seen in New Zealand. I search a bit further and find this: Maori cultural history is related to a Polynesian phenomenon. There’s actually a term for it: the Polynesian Triangle, linking Easter Island (A), the Hawaiian Islands (B) and New Zealand (C). Cultures within the Polynesian Triangle share similar languages and cultural traditions.

Easter Island is one of the world’s most isolated inhabited islands. And I guess I will have to see it for myself: the massive statues, the remoteness, everything. Yep, there you have it: from doing a bit of research to another activity on my bucket list.

Happy Easter!

Photo credit: wikipedia.org


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