Sunday, October 4, 2009

big heads

It is always a little strange to finally find yourself somewhere you have long thought about going to but never really suspected would actually happen.

I think I first saw the giant heads of Easter Island on a Doco when I was around 8 to 10 years old. They intrigued me then as they do now.

On arrival, I was fortunate to meet a French couple and an Irish lass at my hostel, and we teamed up to rent a car for the day.

Being a small island, we were able to cover all the major sculptural sights quite easily in about 8 hours. We were blessed with excellent weather, especially as during the prior 7 days it had rained almost non-stop.

I also made friends with a lovely group of 9 paediatric doctors and nurses from Santiago who kept me entertained during the evenings around the hostel kitchen table.

I celebrated my birthday here - and had a rousing rendition of Happy Birthday (in Spanish) over breakfast from all present.

The current view on the reason for the existence of the statues on Easter Island is that they represent authority figures such as tribal chiefs; and the continued construction of these massive figures over many hundreds of years led to the deforestation and complete destruction of the islands ecology.

This lead to soil erosion, loss of crops, and the inability to make new canoes to go fishing as there were no more trees.

Having had three days on the island, I think the real reason for the statues existence is that prior to the invention of bingo and karaoke - the islanders made them out of sheer and utter boredom.


small group

large group from afar

large group

by the sea

my favourites - they look quite surly

some are quite tall

these look like they are being engulfed by the grass

playing with the Doctors and Nurses

1 comment:

Ginny said...

Happy Birthday for the other day, nice to be remembered in spanish (same tune? evidence of trade?) in an exotic locale. You don't think those heads were a prediction of a new messiah, Malcolm Frazer, who failed like the civilization and the prophesy?