Lessons from Rapa Nui (Easter Island)

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cassowary
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Lessons from Rapa Nui (Easter Island)

Post by cassowary » Sat Jun 02, 2018 3:17 pm

Behind are the Moais of Easter Island.jpg
Behind are the Moais of Easter Island.jpg (160.53 KiB) Viewed 17300 times
The first lesson is not to underestimate primitive people. How did they drag as much as 82 tons of carved rock 12 miles to the seashore? This still remains a mystery. According to local folklore, the moais walked. This is not as ridiculous as it sounds. An archeologist and his team managed to make a moai "walk" 50 feet.



But I find it difficult to believe that they made them walk 12 miles in rough terrain without an accident. I think they were transported horizontally not vertically. They were probably dragged on their backs over wooden skids and erected at the final site by the sea.

The second lesson is to take care of the environment. When the Rapa Nui people first came, the island was heavily forested. But when the Europeans came, the island had no more trees. The people only had two old canoes left to catch fish. What happened?

The trees were chopped down to make space for farms. The palm trees were also cut down to make skids to move the rollers. Also, the rats brought in by the settlers hate a devastating effect on the trees. Without trees to nest, few birds came to the island.

Overcrowding and food shortages led to tribal wars and cannibalism.

Lesson 3 is that almost any sort of political system can have legitimacy. You have heard of 'democracy' of course. the Islanders had what I call an 'eggocracy' to keep the peace. Once a year, they will hold a race to decide who is to be king for a yaer. Each tribal chieftain or his representative will climb down a cliff, swim through shark infested waters to a nearby island, called Moto Nui. There they will find the egg of the tern and bring it back.

The winner will be the "birdman" or king for one year. You don't need democracy. As long as the people abide by the result, you have a legitimate government. It beats violence to decide who is to be king.

Jim the Moron
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Re: Lessons from Rapa Nui (Easter Island)

Post by Jim the Moron » Sun Jun 03, 2018 4:56 am

Kinda reminds me of your discussion with Doc re Stonehenge . . .

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cassowary
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Re: Lessons from Rapa Nui (Easter Island)

Post by cassowary » Sun Jun 03, 2018 8:18 pm

Jim the Moron wrote:
Sun Jun 03, 2018 4:56 am
Kinda reminds me of your discussion with Doc re Stonehenge . . .
Yes. I think knowledge has been lost. Sometimes, the ancients know things we don't know.

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cassowary
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Re: Lessons from Rapa Nui (Easter Island)

Post by cassowary » Sun Jun 03, 2018 8:37 pm

An interesting legend about Easter Island was about the "long ears" and the "short ears".

The long ears are known as the Hanau Epe.

Image

There was a civil war and the long ears were wiped out by the short ears.

There are at three versions of the story, one of which will appeal to the left and one to the right.

Some believe that both groups arrived on Rapa Nui on the same boats. But the long ears were the elite while the short ears were the workers. The short ears were made to work on the moais. The short ears were oppressed and rose up against the long ears.

This story has Marxist overtones.

The second version of the story is that the long ears arrived first. They came from Peru and were Incan. With their advanced civilization, they had the skills to build the moais. Indeed, I noticed some stonework there that reminded me of the work done in South America.

Image
Statue from Lake Titicaca.

My Opinion: I think this theory is probably correct. Thor Heyerdahl proved that it was possible for ancient Incans to have made the journey.


This version of the story has it that after the land was settled by Incans, Polynesians from the West came. They were allowed to stay. Things went well at first and both groups lived in harmony. The long ears were more advanced but the short ears were more prolific After a while, the more prolific Polynesians outnumbered the long ears.

This story will serve as a cautionary tale of those who want to warn against the Muslim migration to the west.

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Re: Lessons from Rapa Nui (Easter Island)

Post by SteveFoerster » Tue Jun 05, 2018 8:35 am

cassowary wrote:
Sun Jun 03, 2018 8:37 pm
This story will serve as a cautionary tale of those who want to warn against the Muslim migration to the west.
A story about an unproven theory about the history of Easter Island? Come on, that's a leap even the Hulk couldn't jump.
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cassowary
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Re: Lessons from Rapa Nui (Easter Island)

Post by cassowary » Wed Jun 06, 2018 4:00 pm

SteveFoerster wrote:
Tue Jun 05, 2018 8:35 am
cassowary wrote:
Sun Jun 03, 2018 8:37 pm
This story will serve as a cautionary tale of those who want to warn against the Muslim migration to the west.
A story about an unproven theory about the history of Easter Island? Come on, that's a leap even the Hulk couldn't jump.
You will be surprised at how many unproven theories are believed. As Long as it is believed it can serve as a moral lesson.

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Milo
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Re: Lessons from Rapa Nui (Easter Island)

Post by Milo » Thu Jun 07, 2018 9:15 pm

I have a fascination with Easter Island that goes back to my childhood.

It is one of the great and enduring historical enigmas in many ways.

In addition to the Moais there is their possible evolution of a writing system. A unique achievement amongst Polynesian peoples, even if only partly true.

Rongorongo (/ˈrɒŋɡoʊˈrɒŋɡoʊ/; Rapa Nui: [ˈɾoŋoˈɾoŋo]) is a system of glyphs discovered in the 19th century on Easter Island that appear to contain writing or proto-writing. Numerous attempts at decipherment have been made, none successfully. Although some calendrical and what might prove to be genealogical information has been identified, none of these glyphs can actually be read. If rongorongo does prove to be writing and proves to be an independent invention, it would be one of very few independent inventions of writing in human history.[1]

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rongorongo

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SteveFoerster
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Re: Lessons from Rapa Nui (Easter Island)

Post by SteveFoerster » Fri Jun 08, 2018 12:48 pm

Milo wrote:
Thu Jun 07, 2018 9:15 pm
I have a fascination with Easter Island that goes back to my childhood.

It is one of the great and enduring historical enigmas in many ways.

In addition to the Moais there is their possible evolution of a writing system. A unique achievement amongst Polynesian peoples, even if only partly true.

Rongorongo (/ˈrɒŋɡoʊˈrɒŋɡoʊ/; Rapa Nui: [ˈɾoŋoˈɾoŋo]) is a system of glyphs discovered in the 19th century on Easter Island that appear to contain writing or proto-writing. Numerous attempts at decipherment have been made, none successfully. Although some calendrical and what might prove to be genealogical information has been identified, none of these glyphs can actually be read. If rongorongo does prove to be writing and proves to be an independent invention, it would be one of very few independent inventions of writing in human history.[1]

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rongorongo
Fascinating -- I didn't know that! I had thought Sumer, China, and Mesoamerica were the only three independent developments of writing.
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