Places of Chile: Rapa Nui 

Rapa Nui or Easter Island is a remote place distant from the coasts of Chile, the nearest continental land and the state to which it belongs, more than 3,800 kilometers. Its original inhabitants are of Polynesian origin and it is believed that they came to Rapa Nui from Mangareva, in the Gambier Islands, almost 3,000 kilometers away. 

Before being called Rapa Nui, it was called “Te Pito O Te Henua”, which translates as “The navel of the world”. 

It has a total area of just over 160 km2. It has a population of a little more than 5000 inhabitants and the only populated center and capital is Hanga Roa. 

The word moai means “sculpture of a person” in the Rapa Nui language. Despite having a huge head, disproportionate, these giant statues, between 4 and 22 meters, represent half-bodied figures with arms attached to the sides and are scattered throughout the island. There are about 900 of them. 

Most of the Moai are in a row, with their backs to the sea facing the interior of the island. It is believed that this is because the moais represented the ancestors and the only way for the ancestors to take care of their relatives was to face them. 

The Hare Paenga, also known as “boat house”, was the traditional dwelling of Easter Island, whose name means “house of an extended family”, a place where about thirty people lived and lived together, sharing their traditions and ways of relating to the environment.