Lage der Osterinsel
situation of the Osterinsel
aerial photograph
Satellitenaufnahme of NASA with overview
Klimadiagramm Osterinsel
climatic diagram Osterinsel
Osterinsel bei Hanga Roa
Osterinsel with Hanga Roa

the Osterinsel (Spanish Isla de Pascua, rapanui Rapa Nui) is one isolates convenient island in the southeast Pacific. The island belonging to Chilesouth the southern turning circle with 27 degrees southern latitude and 109 degrees of western length are, to 3,700 km of the Chilean coast and 4,000 km von Tahiti far away. The nearest inhabited isle is Pitcairn in the west, in a distance of moreas 2,000 kilometers. 2002 lived on the Osterinsel 3,791 humans.

Table of contents


the Osterinsel is the only archipelago, which the East Pacific back mount. That hasto the consequence that the coastal seam characteristic of many Pacific islands is missing. The coast drops directly steeply up to a sea depth of 3,000 meters. A sand beach is to be found only in few places to considerable extent, like z. B. onthe north coast, at the Palmenwäldchen of Anakena.

The Osterinsel has the form of a right-angled triangle with a vertex length of approximately 13 kilometers and a surface of 162,5 km ². The landscape is coined/shaped by the volcanic origin. It essentially existsfrom three volcanos expired, the Rano Kao in the southwest, the Poike on the peninsula of the same name in the east and the Maunga Terevaka in the north. This is with 508 meters the highest collection of the large central island.

In the southwest is the Osterinselthe small, uninhabited islands Motu Iti, Motu Kao Kao and Motu Nui pre-aged, in the west Motu rope tare and before the peninsula Poike Motu Marotiri.

The climate is subtropically warm, the seasons is only small pronounced. Strong trade winds prevailforwards. The precipitation amounts to about 1,150 mm in the year. The annual average temperature is with 21°C. The coldest and heaviest-rainfall months are July and August.


the prevailing vegetation does not correspond to the original. It is more substantially more human the resultInterferences into the ecological system. Archäobotani findings prove that the island was once closely with palm forests of the kind Jubaea covered. Between that 9. and 17. Century extensive Rodungen took place. One estimates that in this time more than 10 millionPalms pleases became. The loss of the palm forest, which had protected the cultivated plants against the constantly blowing wind and against drainage, led the again crucial effect to an extensive soil erosion, on the Nahrungsmittelversorgung and thus on the rapid decreasethe population to have had might.

The Totora - reed (Scirpus californicus) is received as remainder of the original vegetation in the Kraterseen of the Rano Kao and the Rano Raraku. Totora reed was used variously by the natives, for example to the building thatcharacteristic bootsförmigen houses.

From great ritual importance the Toromiro was - tree (Sophora toromiro), in the meantime on the island become extinct Schmetterlingsblütler. From its wood ritual Schnitzereien - Moais, Rongorongo - was manufactured boards and Rei Miro -.

Today is Guavenbü spread the landscape of the Osterinsel predominantly of expanded grass surfaces coined/shaped and over large ranges in the southwest. In the last years it gave afforestations with Eukalyptus. With Anakena is not original a Palmenhain with on thatDeveloped for island occurring Kokospalme. As useful plants for the internal requirement potatoes, sweet potatoes, Taro, Yams, Zuckerrohr as well as tropical fruits are cultivated.

Made of South America the Totora reed, the toro miro tree , Lycium comes carolinianum (shrubs with edible berries), Cyperus vegetus (alsoedible roots) and Polygonum acuminatum (a fresh water plant, which is medically used in Peru and on the Osterinsel). In former times the most important plant of the Osterinsel the sweet potato was mentioned, by the Insulanern Kumara. Botaniker proved that the plant of South American origin is.The name Kumara was used also by the Indians of Peru. Flaschenkürbis, Chilipfeffer and Capsicum are further South American plants, which were used on the Osterinsel.


as large animals only domestic animals come - horses, sheep, cattle, Pigs - forwards. The horses have themselves meanwhile expenditure wild ore. The Polynesian rat (Rattus concolor), which as a food animal of the first settlers was probably carried, in the meantime became extinct and/or. of brought in moving rats (Rattus norvegicus) or house rats (Rattus rattus) displaced. It gives except this no for humans harmful and/or. dangerous animals or carriers of infections.

On the pre-aged Motus numerous sea-birds, under it different Fregattvogel - and kinds of storm diver , sneezed Tölpel as well as soot and Feenseeschwalben.

At the steeply dropping lava base no Korallensaum could form. The Meeresfauna is dominated therefore of high sea-fish. In the environment of the Osterinsel 126 fish types were counted. That is comparatively few, in waters approximately around the Fiji islandsthere are more than 1000 fish types. James Cook wrote in addition in its log:“The sea seems as from fish released, could we nevertheless not only one catch and it were also only very few, which we discovered at the natives”(Quotation from James Cook, logs of the journeys 1768-1779, earthling publishing house Tübingen). The relative kind poverty could have been one of the causes for the decrease in population and the associated culture purge on the Osterinsel.

Pretty often Pottwale are to be observed. One assumes thatin the depths also the legendary Riesenkalmar occurs. The deep sea exhibits the densest well-known concentration of black smokers , active volcanic chimneys, from which hot, mineral-rich water gushes from the interior of the earth and formed around the bizarre partnerships.

Ofspecial interest is an endemic Kaurischnecken kind, which designated Cypraea englerti, which seems to 400 km only before the Osterinsel and the uninhabited island Sala y Gómez, east, after Pater Englert.


early history

The early history of the Osterinsel is difficult to reconstruct, since written recordings are missing completely. Settlement history is disputed already. Both the mono and the multi-settlement thesis one represents.Thor Heyerdahl assumed that there were at least two immigration waves. First, smallerfrom South America, with the strong current of the Humboldtstroms and with the trade wind westward after Polynesien. Second, larger from Southeast Asia, the Japan stream following, over British Colombia after Hawaii and from there out after Polynesien. It held itfor improbable that settling should have taken place against the direction of flow of the Humboldtstromes and against the trade wind. It tried to prove this by own archaeological research and its famous travel with the Kon Tiki.

Meanwhile could itself however, supported by archaeological, genetic and linguistic findings, which implement theory of a settling of the west, from one EH or the Marquesasinseln, probably in two waves took place. The time of first settling is disputed. At present best estimation is based on a dating by means ofthe accelerator mass spectrometry. In addition charcoal and consulted of humans fed dolphin bones, which originate from the oldest layers of the Anakena beach. After this dating the Erstbesiedelung took place around the year 900 n. Chr. Other estimations leave however also an earlier date- starting from that 5. Century n. Chr. - when appear possible. Newer research goes out against it with a settlement only around the year 1200.

The second settlement wave took place the legend after by Hotu Matua, that with 600 Kriegern intwo Auslegerkanus at the beach of Anakena landed. Genealogi research arranges this renewed settlement into the time between 1400 and 1500 n. Chr. .

For the time after 1300 n. Chr. (on the peninsula Poike) an increasing soil erosion is proven. Itpossibly stands in connection with the predatory exploitation at the Palmwäldern for the establishment of the Zeremonialplattformen and for transport and putting the Steinfiguren up. Soil erosion and lack of wood led in the following centuries to the task of numerous settlements. Probably also military conflicts in the connection havewith that increasingly difficult Nahrungsmittelversorgung led to the culture purge. A further theory assumes a Dürre of several years could have brought the sensitive equilibrium additionally in disorder.

discovery history

the first European, who saw the Osterinsel, was probably that Pirat Edward Davis, which wanted cape Hoorn with its ship Bachelors Delight 1687 of the Galápagos islands coming umsegeln. It sighted the island rather coincidentally and believed the sayful south continent to have found. A landing did not take place.

Their current namesthe Osterinsel received Jakob Roggeveen, which landed there on behalf the westIndian commercial company at the Ostersonntag 1722 with three ships from the dutchman. It called it Paasch Eyland (Osterinsel), after the day of the discovery. At the expedition the Mecklenburger Carl tookFriedrich Behrens part, whose report shifted in Leipzig directed the attention of Europe on those up to then hardly well-known island.

The next discoverer was the Spaniard Don Felipe Gonzales, which received the order from the viceroy from Peru, Roggeveens island for thoseto annektieren Spanish crown. It landed to 15. November 1770 with a liner and a frigate, established several crosses at salient points as indication of the Spanish rule and gave to the island the name San Carlos. Spain careditself in the subsequent years however few around its new possession.

During its second South Seas expedition visited James Cook of 13. March 1774 to 17. March 1774 the Osterinsel. It was not inspired of the island and wrote into its log: “NoneNation ever for the honour to fight the Osterinsel to have investigated sintemalen it hardly another isle in the sea gives, which and Annehmlichkeiten offers fewer refreshments for the navigation this " (quotation from James Cook, logs of the journeys 1768-1779,Earthling publishing house Tübingen). The stay nevertheless brought substantial realizations over the geological condition, the vegetation, the population and the statues (in the majority were already upset). We owe it to the German natural scientist Johann Reinhold Forster and its son JohannGeorge Adam Forster, which participated in the Cook expedition. Reinhold Forster manufactured also first sketches of the Moais, which, when publishes copper passes in at that time typically romantic increased height, excited salon attention into which.

In the year 1786 the Frenchman count Jean François de landedLa Pérouse with a Weltumsegelung on instruction by Ludwig XVI. on the Osterinsel. La Pérouse had the order to draw and contribute with the study of the peoples of the South Seas to the formation of the Dauphins exact maps .

Of the European discoverersbrought in diseases such as flu and Syphilis caused a constant decrease in population. A particularly dark chapter are the raids of Peruvian slave traders in the years 1859 to 1861, which probably more as 1,500 Insulaner than forced laborers on the Guano - islands before Peru kidnapped.This and the spreading of the smallpox by the few Rückkehrer, led to a further dramatic decrease in population on last only 111 persons in the year 1877.

1882 visited the German gunboat S.M.S. Hyäne in the context of an expanded South Seas expedition for 5Meet the Osterinsel. Captain second lieutenant Geiseler had the order of the imperial admiralty to make scientific investigations for the ethnologische department of the royally Prussian museums in Berlin. The expedition furnished among other things detail-exact descriptions of the habits and habits, language and writing of the Osterinselas well as accurate designs of different ritual objects, by Moais, a layout plan of the cult place Orongo detailed by house sketches and.

The ship's doctor William Thomson, which visited 1886 on board the US-American ship Mohican the Osterinsel , manufactured the first photos of the Moais.

Work on []

Newer history

1888 annektierte Chile the island. The original population received only a small area at the west coast was assigned, during the remainder the island of a French-British consortium as pasture for sheep and cattle used intensively and underMenace by punishment not to be entered was allowed. This remained essentially in such a way up to the year 1955, when the Chilean navy took over the management the work arm. The inhabitants of the island been subordinate a restrictive military administration, at the point of Chileassigned military governor. Up to the year 1967 the Chilean martial law prevailed on the island. Independent, democratic structures in the local administration became only end of the sixties certified.

In the time of 1930 to 1970 the island from Chile became to Leprosy colony explains. In a particularly built leprosy station became approx. 40 sowing goat in strictest isolation held. According to statements from this very day living eye-witnesses healthy children to the punishment into this leprosy colony were put, where it itself often only with this illnessstuck on.

In the context of a research project of the University of Chile 1935 the ethnic German Kapuzinerpater Sebastian Englert came on the Osterinsel. It remained there as Seelsorger up to its death in the year 1969. Pater Englert not exclusively saw its task in thatMissionierung, it worried also about social interests, health care and education of the Insulaner. We owe to the versatile interested one besides substantial archaeological, linguistic, culture-historical and botanische realizations. Its systematic collection of artifacts forms today the basic stick of the museum in Hanga Roa.

In the first half 20. Century were there several research expeditions to the Osterinsel. Researchers worth mentioning are the Englishwoman Katherine Routledge, the Frenchman Alfred Métraux and German Thomas Barthel of the Eberhard Karl university Tübingen, that the substantial beginningsfor the decoding of the mysterious Osterinsel writing found.

Thor Heyerdahl was from 1955 to 1956 on the Osterinsel. It accomplished excavations and practical experiments and arranged the first Moais.

1989 organized the Senckenbergmuseum in Frankfurt/Mainan indicative exhibition, in which some the Relikte of the Osterinsel culture scattered over the whole world were together led for the first time.

In most recent time the Osterinsel became known to that by the film Rapa Nui (produces from Kevin Costner) world-wide, the establishmentthe Moais, the interference of humans in the vegetation and the associated consequences in descriptive pictures shows.

the Moais

Moais at the Ahu Tongariki

the world-well-known kolossalen stone statues of the Osterinsel illustrated in each travel book becomes Moais (singularMoai) mentioned. Pater Sebastian Englert nummerierte and listed 638 statues, probably was however original it over 1000.

Despite extensive research their actual purpose and the exact time of their establishment are still disputed. One assumes today herfamous chieftains or all-side dear ancestors represent, who functioned as link between this-lateral and jenseitiger world.

The stone sculptures were, set up mentioned with view of the settlement lying before it on a platform, Ahu. Examples of such Zeremonialplattformen are in the entire Polynesian Area (Cookinseln, Tahiti, Bora Bora, Marquesasinseln) spreads, which supports the thesis of the settlement of the Osterinsel from the west.

Back opinion of the Moai at the Anakenastrand

of the Ahu is a flat, gradated platform, those in megalithischer stone setting like thatit is carefully prepared that with plants of the culture bloom (for example in Vinapu) no knife blade fits between the stones. The Thor compelled Heyerdahl to a comparison with the Inka - walls in Peru. Usually lie before the Ahu smoothZeremonialplatz and big as a fist, an ascending ramp paved with pebbles. The enormous figures were put up on the platform with the back to the sea and wedged with small stones carefully.Mortar was unknown on the Osterinsel.

The most beautiful example of the technical skill the stone setter is the Ahu O Tahiri in Vinapu.

From the fact that in some Ahus grave chambers were found, it is to be judged a dead cult connected with the plants.

Manufacturing plant of the Moais was predominantly the Krater Rano Raraku. With Obsidian- Tools, which one can find this very day there, they became from the soft, with Lapilli interspersed volcanic Tuff in accordance with ice ELT. Thor Heyerdahl proved experimentally that this was to be mastered with the archaischen tools in relatively short time.

The appearance thatMoais is at first sight homogeneous. The extra large head, a third of the entire (male) figure, is out-arranged fine. Under deeply lying eye sockets control a large, carefully trained nose the face. A broad, advanced chin supplements the locked general impression. Interestingare the ears with their long pulled Ohrläppchen. Isolated also the ear peg is shown. The figures end directly under the belly navel, with some figures are suggested the Penis. The Unterkörper is not formed out. With exact Hinsehen one recognizesthe changing attitude of the finely prepared hands. The figures differ also by the individually formed Lendenschurz - knots at the lower back. These refinement remained however not with all figures.

A Moai with Ahu Tahai with Pukao and Korallenkalk eyes

There are references that unite the grey-brown statues a Pukao from red rock cinder was put on originally. They represent a head coverage or a Haarknoten. So far approximately 100 Pukao were found. That is, even if one the unfinished Moais at the RanoRaraku leaves, a clear disproportion unconsidered for the number of the listed statues. It is to be therefore accepted that only Moais were equipped with a Pukao with a special meaning.

In recent time one has formed eyes with an iris from white Korallenkalkfrom red rock cinder found, which were inserted into the eye sockets. Figure are Ko of width unit Riku at the Ahu Tahai completed an example of kind of such opposite the port, which was equipped however with later reconstructed eyes.

It is to be assumed that thoseFigures in the course of the time continued to increase. At the Rano Raraku is a 21 meter, however incompletely remained Moai to keep more measuring. The largest, again put up figure at the Ahu width unit Pito Kura is 10 meters high.

Often kilometer-far transport andputting the finished statues up took place likewise with archaischen means using role or carriage, push pull cable, diagonal ramp and lever. Thor Heyerdahl demonstrated also this.

There are references that itself the stone-cutter art already in the first settlement phasedeveloped. The synthesis of the original with the culture of the second settlement wave might for the substantial perfection of the techniques starting from approximately 1400 n. Chr. contributed, so that it is to be assumed that the today's Kolossalfiguren developed starting from this time (disputed; after ThorHeyerdahl sets the emergence of the Moais already at present for the first settlement, thus at a much earlier time).

Roggeveen describes 1722 still intact and used Zeremonialplattformen, with which Cook expedition 1774 were most Moais already umgestürzt. Over the eventsin the meantime there are the wildest speculations, which are enough from civil war over cannibalism up to the ecological disaster as consequence of the establishment of the Moais. Definite proofs for or other theory can so far nobody submit.

Moais at the Rano Raraku

A possible interpretation of the events is based on the fact that with establishing the Moais a contest between the kinships developed and therefore constantly in size increase the statues. Transport and the list used ever more woods to finally all larger treeson the island were cleared. A natural catastrophe, which could explain the change of the vegetation with originally close tree vegetation, is not provable.

The today intact Ahus was again developed starting from the fifties. On the island are however stillto see many platforms with umgestürzten figures.

Moai one calls also small carved figures, predominantly from Toromiro wood. The most common form Moai Kavakava shows a flared out working man with clearly out-standing ribs, an oversized head, long Ohrläppchen, a pronounced noseand a pointed beard. The purpose of the figures is unknown. They are interpreted today as ancestor portraits with the function of a protection spirit. With most still received wood figures an eye or a drilling is provable in the neck range, which lets assume that the portraitseither in the huts were hung up or carried with ceremonies by dignitaries at a cord around the neck.

Rongorongo writing

the Osterinselkultur has the Rongorongo writing as only in the Pacific its own writing . It is onewith phonograms picture writing interspersed. One writes in lines; each line stands opposite the preceding on the head (Bustrophedon). Those about a centimeter high characters show humans, animals, parts of the body and devices of the daily use. It is not neverthelessPicture writing in pure form (ideographic writing), in which the indications are located in relation to directly material objects. Thomas Barthel, the probably profundeste connoisseur of the Osterinsel writing, regards her only as a memory aid, i.e. core terms are shown, around those wordsand sentences from the memory to supplement are. The indications are thus comparable to symbols or pictograms (symbol - writing).

The complete deciphering of the Osterinsel writing was considered for a long time as unresolved problem, in particular, since the writing culture seems to have developed completely isolated.Only the systematic comparison with calendar knowledge and the inclusion of verbal excessive quantities brought first beginnings to the contentwise interpretation. One of the boards, called Tablet Mamari (today in archives of the Congregazione dei SS Cuori in Rome), was identified in the meantime clearly as moon calendar.

Only 25 writing certifications on timber panels, which Rongorongo boards, in addition, on other cult articles (Rei Miro, Zeremonialpaddel, Zeremonialstab, are world-wide) well-known. The received Rongorongo boards, three of it show accurately the same text, are carved from Toromiro - wood. The characters probably became with Obsidiansplittern or Shark fish teeth engraves. The writing boards are today scattered over museums and collections of the whole world.

Rei Miro

Rei Miro is predominantly carved made of Toromiro wood only a wooden Pektoral well-known in the culture of the Osterinsel. It has a mondsichelartigeForm, which in addition, when bottom structures be interpreted can. The two ends are frequently designed as human or animal heads with fine face courses. At the upper ends are holes for a Umhängeschnur. Some Pektorale are provided with characters. ReiMiro of the Osterinsel are in the most diverse museums of the world. Its meaning (cult article, decoration or badge of rank) is unknown.

Orongo and the bird man cult

view of Moto Nui of Orongo with Vogelmann Petroglyphen in the foreground
Make Make motivein Orongo

at the slope of the Rano Kao, dangerously near at 300 meters a dropping cliff, is the well-known Orongo Petroglyphen. The main motive is that of the bird man (Polynesian: Tangata Manu), a mixing nature from humans and Fregattvogel. ThatCult around the bird man attained n starting from approximately 1500. Chr. increasing meaning. The reasons for the break of the old religion of the ancestor admiration, which entailed finally also the later Umstürzen of the Moais, are unknown. The archaeologist Georgia Lee,Herausgeberin of the Rapa Nui Journales, represents the view that this is to be brought the ecological destruction with the seizure of power by a Kriegerkaste as consequence in connection (source: see bibliography No. 7).

In each spring young men from Orongo swam to the pre-aged Motu Nui, in order to find the first egg of the soot sea-swallow (Sterna hirundo). Who returned an intact egg as the first, as the bird man one explained, managed ritual victims and enjoyed of special privileges.

Bird man figures are in the entire The South Seas (Samoa, Cookinseln) spread.

A further motive of the rock cutting with Orongo is Make Make, a maskful face with large, owl-like eyes, which represents the creator God. There is also animal representations to find (birds, whales, sharks, turtles) as well asgraphic motives.

To the cult place Orongo belong to carefully established stone huts, with a roof from grass deserts, which not constantly inhabited, but were used only for ritual purposes.

it has

caves the volcanic origin of the island the consequence thatin the rock numerous caves and gaps formed. The caves were used as cult places, as numerous rock painting proved. The motives have their origin predominantly in the bird man cult. Thor Heyerdahl found in the caves still numerous stony small plastics with thatmost different motives: Bird man representations, Moais, head plastics, anthropomorphic and zoomorphe figures up to representations of sailing boats. The secret caves are assigned to individual families. The knowledge about it was obtained verbally in each case on particularly select members of the follow-up generation. Bone finds prove that thoseCaves also as funeral places were used, however probably only in the late period. After the island inhabitant the caves served the excessive quantity in the time of the culture purge and the following civil wars also as places of refuge.

The gaps and columns served more everyday purposes. Thoseconstantly blowing hoist make more difficult the cultivation of Nahrungspflanzen. Bodensenken were enriched therefore with fruitful soil and used as productive low patches, below the soil levels. A beautiful example of it is in the proximity of the plant Vinapu.

the Osterinseltoday

panorama of the Osterinsel of the south


political belongs the Osterinsel today to Chile. It has the status of a Departamento of the province Valparaiso. A governor accredited at the Chilean government administers the island. Since 1984 are that always a Insulaner.

Since 1966 every four years in the municipality Hanga Roa a local council from 6 persons is selected, one of it is appointed the mayor.

On the island about two dozen of policemen is stationed, also for thoseAre responsible to airport security.

The Chilean military is in particular present with the navy. The naval station has a patrol boat, which is responsible for the distress rescue also.

Currency is the Chilean peso, the US Dollar has itself however in the meantime to oneNebenwährung developed and is everywhere accepted.

The Osterinsel is duty-free area, so that the incomes are relatively small by taxes and deliveries. The public household is subsidized to a considerable degree by Chile.


since the airfieldin the seventies of NASA as emergency landing field for the space shuttles one developed, can also large-capacity aircraft land there. That led to a clear rise of the tourism, which is today the main source of income of the island. However the number is thatTourist compared with other vacation islands still very small.

Meanwhile there is a central water pipeline system, up to then was one on the supplies in the Kraterseen and/or. at the coast out-seeping groundwater dependent. To the line operated with Diesel generators are also in the external area lying messuage attached. One finds fastened roads within the direct range from Hanga Roa and Mataveri. Also the distances of Hanga Roa to the beach of Anakena and along the south coast to the peninsula Poike are in the meantime GET ore.

Onthe school in Hanga Roa all education conclusions up to the university-level graduation (Prueba de Aptitud, corresponds to the German Abitur and the Austrian/Swiss Matura ) can be acquired. A technical or a higher education is possible however only on the mainland. In thatPrimary school gives it to one of the UNESCO supported school attempt of bilingualen instruction with Rapa Nui and Spanish.

The health care is by far better than in other remote regions of Chile. The small hospital has a physician, a dentist, a midwife as well as oneHospital service. At the hospital also an outpatient clinic car is stationed.

The further infrastructure with church, post office, bank, pharmacy, small business, a supermarket, Snack bars and restaurants improved for the sixties substantially, not least for the satisfaction of the needs of the tourism. Satellite Satellites, Internet and enamels are natural. In the meantime there is even a discotheque for the younger island inhabitants.


one estimates that the Osterinsel at present the culture bloom in 16. and 17. Century of about 10,000 inhabitants had. As consequencethe ecological disaster released by humans, the food scarceness and military conflicts reduced this number to approximately 2,000 to 3,000 before arrival of the Europeans. The Deportation as forced laborers to Peru reduced the number of inhabitants to approximately 900 in the year 1868 andof few Rückkehrern the brought in diseases led to a further decrease in population.

The exploitation of the island by the intensive sheep breed of a European consortium had a Zurückdrängen of the inhabitants on a settlement area with small expansion in the northwest of the island as a consequence.This clash of interest led to the fact that 168 inhabitants emigrated in the year 1871 assistance of mission arene. 1877 amounted to the number of inhabitants only 111. Afterwards the population recovered slow. 1888, in the year of the Annexion by Chile, 178 inhabitants were counted.

At the beginningthe twentieth century was there - in particular under the recent population - the common desire to leave the island. Appropriate efforts were prevented however by the Chilean military administration. Only in the 50's the life circumstances and also those improvedNumber of inhabitants increased. 1960 was already counted over 1.000 inhabitants.

Today the Osterinsel, after a counting from the year 2002, has 3,791 inhabitants. In the year 1988 1,938 had only been. The substantial increase within fewer years is based mainly upthe Zuwanderung of the Chilean mainland. The consequence of the fact is that itself the demographic composition of the population debited to the Polynesian native, who changes Rapanui. 1982 were 70 per cent of the inhabitants Rapanui, in the year 2002 amounted to their portion onlystill 60 per cent. 39 per cent were European type (predominantly temporary residents, like civil servants, military personnel, scientist and their member) and 1 per cent other.

In the last decades there were not however only Zuwanderungen. Inhabitants of the Osterinsel are emigriert also to the mainland. During the census 2002 it was stated that 2,269 Rapanui in Chile lived outside of the Osterinsel.

The population density on the Osterinsel amounts to only 23 inhabitants per km ² (to the comparison Germany: 230, Switzerland: 181).

Center 19. Century gave it still6 settlements (Anakena, Tongariki, Vaihu, Vinapu, Mataveri and Hanga Roa) on the Osterinsel. Today the inhabitants concentrate on the villages Hanga Roa, Mataveri and Moeroa in the southwest, which grew however so together that them generally as a settlementare regarded.

The office language is Spanish, in the everyday life however frequently Rapanui, a eastPolynesian dialect, is spoken.

The inhabitants are by the majority Roman-catholic faith, it give however also a small Neuapostoli municipality and a church Jesu Christi of the holy ones of the latterDays.


tourism to considerable extent gives it only since 1967, when the first passenger plane on the island landed. Also today still the Osterinsel is by airplane exclusively with the airline LAN Chile in one aboutto reach five-hour flight of Santiago de Chile or from Tahiti. From Santiago there are several line flights weekly on the Osterinsel.

The Osterinsel has only a port for small boats. A regular shipping connection does not give it. Cruise shipslie before Hanga Roa on Reede. The passengers are ausgebootet, which with that throughout rauen lake frequently not is pleasant.

The accommodation of tourists reaches their comfort for instance the three-star category from private accomodation up to hotels, (after Central European standard)corresponds. During the price structuring the visitor should consider that everything - agricultural products excluded - must be imported at high prices.

Since the population lives predominantly today on the tourism, there are well-informed native travel guides for all usual languages, also for German. The objects of interest are with the jeep, to horse and for experienced Wanderer also within walking distance. On the island a private helicopter is stationed, with which round flights are offered.

Touristi goals

of the Anakenastrand alsotwo Ahus
  • of the Rano Raraku, „the birth place “the Moais, is probably the point of the island most interesting for the tourist. Because of the slopes of the volcano and around the Kratersee stand approximately or are over 300 statues in different size and differentStages of the manufacturing. Nearby of it of the Ahu Tongariki, the largest Zeremonialplattform Polynesiens with 15 again put up statues of impressive size stand at a sea bay.
  • With Anakena is the only considerable beach of the island from fine, white Korallensand. Here is Bathe possible. In the Kokoswäldchen picknicks for tourists are organized. With Anakena two interesting Zeremonialplattformen, the Ahu Naunau and the Ahu Ature Huki lie. In the Ahu Naunau is inserted, as it were recycelt a smaller Moai.
  • Width unit Pito o width unit Henua (The navel of the world) ceremonies a plant is round around a spherical stone, which probably natural origin is. Unusual characteristics are awarded by Esoterikern to the place. Christian walter, on the island of living Anthropologe, says, the plant is inthe sixties for leichtgläubige tourists established. Thor Heyerdahl actually did not mention the place, although he made extensive archaeological investigations in the proximity. At the Ahu Tongariki became some years ago a further Steinkugel - these however as can be prove ofHumans works on - excavated.
  • From the Kraterrand of the Rano Kao a spectacular view is offered on the three the southwest coast pre-aged Motus. Also the Zeremonialanlage Orongo lies directly there.
  • Puna Pau in the west is the quarry at the slope oneNebenvulkans of the Rano Kao, in which the head essays of the Moais were made of red volcanic cinder.


  • Karlo Huke Atán: Culture, philosophy, history of the Osterinsel. A message of the Maoris of Rapa Nui. Cologne 1999. ISBN 3-932248-07-4
  • Karlo HukeAtán:Verbal excessive quantities of the Osterinsel. A message of the Maoris of Rapa Nui. Freiburg Cologne 1999. ISBN 3-932248-08-2
  • Thomas Barthel: Bases for the deciphering of the Osterinselschrift. Hamburg 1958.
  • Thomas Barthel: The respected country. Klaus racer, Munich 1974. ISBN 3-87673-035 X
  • Sebastian Englert: Thatfirst Christian century of the Osterinsel (1864-1964). Again expenditures for. by Karl Kohut. With a ethnologischen introduction of refuge Cain, a life sketch Sebastian Englerts of Ludwig B. Riedl and a mission-theological epilog of Johannes Meier. Frankfurt/Main 1996. ISBN 3-89354-973-0
  • Heath Margaret Esen Baur: Investigations on the bird man cult on the Osterinsel. Wiesbaden 1983. ISBN 3-515-04062-5
  • heath Margaret Esen Baur among other things: 1500 years culture of the Osterinsel: Treasures from the country of the Hotu Matua. Exhibition… organized of the German Ibero American society, Frankfurt/Main,…in the Senckenbergmuseum Frankfurt,… 5. April to 3. September 1989. Mainz on the Rhine 1989. ISBN 3-8053-1079-X (catalog to the exhibition in the lowering mountain museum with extensive, scientifically secured information)
  • Fritz Felbermayer: Legends and excessive quantities of the Osterinsel. Publishing house Hans Carl, Nürnberg 1971.
  • Hermann Fischer: Shade on the Osterinsel - final speech for a forgotten people. Oldenburg 1998. ISBN 3-8142-0588-X
  • refuge Gatermann, stroke ore Stadler: Osterinsel. Munich 1994. ISBN 3-7658-0850-4 (beautifully illustrated travel guide)
  • Thor Heyerdahl: Aku Aku. The secret of the Osterinsel.Frankfurt (M.) - Berlin vienna1974.ISBN 3-550-06863-8 (standard work, however partly overhauled)
  • Thor Heyerdahl: The art of the Osterinsel. Secrets and mysteries. Munich Gütersloh Vienna 1975. ISBN 3-570-00038-9
  • Hermann wood farmer: Mission history of the Osterinsel. Pater Sebastian Englert OFM chapter. (1888-1969) to 100. Birthday.Exhibition December 1988 until March 1989.Writings of the university library calibrate-corrode 13. Calibrate-corrode 1988.ISBN 3-924109-09-5
  • Jennifer Vanderbes: Osterinsel. Novel. Berlin 2004. ISBN 3-8270-0494-2.
  • Hartmut Franke: Adventure Aconcagua. A Thüringer on the highest mountain America and the Osterinsel. Publishing house skirt chair, bath Langensalza 1996. ISBN 3-929000-73-3

older literature

  • Sebastian Englert: Diccionario rapanui español. Santiago de Chile 1938.
  • Alfred Métraux: The east he island. Stuttgart 1957.
  • Katherine Routledge: The Mystery OF Easter Iceland. The story OF at expedition. London 1920.
  • Friedrich Schulze Maizier: The Osterinsel. Island, Leipzig 1926.

Web on the left of

Commons: Osterinsel - pictures, videos and/or audio files

coordinates: 27° 7 ' 10 " S, 109° 21 ' 17 " W

This articleto the list of exzellenter articles one took up.

  > German to English > de.wikipedia.org (Machine translated into English)