What is the Population of Easter Island

So what is the population of Easter Island?

This activity allows you to view a single event - the collapse of the population on an island - from different angles. Moai statues were created at the height of the Rapa Nui population.

5 April 1722 - Europeans discover Easter Island

Easter Island's ascent and downfall is a likeness of our time; a historical premonition of what happens when our egotistical race does not take into account every detail of our planet's valuable third nature-resource. In 1722, on Easter Sunday, the Flemish navigator Jacob Roggeveen touched down on a patch of vulcanic ground 12 nautical mile long and 6 nautical leagues across the vastness of the Pacific, the most remote part of the planet's population.

Pitcairn Island, its closest neighbor, is 1,289 leagues away and mainland Chile is 2,100 leagues away. He was the first europeans who clapped on his at that time tree free banks with huge rock decks (ahu) and huge rock sculptures (moai). Up until that date, the inhabitants of the island thought that their island was the whole earth and they were the only humans.

Archeological, language and culture proofs suggest that the first colonists probably came from the Marquesas Islands, 1,600 leagues away, but no one knows when. There is a faint popular remembrance handed down in the myth of creating, but the real history of how they achieved what they named Rapa Nui has been forgotten in the years. One thing is certain: the Polynesians have found an island haven with their stoneware implements, hens, taro, sweetcanes, banana and hidden mammals.

By the time they got there, the island was densely wooded with five native terrestrial and migrating bird populations, the ocean was full of schools of seafood and ocean mires, and the ground was high in green. Ahu', the island' s inhabitants' own special civilization, flourished and in honor of their forefathers, they constructed ahu' and mai.

They were able to unwind with the free available nature reserves and enjoy their love for sculpting in timber and stones. Indeed, they spent their energy on the production of sculptures of stones on an industry level. Population increased to maybe 15,000 in the centuries before the Dutchman arrived. Woods were cut down for growing, whereas woods were used for the construction of yachts, homes and utensils for sculpting, moving and erecting sculptures.

As Roggeveen came, he put the population of the almost tree free island at about 2,500. In all likelihood, population overload and destruction of the environment had turned the corner, resulting in hunger and wars between clans over scarce natural resource. One thing is certain: Roggeven's advent would cause an even greater disaster for the island's inhabitants.

So what happened? Maybe the destruction of the environment, linked to the Europeans' coming, had somehow indicated that their forefathers were no longer strong enough to care for and defend the island' s inhabitants. The statue house was suddenly given up and all built mai were demolished. Until 1825 every individual mai was down - all 288 of them that had been built on Aarhus.

Humans fought for their existence with few physical ressources and shaken belief. During the 1860s, more than half the population was kidnapped by Peru' s slavers. The ones who fought over the cleared, tree free, almost infertile lands. Until 1877, only 111 islander remained. Chile conquered the island in 1888, confining the few inhabitants to a small town and turning the desolate country into a shepherd' s shepherd.

It is clear that what the people of the island themselves began by means of excessive population and exhaustion of their own physical ressources was brought to an end by the advent of Europeans who polluted their holy places, transmitted disease, enslaved and imprisoned the few who were left. However, while we are raping Mother Earth for oils and mineral products that once poisoned the beautiful oceans with waste waters, polluted the atmosphere with harmful gasses, fell woods, devoured eagerly limited freshwater reserves, ruthlessly wiped out other kinds and incubated like grasshoppers, we do not seem to be wise enough to teach the Easter Island teachings and avoid our own demise.

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