In this article, speeches from the governor of Easter Island are mentionned. She said, mentionning the statues on the Easter Island in the British Museum:

"You have our soul"

However I am surprised of that sentence, if we take it at the first degree. According to my web research, the first Pacuans built the statues. Most of the Pacuans were killed by civil conflicts and foreign invasion (but not British), and the statues were destroyed or left unused until the Europeans came in.

So what would be the basis for a current inhabitant of the Easter Island to say that the "statues" are its soul, since they were not considered by its "familial" ancestors, despite the geographical continuity?

  • 8
    There's this thing called a "metaphor". You might want to look into it. :)
    – GordonM
    Aug 14, 2019 at 16:45
  • 2
    This question seems off-topic here.
    – GEdgar
    Aug 14, 2019 at 17:48
  • I've answered the question as straightforward as possible.
    – DenisS
    Aug 14, 2019 at 18:06
  • In context she's saying the statue she's referring to has cultural significance to the place it was removed from and shouldn't be in a French museum. This doesn't change regardless of your (uncited) claims to dismiss the current inhabitants. Aug 15, 2019 at 9:11
  • My claim is based on my understanding of wikipedia. According to the accepted answer, it is uncorrect. However, this could have changed if the only filiation between current people and people who build the statues was only geographical -> this is a philosophical question I guess Aug 15, 2019 at 19:59

1 Answer 1


The Moai, better known as the Easter Island Statues, were carved sometime between 1250 and 1500 CE. This is after the colonization of the Island by the Rapa Nui people, which occurred sometime between 300 and 1200 CE.

The Rapa Nui are the aboriginal Polynesian inhabitants of Easter Island in the Pacific Ocean. The easternmost Polynesian culture, the descendants of the original people of Rapa Nui (Easter Island) make up about 60% of the current Rapa Nui population and have a significant portion of their population residing in mainland Chile.

Easter Island itself is part of the country of Chile.

Easter Island (Rapa Nui: Rapa Nui, Spanish: Isla de Pascua) is a Chilean island in the southeastern Pacific Ocean, at the southeasternmost point of the Polynesian Triangle in Oceania.

The governor of Easter Island when that article was written, Laura Alarcón Rapu, is native Rapa Nui.

Laura Tarita Alarcón Rapu is a Rapa Nui Chilean politician, current Governor of Easter Island since 16 March 2018.

  • Thanks for the clarification on the population, on an ethnic and cultural point of view Aug 15, 2019 at 19:57

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