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Final addition to Tapati Rapanui 2008 and a couple of Rapanui protest march images

Jan 29, 2021

Yes there are protest demonstrations and marches on Easter Island. On one of our trips the Rapanui were getting fed up with ancient Moai being shipped out for display by museums around the world, only to return damaged. That one gained enough momentum to be successful. While there is a movement by some Islanders for independence, below, most of the efforts are in the area of controlling the uncontrolled influx of mainlanders. When we arrived in 2006 for our year’s stay, by far the majority of Islanders were Rapanui. And very few tourists, maybe two flights a week landed. By 2016, our last stay, hotels were springing up and there were well over a dozen flights a week. At the same time, Native Rapanui were easily outnumbered by mainlanders who just showed up and stayed. Suddenly crime was rampant.

A steady stream of protests, on multiple levels, has led to Rapanui control of how long non-Rapanui can remain on the Island. As you can see, we bore witness to some of the early marches, in which some good friends were involved.

I’m sure the “independence” seekers are still active, but expanding autonomy seems to be what is happening. The increasing population was aggravating problems other than pushing the Rapanui into a minority – clean water, sewage, trash accumulation, far too many cars, etc. Recent progress in controlling outsiders could give the Island much needed time to handle these issues. One thing I learned from taking part in a number of union protests and strikes is that it seems to help to have factions involved who want even more, leaving room to compromise.

Another review of the Tapati 2008 images turned up this one. Shooting the youty horse races was something of a challenge. I used my favorite in the first book. The exposure for this was taken in an earlier heat, with this determioned young fellow far in the lead.

As always, Blog images added to Folios are viewed at their best there – where they are also downloadable. Subjects, related parties and somethimes others will be sent higher resolution files on request. These were added to E.I Folio Page 11