Rapa Nui Journal Volume 17 Issue 2

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    ( 2003-01-01)
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    News and Notes
    ( 2003-01-01)

    Moai Sightings

    What's New in the Pacific

    What's New in Hanga Roa

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    EIF News
    ( 2003-01-01)
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    Easter Island (Review)
    ( 2003-01-01) Nicolay, Scott


    Jennifer Vanderbes, 2003

    New York: The Dial Press. 308 pp. hardback ISBN 0-385-33673-X

    Review by Scott Nicolay

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    Earth Island....Ten Years Later (Review)
    ( 2003-01-01) McLaughlin, Shawn


    A comparative review of The Enigmas of Easter Island by John Flenley & Paul Bahn (Oxford University Press, 2002); 256 pp., ill., 16 color plate ($21.00).

    Review by Shawn McLaughlin

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    Easter Island or Rapa Nui by Reverend Father Hippolyte Roussell
    ( 2003-01-01) Altman, Ann M. (translator)

    Easter Island or Rapa Nui by Reverend Father Hippolyte Roussel. Congregation of the Sacred Hearts of Picpus Missionary on Easter Island from 1866 to 1873.

    Extract from the Annals of the Sacred Heart (February-April-June 1926), introduction by Father Idlefonse Alazard, SS-CC. Office of Annals of the Sacred Hearts, Braine-le-Comte (Belgium), and Paris XIIth

    Translated by Ann M. Altman

    Reverend Father Hippolyte Roussel of the Sacred Hearts of Picpus, to whom we owe most of the credit for converting the natives of Rapa Nui to Christianity between 1866 and 1873, left some notes about this strange land in the Pacific that deserve to be published. These notes, made in 1869, are a precious contribution to historic studies and they are the fruits of his observations and research into the details of the lives of the natives which were characterized, alas, not only by the savage brutality of man's worst instincts but also by the unique and incoherent nature of their customs {Father Ildefonse Alazard, SS-CCJ.

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    Update on Rapa Nui Veterinary Issues and Potential Human Public Health Ramifications
    ( 2003-01-01) Arzt, Jonathan

    My investigation of the state of veterinary affairs on Rapa Nui began in May, 1998 with a search for an economically important disease of dairy cow (pappilomatous digital dermatitis, PDD) which had been spreading throughout Chile and many other countries. Though PDD was not encountered on Rapa Nui, it was during that survey that I became aware of the much more serious progressive 20-year epidemic of neurological dysfunction and body-condition wasting among the island's horses and cattle (Arzt and Mount 1999; Arzt 2001). At the time, the syndrome was referred to locally as "vaca loca" (= mad cow disease), and was assumed to represent the widely publicized disease of the same name which had recently led to wide spread public panic, direct economic losses of over $8 billion, and necessitated the destruction of millions of cows in Europe. It quickly became apparent that the syndrome was inconsistent with mad cow disease (bovine spongiform encephalopathy) in several aspects.

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    Toward the Autonomy of Rapa Nui?
    ( 2003-01-01) di Castri, Francesco

    There is an increasingly widening gap between the potential of Rapa Nui for its economic and cultural development and the seriousness and further deterioration of its management problems, as well as the inability of the present institutional setting to understand, face and solve them appropriately. A statute of autonomy - a condition so widespread at present in the world and not only for remote islands - could be the best starring point, the best trigger, to provide new trends, impetus, approaches and ways of action, and to solve a situation that has become intolerable.

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    Calligan's Lost Rongorongo, and Some Shipwrecks
    ( 2003-01-01) Meroz, Yoram

    Rongorongo, Easter Island's indigenous script, is represented by twenty-odd known wooden tablets and fragments. Their scarcity is one of the main barriers to the decipherment of the script. Almost all had been discovered and brought to public attention by the end of the nineteenth century. Despite many efforts, no more tablets have been found on the island since then, with the exception of a few fragments hidden in caves and rotted beyond recognition. If any more such artifacts exist, they would be among the few that were collected in the early days of Rapanui exploration and since have disappeared. The following is an account of my attempts to locate one of them, so far without success.

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    The Key Role of Jubaea Palm Trees in the History of Rapa Nui: A Provocative Interpretation
    ( 2003-01-01) Bork, Hans-Rudolf ; Mieth, Andreas

    This paper presents an estimate of the number of Jubaea palm trees on Rapa Nui prior to the last clearance of the palm forest: more than 16 million palm trees. The labor requirements for clearance were enormous (a few hundred people were probably employed in this task for six to eight centuries), as well a the acquired amount of wood and the potential volume of the palm's sap (approx. 1,600,000 liter per year?). Possible uses of the palm's sap are discussed.