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Roughly 4,000 people live on Rapa Nui year-round . Of these more than 65% are native islanders, the remainder being of European or Castizo origin. It is thought that the island has been populated since around the 4th century. From that time the island’s isolation has led to the creation of a unique culture.

The islanders have close cultural and ancestral ties to Tahiti and Polynesia. This connection can be seen in their fashions and household textiles.

However, being governed by Chile, many islanders travel to the mainland for healthcare or to study and work, returning when they can. Most of those who stay on Rapa Nui depend on tourism for a living.

All in all, they are warm and welcoming people and you will find yourself soon absorbing the laid-back pace of the island.


By Zenan Delaney

Screenwriter, producer, actor, director, radio host, travel journalist and writer, Zen's a permanent tourist with years of social...

15 Jun 2009

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