The Easter Island Foundation was founded in 1989 with the mission of building a library on Easter Island and promoting awareness of the island’s fragile heritage. This 501(c)(3) organization has partnered with the Rapanui people and other groups and has achieved the following goals:        

  • supported the creation of the William Mulloy Library at the Museo Antropológico P. Sebastián Englert Museum on Easter Island
  • established a process to provide annual scholarships for Rapanui students who wish to continue their education
  • established a process to provide grants for research and environmental projects on Easter Island
  • sponsored International symposia about Easter Island and Polynesia
  • published books about Easter Island and Polynesia as well as the Rapa Nui Journal
  • provided books and materials for the Indigenous Guides Association and for schools on Easter Island

We invite you to join with us to help preserve this special island in the center of the world. 

Please help the Easter Island Foundation!

We hope you will consider supporting the Easter Island Foundation and it’s mission with a donation today (click on the link below to make a donation). We deeply appreciate your support!

Easter Island Foundation
P.O. Box 6774
Los Osos CA 93412
(805) 528-8558

Easter Island Foundation Donation Form

EIF’s best-selling guidebook, Easter Island, the Essential Guide


Kay Sanger, ISBN: 978-1-880636-30-5; Soft cover, 214 pages, color photos with black & white illustrations, 2015 – $22 [#KS15]    

The most complete and up-to-date guidebook to Easter Island, this unique publication will provide readers with information about exploring the island, important sites to visit, history, archaeology and the Rapanui people, along with where to stay, play, eat and shop. Click on the link below to order.

Book Order Form

Rapa Nui Journal to begin publication again in 2018!


The Easter Island Foundation is thrilled to announce a new partnership with University of Hawaii Press to resume publication of the Rapa Nui Journal in 2018. The Rapa Nui Journal (RNJ) serves as a forum for interdisciplinary scholarship in the humanities and social sciences on Easter Island and the Eastern Polynesian region. Abstracts for RNJ articles are published in English, Spanish or Rapanui.

“We are very excited to work with the Easter Island Foundation to publish Rapa Nui Journal and to assist in managing their membership process,” said Pamela Wilson, Journals Manager at UH Press. “We look forward to connecting with Foundation members and bringing their journal to a larger audience.” “As a nonprofit publisher known for our publications in Pacific Island studies, we feel particularly compatible with the mission of the Easter Island Foundation,” said UH Press Interim Director and Publisher Joel Cosseboom. RNJ joins other established Pacific Island studies journals published by UH Press, including The Contemporary Pacific: A Journal of Island AffairsAsian Perspectives: The Journal of Archaeology for Asia and the Pacific and Oceanic Linguistics.

Through UH Press, content from the Rapa Nui Journal may now be read online at Project MUSE. Readers may also receive e-mail alerts of new RNJ content posted online. As part of the agreement, UH Press will offer the Foundation assistance with managing its member database, journal archives, marketing, subscriptions, warehousing and shipping. EIF memberships, RNJ subscriptions, and RNJ contributor guidelines may be found on the UH Press website.

You may subscribe directly through UH Press via this link:

 Rapa Nui Journal subscription

or through the Easter Island Fpundation by downloading the membership form below:

Easter Island Foundation Membership Form

“The Easter Island Foundation is pleased to be welcomed into the family of publications of the University of Hawaii Press as they assume the publication of the Rapa Nui Journal,” said David L. Rose, President of the Easter Island Foundation. “Rapa Nui Journal has a long history of supporting the publication and dissemination of Polynesian research starting with the hand-typed Rapa Nui Notes over 30 years ago. From that humble beginning, the Rapa Nui Journal became a strong, peer-reviewed voice of research about Rapa Nui and Polynesia. We look forward to a long and successful partnership with UH Press as we begin this next phase of the Rapa Nui Journal.

For more details, please contact The Easter Island Foundation office (books “at” islandheritage.org), or UH Press Journals Manager Pamela Wilson at (808) 956-6790 or pwilson6@hawaii.edu.

EIF Scholarship Awards for 2018

2018 Easter Island Foundation Scholarship Award winners

Guillermo Alvarez Rivera (Fraternal Order of Moai Award), Emilou Benitez Tepano (Fraternal Order of Moai Award), Ariki Merino Rapu (EIF Award), Tipanie Blanco Velásquez (Fraternal Order of Moai Award), José Calderón Fati (EIF Directors Award), Terangi Moana Riroroco Oyarzun (Fraternal Order of Moai Award), Mattarena Tahira Tuki Haoa (Georgia Lee Memorial Award), Americo Loyola Edmunds (Fraternal Order of Moai Award), Nicolas Pakomio Gardella (Fraternal Order of Moai Award), Maeha Leon Duran (Fraternal Order of Moai Award).

 For additional information, visit: 2018 Scholarship Award Details

Upcoming Conferences and Events

rapanui symposium header

Rapa Nui: Heritage, Culture & Society from a Contemporary Perspective

An international symposium on historic and contemporary topics of Rapa Nui will be held on Rapa Nui on 17 November 2018. Ever since the implementation of the Chilean civil administration in the 1960s and especially since the beginnings of the 1990s, Rapanui society has been undergoing a series of political, economic and cultural changes.

The aim of this symposium is to reflect about these changes and adaptations that today have repercussions in several aspects of daily life on an island linked to a Polynesian past and present but politically attached to a Latin American Nation-State.

Papers are invited on the following topics:

Tangible and intangible heritage, contemporary migration, the impacts of tourism, changes to the island ecosystem, environment and society, Rapa Nui in the Pacific, relations with the Chilean State, contemporary art in Rapa Nui and the Pacific. The deadline for abstract submission has been extended until 30 July 2018.

For more information, please visit the link below: 

Symposium Rapa Nui

Conference on Early Pacific Migration and Easter Island

10-16 November 2018, Hanga Roa, Rapa Nui

for details, please visit the link below:

Early Pacific Migration Conference

TAPATI Rapa Nui 1-16 February 2019


 Educational Programs we support:

Terevaka Archaeological Outreach Program



TAO’s mission is to offer experiential learning opportunities specific to cultural and natural resources that surround the local community; to promote awareness and expertise in conservation measures and sustainable development; and document and study both cultural and natural phenomena of the past and today.  TAO’s successful 2016 field season is detailed in the final issue of  Rapa Nui Journal Vol. 30(2). EIF supports TAO and their commitment to education and preservation of the natural and cultural heritage of Easter Island.

With generous donations from the Fraternal Order of Moai Foundation, EIF is able to continue to provide support to Terevaka Archaeological Outreach’s educational mission.

Please visit the link below to watch a new video about the 2017 TAO program:

TAO Promotional Video 2017


 Toki Rapa Nui School of Music and the Arts


In a 2015 fundraising campaign, Toki Rapa Nui raised over $60,000 towards the first phase of building their first project, the School of Music and the Arts. Toki Rapa Nui is a non-profit organization that seeks to protect the social, cultural and environmental heritage of Rapa Nui. (Pictured above: Mahani Teave, Director of Toki Rapa Nui, with a student). 

With generous donations from the Fraternal Order of Moai Foundation and our members, EIF is able to continue to provide support for Toki Rapa Nui’s educational mission.

For more information about Toki Rapa Nui, please visit the links below:

Toki Rapa Nui Facebook page

Toki Rapa Nui Newsletter June 2018


Recent Publications of Interest


Saints on Easter Island

Joan Seaver Kurze

In 1866, Easter Islanders (aka Rapanui) were Christianized, but the Republic of Chile, Rapa Nui’s colonizer, waited until 1970 before asking the islanders’ skilled craftsmen to carve the statue of a saint for their Church of the Holy Cross. Chile’s officialdom on the mainland (including the Catholic Church) greatly feared that the Marxist Salvadore Allende would be elected the country’s president in September of 1970. Seaver Kurze suggests a possible connection between the mainland’s 1970 politics and the Chilean hierarchy’s request for a Rapanui carved saint soon known as Maria, Madre de Rapa Nui. During the 1980s, Seaver Kurze discovered that designs on Rapa Nui’s small, pre-contact wooden carvings also decorated the Church’s modern saints’ statues. Once personal icons, the small figures now feed the tourist trade. But why were motifs that represented the glyphs on Rapa Nui’s unique rongorongo boards and the island’s pre-contact petroglyphs incised on the sacred artifacts of diverse theologies in separate centuries? The answer may lie in the idea of cultural overlay, a notion introduced to the islanders in the late 19th century by a Rapanui catechist. According to that doctrine, the old belief system of a society need not be replaced by the dominant culture’s new religion. Instead, adding the new deities to the old ways of spirituality simply expands the original belief system. Several legends about the Rapanui culture hero known as Tu’u Ko Iho, are presented. Tu’u Ko Iho carved the small wooden figures that first showed the Rapanui what their ancestors looked like.

To order this book:

Saints on Easter Island


Articulando Rapa Nui

Riet Delsing

Riet Delsing’s groundbreaking study on the colonization of Rapa Nui and its indigenous inhabitants is now available in Spanish! The annexation of the island by Chile, in the heydays of world imperialism, places the small Latin American country in a unique position in the history of global colonialism. The analysis of this ongoing colonization process constitutes a “missing link” in Pacific Islands studies and facilitates future comparisons with other colonial adventures in the Pacific by the United States (Hawai`i, American Samoa), France (Tahiti), and New Zealand (Maori and Cook Islands). 

Articulating Rapa Nui is doubtless the finest anthropological summary of the current Easter Island situation. Steeped in all the relevant theoretical literature, especially in that which concerns the greater Pacific, the book is nevertheless imbued with the Rapa Nui perspective as well. Exhaustive without ever becoming exhausting, this work will stand as the definitive cultural-political analysis of Easter Island for a generation.”

—Steven Roger Fischer, author of Island at the End of the World: The Turbulent History of Easter Island 

To order this book (2018 Spanish edition):

LOM Ediciones Santiago, Chile

To order the 2015 English edition:

University of Hawaii Press

Bold Captains

Rhys Richards


Description: As soon as Captain Cook had shown how to cross the Pacific Ocean safely, foreign traders began to exploit the Pacific hemisphere for personal profit. There was no coordinated plan. Just a straggle of single voyages by bold captains ready to brave the unknown, to sail into the vast Pacific where only a few very narrow tracks had been charted. For in those early days, open spaces on maps and charts did not indicate an absence of land, but rather an absence of knowledge, and the prospect of unknown dangers. Thus in one generation, from 1780 to 1830, the early traders were often explorers themselves. This book explores how 25 colourful but barely-known traders expanded Pacific trade episodically, striving for profits day by day and year by year. The traders knew that unless their travels were highly profitable, more voyages would not be repeated. It is only in retrospect that their episodic voyages appear as if cumulative, as if opening the Pacific to British, American and other foreign ‘development.’ This unprecedented collection combines scattered sources from the UK, USA and elsewhere into one Pacific narrative. Though presented as history and geography, this entirely new review provides a gold mine for novelists who choose to romanticise the hardships and triumphs of the early trans-Pacific traders from 1780-1830.

Rhys Richards, a former career diplomat, has lived and traveled extensively in Polynesia and Melanesia. He has published sixteen of his books since 1986, while another eleven have been published elsewhere. Rhys was awarded the prestigious L.Byrne Waterman award, ‘for Maritime History,’ in 2000.

To order this book:

Bold Captains Ordering Info

 Recent publications from Rapanui Press

Rapanui Press celebrated the launching of two new books: Rongorongo and Kainga: Una Historia Familiar, at the Museo Fonck in Viña del Mar on September 8 2017. Two of EIF’s past scholarship recipients were involved in the event: Tarita Alarcón Rapu, Regional Advisor for Easter Island, and Cecilia Hormazabal Araki, Director of the Te Moana Ori Rapa Nui group.

Another new book from Rapanui Press, Te Poki Rapanui:

1 invita POKI

To order these books:

Rapa Nui Press Publications

Birds of Eastern Polynesia. A Biogeographic Atlas

Jean-Claude Thibault & Alice Cibois

Birds of Eastern Polynesia is the first biogeographic atlas covering all of the birds of one of the largest areas of Oceania. The book treats all of the 241 species, including extinct birds, ever recorded on the Line Islands, the Cook, Austral, Society, Marquesas, Tuamotu and Gambier archipelagos, the Pitcairn Group, and the Eastern Is. Group. Their distribution over the 151 islands of the region is detailed in 142 maps. The species accounts include systematics, a detailed morphometric or genetic analysis when it is available, and data on distribution, population size and trends, habitat and breeding. All species recorded in Eastern Polynesia are illustrated in colour, except those only known by bone records.  Birds of Eastern Polynesia represents an original and much needed ornithological synthesis of all the available literature on Eastern Polynesian birds, including many difficult-to-find reports, as well as unpublished data gathered from local ornithologists and biologists. It also contains new data collected by the authors during numerous field trips in Eastern Polynesia and during visits to museum collections. This work presents a complete overview of this vast oceanic region for anyone with an interest in the biology, biogeography and conservation of the birds of the Pacific islands. 

To order this book:

Lynx Editions