The Easter Island Foundation, a 501(c)(3) organization, was founded in 1989 with the mission of building a library on Easter Island and promoting awareness of the island’s fragile heritage.

The Easter Island Foundation:

  • provides annual scholarships for undergraduate students of Rapanui ancestry who have been enrolled in a university program for at least 2 years
  • supported the creation of the William Mulloy Library at the Museo Antropológico P. Sebastián Englert Museum on Easter Island
  • publishes the Rapa Nui Journal, and has published books about Easter Island and Polynesia

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 



We can be reached via email at: “books” at “islandheritage.org”

Easter Island Foundation Donation / Membership Form

2021 EIF Scholarships Awarded

We are pleased to announce the awarding of 19 Easter Island Foundation scholarships for 2021! We express heartfelt thanks to everyone who donated to EIF’s scholarship program for this year, especially the Fraternal Order of Moai and the Wold Foundation, along with all our individual donors. The 19 students receiving awards are very appreciative, even more so due to the academic challenges of the past year as a direct result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Below is a list of our 2021 scholarship award recipients:

Estefania Matauri-uri Cofré Pakarati (Natural Science/Mathematics/Computer Engineering)

Akivi Te Ariki Nahoe Chaura (Business Administration)

Francisca Katalina Hiti Teairangi Rapu Morales (Dentistry)

Tauroa Matau Ernesto Aguilera Hey (Visual Arts)

Henua Manuela Ugarte Hucke (Agronomy)

Kenny Luis Pate Pont (Civil Engineering)

Maohi Ragi Tea Bonansco Tuki (Medicine)

Alexander Sutherland Freire Haoa (Cartography/Topography)

Emilia Palma Tuki (Marine Biology)

Guillermo Nicolás Atariki Álvarez Rivera (Industrial Engineering & Applied Mathematics)

Lene Troncoso Riroroko (Medicine – Surgery)

José Calderón Fati (Engineering in Conservation of Natural Resources)

Mahani Belén Antonia Salinas Atan (Law)

Brayan Pate Tepano (Physical training – Nutrition and Dietetics)

Rodrigo Heki’i Moiko Araki Rojas (Dentistry)

Tea Belen Anastasia Tuki Pakarati (Culture & Tourism)

Micaela Anakena Cofré Pakarati (Phonoaudiology)

Ariki Merino Rapu (Medicine)

Camila Vai Tiare Quezada Tuki (International Relations)

For more information about EIF’s Scholarship Program and our details about our 2021 scholarship recipients, please visit the link below:

Easter Island Foundation Scholarship Program 

Fraternal Order of Moai Foundation supports the EIF


The Easter Island Foundation is fortunate to have been chosen as the beneficiary the Fraternal Order of Moai Foundation’s annual fundraiser, the Ohana Luau at the Lake, normally held in June each year. In 2020, FOM was forced to cancel their annual Ohana event due to Covid-19. Despite of the unexpected cancellation, FOM was able to hold two virtual fundraisers, the Covhana 2020 Luau-in-Place and a Silent Auction, and they raised over $60,000 for the EIF! With FOM’s support, EIF has been able to continue to award annual scholarships to promising Rapa Nui college students (ten in 2021) and to help support the Toki Rapa Nui School of Music and Terevaka Archaeological Outreach, organizations whose programs directly benefit the youth of Rapa Nui.

Fraternal Order of Moai will hold their annual Ohana Luau at the Lake on September 16-19 at The Tiki Resort in Lake George, New York. To learn more about this event, please visit the link below. We can’t thank FOM enough for their continued generosity and support of educational programs that directly benefit the youth of Easter Island!

Fraternal Order of Moai’s Ohana Luau at the Lake, 2021


For the health and well-being of the Rapanui people, travel to

Easter Island is currently prohibited to all international visitors

Chile has closed their borders to international travelers; for the latest information, please visit the U.S. Embassy link below. All accommodations and tourist facilities on Easter Island are closed. The island is only accessible to residents at the time. With masks, social distancing, and with the lack of outside visitors, Rapa Nui has been able to safely re-open their schools. A Safe Return to Rapa Nui Program for residents has brought back over 500 islanders who were off-island when the pandemic struck. Residents who returned to the island were required to self-quarantine for two weeks.

For updated information, please visit the links below:

Gobernacion de Isla de Pascua

Municipalidad de Rapa Nui

Covid-19 in Chile: Information for U.S. Citizens 

Toki Rapa Nui School of Music in the news!


Mahani Teave, founder of the Toki Rapa Nui School of Music, has been in the news with a new CD, Rapa Nui Odyssey, and a new documentary, Song of Rapa Nui. We congratulate Mahani on all her accomplishments, and hope that you will visit the links below to learn more:

Rapa Nui Odyssey CD Release

Song of Rapa Nui documentary trailer

NPR Story: On a remote island, a musical school flourishes

CBS Sunday Morning: Building Rapa Nui’s First Music School


A new app to virtually visit Rapa Nui

We all wish we could visit Rapa Nui in person! There is a new app, Chile360, that enables travelers to virtually visit Rapa Nui while sheltering in place. For more information, see the link below:



The latest Rapa Nui Journal 

Volume 32 (2019, published in 2020)


Articles include:  Architecturally Modified Caves on Rapa Nui: Post-European Contact Ritual Spaces? (Christopher Stevenson et al.); Kukuipahi: A Unique Hawaiian Monumental Structure Utilizing Cut-and-Dressed Stone Masonry (Patrick Kirch et al.); and The Many Uses of Matā on Rapa Nui (Kononenko et al.). Reports include: Terevaka Archaeological Outreach (TAO) 2019 Field Report: Creating Digital Access to Cultural Heritage (Britton Shepardson et al.) and Rapanui in the World and the World on Rapa Nui – A Report from Two International Scientific Conferences held on Rapa Nui during November 2018 (Dale Simpson and Patricia Stambuk). 

For Rapa Nui Journal subscriptions (print/digital), please contact UH Press: 

Subscribe to the Rapa Nui Journal – UH Press

In 2018, the Easter Island Foundation was offered the opportunity to launch a new partnership with University of Hawaii Press to resume publication of the Rapa Nui Journal. 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. Readers may also receive e-mail alerts of new RNJ content posted online. EIF memberships, RNJ subscriptions, and RNJ contributor guidelines may be found on the UH Press website. We look forward to a long and successful partnership with UH Press during this next phase of the Rapa Nui Journal.

Note to EIF members and RNJ subscribers: The publication of Volume 33 of the Rapa Nui Journal in 2020 has been delayed due to the unforeseen circumstances resulting from Covid-19. We appreciate your patience.


Important information for future visitors to Rapa Nui

(Travel to Rapa Nui is currently prohibited due to COVID-19)

Two forms are now required for visiting Rapa Nui:

1.  A print out of your reservation for accommodation authorized by SERNATUR, indicating the address of the place where you will be staying or a letter of invitation from a person belonging to the Rapa Nui community (or another authorized person).

2. Three days prior to arrival, you must complete an online Unique Entry Form (FUI).  It cannot be completed sooner than that. After filling it out, you will receive a confirmation e-mail that you must present before the Chilean Investigation Police (PDI) at the airport. Remember that if you don’t have the form, you won’t be able to board.

Please note that tourists can stay a maximum of 30 days, and that the form can only be filled out 3 days prior to your arrival. If you have any questions, contact your hotel or visit the website of the Ministry of the Interior and Public Security of Chile link below:

Ministry of the Interior and Public Security of Chile

Below is a link with additional travel information:

Travel requirements to Easter Island (Rapa Nui)

Image result for mau henua

Update from Parque Nacional Rapa Nui

Currently, the only sales point for the purchase of tickets to enter the sites in Rapa Nui National Park is the official ticket office (Boleteria) on the main street, Atamu Tekena. Please note:

  • For international visitors, passes cost $US80 for adults and $US40 for children under 18. 

  • Each visitor must have a pass to enter the Rapa Nui National Park

  • National Park hours are 9 a.m. – 6 p.m., Monday through Sunday

  • The ticket will be checked at each of the tourist sites in the National Park

  • Tourists may visit the sites of Rano Raraku and Orongo only once each during the ten day period for which the ticket is valid.

A link is included below to a video produced by Ma’u Henua with important details about the National Park ticket and access.

Visitor Information for Rapa Nui National Park

Eating Up Easter 

A documentary by Sergio M. Rapu and Elena Rapu


The iconic statues and sensationalized mysteries of Easter Island (Rapa Nui) have drawn the interest of the world for centuries, attracting curious visitors to its shores. Today, this tiny, barren island is experiencing an economic boon as tourism skyrockets. Yet the indigenous culture and the island’s fragile environment are suffering. EATING UP EASTER, directed by Rapanui filmmaker Sergio Mata’u Rapu, explores the dilemma his people are facing. Crafted as a story passed down to his newborn son, Sergio intertwines the authentic history of the island with the stories of four islanders. In their own voices, these Rapanui reveal the reality of modern life and the actions they are taking to preserve their culture and environment amidst rapid development. A local ecologist leads recycling efforts to tackle the mounting trash arriving with tourists and the waves of plastic washing up on shore. Two musicians struggle to build a free music school they hope will preserve cultural practices and reunite their fractured community. Sergio’s father, the island’s first Rapanui Governor, attempts to balance traditions against the advantages of development while building a mini-mall in the island’s only town. EATING UP EASTER reveals and suggests ways forward in tackling the universal complexities of balancing growth and sustainability faced by local communities worldwide (text from the website eatingupeaster.com

Link below to the trailer and an interview with filmmaker Sergio Mata’u Rapu:

Eating Up Easter Trailer


Bring Back Hoa Hakananai’a!

Inspired by a request from the Council of Elders and the Easter Island Development Commission, the Chilean government has formed a committee to ask for the return of Moai Hoa Hakananai’a from the British Museum, where it has been on display for decades. The statue was removed from a house at the ceremonial center of ‘Orongo in 1868 by the crew of the HMS Topaze. It is a unique moai, sculpted of basalt with the back of the statue decorated with intricately carved bas-relief designs, including birdmen. The request states that as representatives of the Rapanui people, they ask the Chilean Government officials to initiate negotiations with the United Kingdom to recover their moai and return it to their island as an important symbol to close the sad chapter of abuse of the rights of the Rapanui people by foreign navigators in the nineteenth century. Rapanui people yearn for Hoa Hakananai’a to return to the island, and feel that there is mana (spiritual power) that resides within it. The film Te Kuhane o te Tupuna: El Espiritu de los Ancestros (The Spirit of the Ancestors), a 2015 documentary by Leonardo Pakarati and Paula Rossetti, deals with this subject.


Watch the documentary online via KCET:

Te Kuhane o te Tupuna


Repatriation of items from the Kon Tiki Museum to Rapa Nui

Art Daily reports that Norway’s Kon Tiki Museum has agreed to return thousands of artifacts removed from Easter Island by the explorer Thor Heyerdahl during his trans-Pacific raft expeditions in the 1950s. An agreement was signed by representatives of Oslo’s Kon-Tiki Museum and officials of Chile’s Ministry of Culture at a ceremony in Santiago as part of a state visit by Norway’s King Harald V and Queen Sonja. “Our common interest is that the objects are returned and, above all, delivered to a well-equipped museum,” said the museum’s director Martin Biehl. He stated that the repatriation process will take time, however. Heyerdahl’s family said he had long wanted to return the pieces collected in expeditions in the mid-1950s and mid-1980s, that are currently exhibited in the Oslo museum. The signing ceremony was also attended by Thor Heyerdahl Jr. who accompanied his father on one of his expeditions to the island in 1955, when he was 17.  “The repatriation is a fulfillment of my father’s promise to the Rapanui authorities that the objects would be returned after they had been analyzed and published,” he said.  Chile’s Culture Minister Consuelo Valdes said in a statement, “As a ministry, we have the mission to respond to the just demands of the Rapanui people to recover their cultural heritage. Today, one more step has been taken through this historic agreement with Norway, which will enable the return of valuable cultural and symbolic pieces.” 

Educational Programs we support:


Terevaka Archaeological Outreach Program

tao   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 2017-18 field season and descriptions of their latest projects, including 3-D photography and modelling, use-wear analysis of obsidian blades, and design and construction of vertical hydroponic gardens using recycled materials are detailed in the upcoming issue of  Rapa Nui Journal Vol. 31. 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 see a video about the 2019 TAO program:

Terevaka promotional video 2019


 Toki Rapa Nui School of Music and the Arts

NGO Toki Rapa Nui offers children and adolescents classes in classical and traditional areas, with an average of 60 students per year. Their pillars are the School of Music, social and environmental protection, and the preservation of the ancestral Rapa Nui legacy.

NGO Toki Rapa Nui has set an example by building the first totally self-sustainable School of Music in Latin America and works arduously on projects and education to help mitigate the problems of garbage, deforestation and scarcity of potable water.

Today only a total of 1,340 people (19% of the Rapanui ethnic group) speak the Rapanui language; another 6% understand their language but can’t speak it. Of Rapanui speakers, 77% are over 45 years of age; the language is “in danger of extinction.” Through traditional workshops Toki encourages children and adolescents to learn the language and traditions of the island.


Toki Rapa Nui is a non-profit organization that seeks to protect the social, cultural and environmental heritage of Rapa Nui. 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. (Pictured above: Mahani Teave, Director of Toki Rapa Nui, with a student). 

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

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

Toki Rapa Nui website (in English)

Toki Rapa Nui Facebook page



Toki Rapa Nui Newsletter  May – June 2020

Toki Rapa Nui Newsletter January – April 2020

Toki Rapa Nui Newsletter  September – October 2020

Fundraiser for Toki

Please watch the video below for the full story and an international collaborative music performance:

Toki Rapa Nui Global Support Campaign Video

Donate to the Toki Rapa Nui Global Support Campaign

Recent Publications of Interest



Easter Island and the Pacific. Cultural and Environmental Dynamics

The publication of the papers from the 9th International Conference on Easter Island and the Pacific, held in Berlin in 2015, has finally come to fruition as a joint venture of the German Archaeological Institute and Rapanui Press.

The book contains papers dealing with a variety of topics such as archaeology, anthropology, history, linguistics, land-use and ecology, geoarchaeology, heritage management, sociology, and political developments across Oceania. 480 pages, full color, hardcover, English. This is a LIMITED EDITION OF 100 COPIES.

From inside the book (click on image to enlarge):


Also from Rapanui Press:


The Rock Art of Rapa Nui

Updated and expanded edition by Georgia Lee & Paul Horley

From inside the book (click on image to enlarge):



For purchase information, please click on the link below:

Rapanui Press Catalog of Books



The Iconic Tattooed Man of Easter Island

Adrienne L. Kaeppler and Jo Anne Van Tilburg

An impressively tattooed but unnamed Easter Island (Rapa Nui) man appears often in the pages of Pacific Island histories and museum catalogs. The Swedish ethnographer Dr. Knut Hjalmar Stolpe knew him only as Tepano, the Tahitian version of the Christian name Stephen. But what was his real Rapanui identity, and what can his life story tell us about the history of Easter Island? This book reveals his identity, who illustrated him, and how he transcended the tragic events of 19th-century Rapa Nui to become one of the most iconic faces of the Polynesian past. The authors summarize the history of tattoo as practiced by Rapanui artisans, link that history to island geography, and present rare barkcloth sculptures as a visual record of tattoo patterns (from Google books).



Saints on Easter Island

Joan Seaver Kurze

Saints on Easter Island, by Joan Seaver Kurze, tells the history of the carving of the most prominent statue, Maria, Madre de Rapa Nui and her Son, housed within the Church of the Holy Cross on Easter Island along with other carved saints. The book begins with the story of how Seaver Kurze came to Easter Island and initiated her research on the woodcarving tradition. Seaver Kurze details the history of Catholicism on Rapa Nui and describes the political climate in Chile and on the island when the statue of Maria was carved in 1970. Later she explains how Father David Reddy, who arrived in the 1980s, is thought to be the inspiration for the continuing tradition of creating carvings for the church, as he proposed the idea to the island’s carvers of replacing the church’s plaster saints with carved wooden statues. The notion of cultural overlay, with relation to the church carvings, is introduced as a concept that allowed the islanders to maintain their traditional values, while incorporating and adapting to the modern influence of outsiders. The book also includes versions of the legend of Tu‛u Ko Iho, as recorded by Katherine Routledge and Alfred Metraux, along with the lyrics to “Maria Rapa Nui”, a beautiful hymn familiar to everyone who has had the opportunity to attend Sunday Mass on Easter Island. This book is recommended for those interested in contemporary Rapanui history and the woodcarving tradition of the island. Seaver Kurze’s previous book, Ingrained Images. Wood Carvings from Rapa Nui, accompanied an exhibition of carvings from Easter Island at the Maxwell Museum of Anthropology in Albuquerque, New Mexico in 1997. She has a PhD in Anthropology from the University of California, Los Angeles and was the founding President of the Easter Island Foundation.

To order this book:

Saints on Easter Island