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 

We can be reached via email at:

“books” at “islandheritage.org”

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 to the Rapa Nui Journal directly through UH Press or through the Easter Island Foundation 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.

PLEASE NOTE: We appreciate your patience while the first issue of the new Rapa Nui Journal is being created; while the publication schedule will be two issues annually, the inaugural edition will likely be published in late 2018. Selected articles may be available soon; please check back for updates.

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

TAPATI Rapa Nui 1-16 February 2019


What’s New in Hanga Roa

In memory of EIF founder Georgia Lee, we are reviving her popular column “What’s New in Hanga Roa”, providing information and news from our favorite island.



Rapanui is now the official language of Easter Island! Peti Etahi!


New regulations for visiting Easter Island

As of 1 August 2018, visitors (non-residents) may stay on Easter Island for up to 30 days only. Visitors must have a return ticket and confirmation of reservations at a certified accommodation such as a hotel, hostel, cabin or room registered with SERNATUR  (the Chilean National Tourism Service) or an invitation from a resident. A printed or electronic copy must be presented prior to boarding your plane. The law went into affect 1 August, however, the rules will not be strictly enforced until 2019.  While the law does affects some visitors, most tourists stay on the island for only a week or less. The law was put into effect to control the influx of non-residents to Rapa Nui, to prevent overpopulation, and to protect the fragile culture and lifestyle of the island. Roughly half of the residents of Easter Island (the population is now approaching 8000) are Chileans who have moved in from the continent. Strong influences from the outside make it challenging for the Rapanui culture to survive. Thus the possibility of moving permanently to Easter Island is a now permitted only for those who have family there; stays of more than 30 days are permitted only for those with an official work contract. 

Marcus Edensky has compiled detailed information about the new law on the Easter Island Travel website: 

Easter Island Travel


Bring Back Hoa Hakananai’a!

Inspired by a request from the Council of Elders and the Easter Island Development Commission, the Chilean government plans to form a committee to try to recover Moai Hoa Hakananai’a from the British Museum, where it has been on display for decades. The moai 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 a spiritual power, or mana, that resides within the moai. The 2015 documentary, Te Kuhane o te Tupuna: El Espiritu de los Ancestros, by Leonardo Pakarati and Paula Rossetti, deals exclusively with this subject.


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 website

Toki Rapa Nui Newsletter October 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