Tapati was first held in 1969 and was called Semana de Rapa Nui. At that time, it was a summer festival featuring singing, dancing and a small parade.
Tapati has evolved into a spectacular festival that includes dancing, ritual chants, art exhibits, carving competitions, horse and boat races, body painting, a string figure (kai-kai) contest, the selection of a queen, an amazing parade and a triathlon event, amongst other attractions such haka pei, where participants slide down the side of a mountain on banana trunks at top speeds. The entire village participates and the event ends with the annual crowning of the festival queen by moonlight at the Tahai complex. Visitors are truly enveloped in a unique and exotic Polynesian happening.
Dancing at Tapati (image courtesy of Pete Kelsey)
Dancing at Tapati (image courtesy of David Rose)
Tapati parade (image courtesy of Charles Love)
Canoe race (image courtesy of David Rose)
Spectators at the caleta (image by David Rose)
Hakapei competition (image courtesy of Charles Love)
Mat weaving competition (image courtesy of David Rose)
Painted Tapati backdrop (image courtesy of Charles Love)
Contestant with reed float called pora (image courtesy of David Rose)
Rapanui girls in costume (image courtesy of Charles Love)
Tapati dancer (image courtesy of Charles Love)
For information on booking a tour with Far Horizons Archaeological & Cultural Trips for the 2016 Tapati Festival, please click on the link below:
Easter Island / Tapati Festival Tour 2016