by | Mar 15, 2019 | Uncategorized

EIFlogo 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. Limited availability.

Book Order Form

Rapa Nui Journal Volume 31:1 & 2 is here!

rnj_cover Articles include: Revisiting Rapa Nui Mataà (Torrence et al.) and Sailors’ “Bring-Backs” From the Nineteenth Century New England Whaling Industry: A Wooden Moai From Rapa Nui (Richard Michael Gramly). Reports & Commentaries include: Comparisons of Moriori, Maori, and Easter Island Cognates (Rhys Richards) and Terevaka Archaeological Outreach (TAO) 2017/2018 Field Report: Archaeology Provides Future Opportunities (Britton L. Shepardson et al.) For  Rapa Nui Journal subscriptions (print/digital), please contact UH Press: 

Subscribe to the Rapa Nui Journal – UH Press

Or you may join the Easter Island Foundation by downloading the membership form below (all members receive the journal):

Easter Island Foundation Membership Form

Read about our partnership with University of Hawaii Press below: The Easter Island Foundation is thrilled to announce 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. “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 Affairs, Asian Perspectives: The Journal of Archaeology for Asia and the Pacific and Oceanic Linguistics. Through UH Press, back issues of the Rapa Nui Journal can 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. “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.

 Now at Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum, Honolulu

The Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum presents a new exhibit that delves into the wonders of Rapa Nui, or Easter Island. Showcasing Bishop Museum’s extensive cultural and natural science collections from the island, Rapa Nui: The Untold Stories of Easter Island draws from recent studies conducted by Bishop Museum researchers and collaborators to highlight some lesser-known stories about the island. More than 150 cultural treasures and never-before-seen biological specimens from the museum’s collections will be on display together for the first time in the museum’s history. For more information, please visit: 

Rapa Nui: The Untold Stories of Easter Island


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

The deadline for submitting a scholarship application for 2019 has passed. Please visit us again in December for information on applying for a scholarship in 2020.

Our scholarship award recipients for 2019 will be announced soon!

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. tekuhane

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 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

Visit the link below for the latest news from Toki:

Toki Rapa Nui Newsletter January 2019


Recent Publications of Interest

  FONCK 1  

Rapa Nui & Felbermayer 1946 – 1953

by Ana Betty Haoa Rapahango and Tania Basterrica Brockman

Available from Rapanui Press: 

Rapanui Press


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


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



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