Easter Island in the South Pacific is an ongoing mystery to many.
What happened to the Rapa Nui people?
Did they get visitors OR were they visitors themselves?
Why did they construct these enormous Moai statues OR DID THEY?
What's with this supposed battle researchers claim occurred there between two groups?
Let's go back in a time a bit and look at what was happening in the South Pacific long ago.
There was a time in ancient Peru when they were visited by seafaring people who were tall, had elongated skulls, red hair, white skin, and more advanced skills/technology. These people were also found in skeletal remains in the South Pacific from New Guinea to Solomon Islands, Australia to Peru. These seafarers left behind a legacy of people who gained skills rapidly from them and also wished to bind their skulls to appear like them. These giant people with tendencies towards cannibalism, sloping foreheads, pointed backs to their heads and wide noses were emulated, even worked into art, feared and perhaps revered.
Was this so in yet another South Pacific location a seafaring giant race would stop?
It's believed the Rapa Nui settled the islands around 1200 AD. The first recorded contact with outsiders that was officially noted was in 1722, but in 1770, the Spanish arrived and claimed it as their own. They brought with them syphilis and other diseases the people had no immunity to.
The Rapa Nui were supposed to have faced near extinction to the point of cannibalism. The cave named "Ana Kai Tangata" actually translates to "man-eating cave." It was believed some kind of ritual in the caves occurred with the eating of humans and signs of cannibalism. Who do we know that liked caves, traveling by boat, and eating humans?
Repeated theme: There were very giant, slope-headed, cannibalistic people in the Pacific. They were found from Australia and Indonesia, New Guinea to Solomon Islands, Peru to Mexico, Catalina Island in California up the ancient waterways into Nevada. All of these Pacific areas were visited by those in reed boats. In fact, Peru, where they found elongated, red-haired skulls, they had a legend of the giants landing in reed boats and terrorizing them and eating the population, as do other areas in the Pacific have such legends.
In the 1830s a ship's captain described, "…the men are Copper colored, Athletic, tall and well made. I saw none [males] under five feet eight, and I measured one who was six feet three…. The women and a few [of] the men are of a much lighter color. Their bodies are longer and the Pelvis narrower than those of England, or indeed in Civilized Europe; but their limbs, feet, hands, eyes and teeth are handsome and beautiful. The men have all good teeth also. . . . From the waist downwards, both before and behind, the women are most tastefully and beautifully tattooed…”
From the book Cranial and Postcranial Skeletal Remains From Easter Island by Rupert Ivan Murrill, the skulls on Easter Island were compared with other Pacificers and found similar to Melanesian, Polynesian and Australian. The skulls were long, narrow, and high. Heyerdahl (1960 p 345) - Long ears are Peruvian - (white men with red hair?) The short ears arrived at Easter Island in the 1200s - after long ears! Heyerdahl (1961 page 37) mentions Knoche's statement that short earred ones came there in 1200s.
The Long Ears of Easter Island by William L. Ernst
From Thor Heyerdahl's book "Aku-Aku"
The earliest date of human occupation of Easter Island was established at 386 A.D. (plus or minus 100 years) by archaeologists in Heyerdahl's expedition who used carbon dating of charcoal found at cooking sites. The oral history describes the "long ears" as the early period's population and the builders of the monuments. The "short ears" came to the island later and apparently worked for the "long ears" as helpers. A deadly feud occurred and the "short-ears" reversed a trap set for them and murdered the "long-ears" at Hotu-iti
Interestingly the legend of the short ears and long ears tells that the long ears dug a ditch and filled it with brush to lead the short ears into it and burn them. A long-ear married to a short-ear betrayed her kind and she betrayed his kind, getting the short ears to come up behind them and chase the long-ears into the burning ditch and two escaped to a cave where one was killed and one remained alive. (Burning of giants - found in the Paiutes legend in Nevada and the Aborigines story in Australia). Interestingly, repeatedly natives of the Americas tell of these white-skinned, red-haired giants being cannibals and also taking them in and making them slaves until they were able to outsmart and kill them.
There is no doubt that these stories from all over the world that repeat the same theme are playing out a scenario told by ancestors of legendary battles or even wishes and hopes that their people outsmarted and rose up against the giants.
Was Easter Island first inhabited by the ancient giants? Were the Rapa Nui credited for feats that were not of their own doing? Considering the highly controversial study of the island and how it fell, we should take another look at the island with a fresh eye - one that looks at the facts - sea-faring giants present in the South Pacific who were cannibals, powerful, and looked like the statues on the island.
NOTE: As an interesting side note - the Karankawa Indians of Texas coast were reported as having ear spools (long ears) made of unknown shark vertebra, Otamid skulls (strong brow ridge, sloping forehead, pointed back of the head) and were between 6-7 feet tall on average. They were also reported as cannibals in the past.
Even more resources
Did they die by deforestation? There is some question - source.
About the caves - source