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Serial Article

DOI data
DOI 10.23791/552024

Journal Data

Full Title
Pacific Geographies
Abbreviated Title
Publisher (01) Association of Pacific Studies
Country of publication Germany (DE)
ISSN 2199-9104
DOI 10.23791/0
Product Form Online Journal (JD)
Epub Format PDF (02)

Journal Issue Data
Journal Issue Number 55
Journal Issue Date (YYYY) 2021
Serial Article Data
Title “Ariki meets Tangata manu” – Tapati Rapa Nui, a festival of indigenous identity or expression of constructed authenticity?
By (author) (A01) Wolfgang Kiss
Number of Pages 5
First Page 20
Last Page 24
Language of text English (eng)
Publication Date (YYYY) 2021
Main description (01)
Rapa Nui, Easter Island, has had a great fascination for archaeological research since its discovery in 1722. The focus of interest was on the massive stone monuments, the moai, sculptures with a human face, which raise many questions. This stone evidence of Polynesian culture’s uniqueness led to its recognition as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1995. Central elements of the cultural identity of minorities often do not find enough reverberation in nation-states. In the case of Rapa Nui, the island in the South Pacific that has been part of Chile since its annexation in September 1888, the rebellion against ruling powers has manifested itself not only in political protests but also in cultural terms, particularly in recent decades. This return to tradition and indigenous identity is particularly evident at the annual Tapati Rapa Nui Festival, whose origins go back to the late 1960s. Nevertheless, the correlation between tourist growth and the increasing expansion of the festival also allows an economic interpretation, although the islanders point to its primarily identity-enhancing function. Whether we are dealing with tradition or traditionalism in the definition of Mückler and Faschingeder (2012) at the Tapati Rapa Nui Festival is the subject of this research note.