Kaʻiwakīloumoku Pacific Indigenous Institute presents PACIFIC CONVERSATIONS
RAPA NUI: Looking to the Future
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Our Rapa Nui adventure begins with the rise of the Pleiades, the star cluster known as Matariki. Like other Polynesian cultures, this auspicious event is marked with an island festival depicted here with the arrival of the recently constructed double-hulled vaka taurua, Kuini Analola, and a celebration of each corner of the Polynesian Triangle: Hawaiʻi, Aotearoa, and Rapa Nui. One of the most isolated islands on earth, Rapa Nui is known for its impressive stone images, moai, that seem to gaze out into the heavens, watching and waiting. Around these stoic statues of ancestors, vigilant islanders pick up trash of all shapes and sizes. Rapanui filmmaker Sergio Mataʻu Rapu talks about his acclaimed film, Eating Up Easter, which features four individuals whose lives reflect a range of complex island issues surrounding the disposal of unimaginable amounts of offshore garbage, the social, economic, and environmental impacts of tourism, and the perpetuation of Rapanui culture and lifestyle.
A series of vibrant images brings to life Hōkūleʻa’s 2017 landfall in Rapa Nui which was marked by an elaborate ceremony at Anakena. On the other side of the island, closer to Hangaroa Town, is the non-governmental organization Toki Rapa Nui, an environmentally-conscious school for music and the arts, built with recycled waste products and featuring a sustainable roof top garden to grow vegetables, fruits, and herbs. One of its co-founders, Mahani Teave Williams who is also a world-class concert pianist, takes us behind the scenes of this truly unique institution. A panel featuring cultural resource and traditional voyaging enthusiast Lynn Rapu Tuki (President of Foundation Ao Tupuna), his wife and co-founder Maima Rapu Tching Chi Yen, Foundation member Ben Matariki Tuki, and Pono Pacific and Kupu co-founder Julianna Haunani Rapu Leong share about life on Rapa Nui today and how the island is dealing with the negative and positive effects of an island shutdown due to the Covid-19 pandemic.