Aku-Aku Eclipse

Easter Island

July 11th, 2010

Back     Contents     Next

Hanga Roa

Eclipse 2010 gallery image S006.jpg

2010-07-08 17:42 UTC Click images for enlargements.

If you're familiar with island communities, Hanga Roa, the main village on Easter Island where most of the population lives, will seem pretty familiar. It's a very laid back place with a population of around 3,500, in which dogs and horses roam at will. Many shops cater to the tourist trade, but you can find just about anything you'd need in daily life as a resident of the island.

Eclipse 2010 gallery image S007.jpg

2010-07-08 18:35 UTC Explore panorama in a new window.

This is the first of two panoramas of Hanga Roa taken from Rano Kau, the extinct volcano overlooking the village.

Eclipse 2010 gallery image S008.jpg

2010-07-08 18:36 UTC Explore panorama in a new window.

And this is the second, looking to the left of the first.

Eclipse 2010 gallery image S009.jpg

2010-07-10 17:53 UTC

Easter Island, as part of Chile, uses the Chilean Peso as its currency. The Chilean Peso traded, at this writing, at about 520 pesos per United States dollar. Confusingly, and disturbingly for visitors from dollar zone countries, the dollar sign is used for sums in Chilean Pesos. Here we see a small Moai statuette in the Hanga Roa artisanal market with a price tag of “$10,000”. Stand down the defibrillator—it's about twenty bucks—still a tad pricey if you ask me. Don't you think the Moai at the right is particularly determined to be bought? He's even hidden his forbidding price tag!

Eclipse 2010 gallery image S010.jpg

Amazingly, there is a one peso coin. In Switzerland, where our Swiss Franc is flirting with parity with the Yankee Dollar, the smallest denomination coin and the quantum of price quotation is five centimes (CHF 0.05), and we're amused that the U.S. continues to mint and quote prices in pennies which they have to continually debase to avoid their costing more to produce than they're intrinsically worth. But the Chilean one Peso is a thing of wonder. It takes more than five hundred of them to equal a U.S. dollar, and yet you'll receive them in change, calculated to the peso.

Featured on the obverse of the coin is Bernardo O'Higgins, the Great Libertador who freed Chile of Spanish domination.

Eclipse 2010 gallery image S011.jpg

2010-07-10 18:03 UTC

The main Catholic church in Hanga Roa has some remarkable and, dare I say, syncretic artwork and carvings.

Eclipse 2010 gallery image S012.jpg

2010-07-10 18:04 UTC

Eclipse 2010 gallery image S013.jpg

2010-07-10 18:05 UTC

Eclipse 2010 gallery image S014.jpg

2010-07-10 18:20 UTC

The central square in Hanga Roa.

Eclipse 2010 gallery image S015.jpg

2010-07-10 18:30 UTC

The main cemetery in Hanga Roa has a fascinating combination of Christian and Rapa Nui symbology.

Eclipse 2010 gallery image S016.jpg

2010-07-10 18:35 UTC

At the centre of the cemetery is this cross, carved from the same volcanic scoria stone used for the pukao topknots of the moai, which is placed on top of the pukao originally belonging to the Ahu Ko Te Riku moai at Ahu Tahai. That Moai was, when restored, fitted with a different pukao to preserve the one in the cemetery in place.

by John Walker
July 20th, 2010
  Back     Contents     Next

This document is in the public domain.