Home > Articles > Where in the World is. . . Easter Island (CE0) CQ Zone 12, ITU Zone 63 IOTA SA-001

Where in the World is. . . Easter Island (CE0) CQ Zone 12, ITU Zone 63 IOTA SA-001

June 26th, 2019

Mysterious Easter Island. Think giant statues built by native peoples. They were immigrants from Polynesia, who first arrived by canoe somewhere around 1200. That’s 1200 AD, not time for lunch.

The natives named their island Rapa Nui (Great Rapa) or alternatively “Navel of the World”, which can also be translated as “the end of the land.” It was named Easter Island by the first European who landed on the island on Easter Sunday in 1722. The island was claimed by Chile in 1888 and the inhabitants were subsequently given Chilean citizenship.

The statues, called MOAI were sculpted from hardened volcanic ash, which is not very durable. Some MOAI are over 80 feet tall. So far, nearly 900 statues have been discovered. Some MOAI face the ocean and islanders differ as to how they got there.  One island tradition says they “walked” there. Others, suggesting the people may have used a series of ropes and log rollers. Some widely publicized “experts” at one time suggested extraterrestrial beings were somehow involved.

Figure 1 Moto Nui

For unknown reasons, a coup by native military leaders called matatoa had brought a new cult based around a previously unexceptional God Make-make. In the cult of the birdman, a competition was established in which every year a representative of each clan, chosen by the leaders, would swim across shark-infested waters to Motu Nui, a nearby islet, to search for the season’s first egg laid by a manutara. The first swimmer to return with an egg and successfully climb back up the cliff to Orongo ( a village on the tip of the island), would be named “Birdman of the year” and secure control over distribution of the island’s resources for his clan for the year. The tradition was still in existence at the time of first contact by Europeans but was suppressed by Christian missionaries in the 1860s.

Easter Island is one of the world’s most isolated inhabited islands. It is Easter Island is located more than 2200 miles west of the Chilean coast. It is closer to Antarctica. Its closest inhabited neighbor is the Juan Fernandez Islands, 1,150 miles to the east.

The climate is subtropical. The warmest months are January through March, when the average temperature is 73 °F, and the coolest months are June through August, when the average temperature is 64 °F. Average annual precipitation is about 49 inches.

Easter Island boasts no natural harbor, but ships can anchor off Hanga Roa on the west coast; it is the island’s largest village, with a population of roughly 3,300. In 1995, UNESCO named Easter Island a World Heritage site. It is now home to a mixed population, mostly of Polynesian ancestry and made up of the descendants of the Long-Ears and Short-Ears. Spanish is generally spoken, and the island has developed an economy largely based on tourism.

Numerous DXpeditions, large and small have made their way to Easter Island to activate CE0. Almost forty are listed in QRZ. According to the Clublog DXCC Most Wanted list, Easter stands at No. 103 slot out of 340.

Reporting from the Dark Side,

Ron Litt, K5HM

Standby for Next Month’s Monster Article!

Where in the World is. . Duhacsek Park?

.

Categories: Articles
Comments are closed.