Thursday, October 14, 2010

Save Rapanui Benefit in Los Angeles on Oct. 28, 2010: Press Release. Details here.

image of Rapa Nui (white dot in the Pacific Ocean west of Santiago, Chile) is from here
Rapa Nui is known in English as "Easter Island" because a Dutch man arrived there on what was, in his strange culture and according to his peculiar religion, "Easter Sunday". It is a tourist site for many white Westerners who believe that Polynesian island nations, people, and cultural and spiritual belongings are perpetually up for visit, for photographing, or for purchase. It is one of thousands of islands invaded and exploited by European men, to the detriment of the people and land, and other life there.

Rapa Nui has a very complex cultural history that includes different accounts by people not from there. But it is known that a Christian missionary brought tuberculosis, killing many. It also appears that Peruvian slave raiders took many people from the island and also brought small pox to the island. Because of reported class systems and battling on the island among its first inhabitants--reported by the people of the cultures who would kill them, the Indigenous portion of the story of Rapa Nui, which continues to this day, would lead many racist whites I know to conclude something I've heard more times than I can count: "SEE, not all INDIGENOUS people were PEACEFUL." My response is almost always, "What does that have to do with anything? I said it is wrong for whites to invade places where people of color live, and genocide is wrong, including when whites commit it." There is a strange logic I find among white descendants of invaders, colonisers, and settlers, that because we are where we are, there must have been something good about the process that led us to being here. This takes some pretty twisted turns, including believing that whites saved Indigenous/Aboriginal people from themselves. As if European men should get some kind of award for viciously slaughtering, raping, infecting, and enslaving Indigenous people around the world. And there's the deforestation and other assaults against the land. As if  "That's how God wanted it." Such a callous and cruel theistic god has no business in this part of the universe, if that's the way "He" thinks "progress" happens. "Progress", after all, is just a glorified term for genocide and ecocide--and for maintaining and intensifying male supremacy.

It wasn't only European men who invaded Rapa Nui. But as European men have done the most damage to the most people, globally and continually, and because some European men--the non-Jewish ones--are in some ways "my people", this blog focuses on them.

Conditions all of which are currently generated by foreigners are producing, very intentionally not so very intentionally, the complete cultural and physical genocide of the people of Rapa Nui. Below is an effort organised to try and forestall or prevent this genocide. I hope you can find ways to be of assistance in the efforts led by Indigenous people to keep Western/white mono-culture from destroying every other culture.

All that follows is from the Whenua Fenua Enua Vanua blog. Please click on the title below the date to link back.


Save Rapanui Benefit Los Angeles

Contact: Lono Kollars, Kaleponi Advocates for Hawaiian Affairs
Phone: 951.534.3750
with Rapa Nui Film, Music, Art and Discussion to Support the Indigenous People in Crisis

When: Thursday, October 28, 2010, from 6:00PM - 11:00PM

Where: Barnsdall Art Park, 4800 Hollywood Blvd, LA, CA 90027

VIP Reception and Seating: $50 (at 6:00pm)
General Admission: $25

Info: Santi Hitorangi, United Nations Representative for Rapa Nui and Longtale International will be co-hosting a screening and panel discussion of the documentary “BEING RAPANUI,” a Rapa Nui perspective, with an exhibition and silent auction of Rapa Nui Petroglyphs rubbings as well as other art donated by La Luz de Jesus Gallery to help support the struggle of the Rapanui indigenous people to keep their ancestral homelands on Easter Island.

The event is sponsored by: KAHA, (Kaleponi Advocates of Hawaiian Affairs), Imipono Projects, VC (Visual Communications), Longtale International and La Luz de Jesus Gallery

Traditional Pacific Island haka and entertainment, live musicc and DJ Ninja Simone (Soul Sessions).
Los Angeles, CA—

Rapa Nui, also known as Isla de Pascua, but better known as Easter Island, is part of the Polynesian Triangle that stretches from Hawaii to the North, Rapa Nui to the East and New Zealand to the South. Easter Island has long been the subject of curiosity and speculation. How and why did its inhabitants carve and transport the massive statues (Moai) which surround the island? What remains of this culture today, and what lessons can we learn from their legacy?
Rapa Nui is one of the most remote places on the planet. Their closest neighbor, Pitcairn Island with fewer than a hundred inhabitants, is about 1,300 miles to the West. Continental Chile is about 2,200 miles to the East. It is a U.N. World Heritage site, famous for its monolithic Moai, stone statues created and moved by the islanders’ ancestors.

Until 1888, Rapa Nui was unclaimed by any foreign country. The island lacked rivers and trees, and a safe anchorage. Chile annexed the island under the impression that it had agricultural potential and strategic possibilities as a naval station. Formal annexation brought little change to the island until 1896 when Chile placed the island under the jurisdiction of the Department of Valparaiso. The island was turned into a vast sheep ranch under the direction of a Valparaiso businessman, Enrique Merlet, who confiscated buildings and all animals left to the Rapanui by the missionaries who had fled the island in the wake of Dutrou-Bornier's reign of terror. Islanders were forced to build a stone wall around the village of Hangaroa and, except for work, permission was needed to leave the area even to fetch water from the crater. Those who revolted against these perverse rules were exiled to the continent, few returned.

As of August 4th, 2010, the people of Rapa Nui have non-violently re-occupied the lands that had been unlawfully taken by Chile from their grandparents. The Chilean government has responded by sending in armed forces. As the Rapa Nui people strive to reclaim their island and independence, the islanders may be on the brink of extermination at the hands of Chilean forces.

A peaceful resolution would be the hope for restoration to the world and a new beginning for Te Pito O Te Henua “the Navel of the World,” what the early settlers called Rapa Nui.

The Indian Law Resource Center in Washington D.C. has agreed to represent the Rapa Nui families and the Rapa Nui Parliament.

Although many people think the island is deserted and the Moai are a mystery, the Rapa Nui are very much alive and has been a civilization of master engineers, artists and survivalists for nearly 2000 years.

For more information about Rapa Nui, contact Susan Hitorangi: (845) 596 5403, or go to SaveRapa

The Barnsdall Gallery Theater is owned and operated by the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs

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