Reveling in the Enigmatic Beauty of Eastern Island - The New York Times
With travel restrictions in place worldwide, we’ve launched a new series — The World Through a Lens — in which photojournalists transport you, virtually, to some of our planet’s most beautiful and intriguing places. This week, Benjamin Lowy shares a collection of photographs from Easter Island.
Some 2,200 miles off the coast of Chile, Rapa Nui, also known as Easter Island, is among the world’s most remote inhabited islands. When I visited in 2008, it took nearly 20 hours of travel to reach its shores.
In recent years, Easter Island has drawn more than 100,000 annual visitors, most of whom are lured by its ancient monolithic statues, called moai, around 1,000 of which dot the landscape.
Much of the history of the island — including that of its sculptures and the Polynesians who discovered it 1,000 years ago — is shrouded in mystery. Many of the descendants of the Polynesian settlers have fallen prey to tribal fighting, European disease and the Peruvian slave trade.
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