Cause and collapse of Easter Island

Easter Island is a small island off Chile's coast and has a unique and interesting history behind it. In module eleven we learned about the history of Easter Island and how it eventually collapsed due to reasons we thought were simple but in actuality, it is more complicated than we thought.

Author Catrine Jarman, who wrote the article titled What Really Happened on Easter Island writes about how Easter Island’s society collapsed and what lead to the collapse. In the article Jarman states that the collapse of Easter Island is blamed on the people who lived on the island when she wrote “Second, that the palm trees that once covered the island were callously cut down by the Rapa Nui population to move statues.” This reasoning is popular belief on how Easter Island collapsed and many people believe this idea because it holds a sense of mystery to it. Jarman goes on to explain that in today's world we let ourselves obsess over the mystery of how Easter Island’s society collapsed that we overlooked the facts in our own obsession over a sense of mystery. Jarman explains a major factor that led to Easterr Island's downfall when she writes about how South Americans came to the island introducing diseases and kidnapping the islanders to become slaves. Jarman writes “South American slave raids took away as much as half of the Native population. By 1877, the Rapanui numbered just 111. Introduced disease, destruction of property, and enforced migration”. A major contribution to the collapse of Easter Island was the South Americans that doomed the people of Easter Island and not the moving of statues that people were lead to believe were to blame for the downfall.

In the end, people's fixation for mysteries blinded them from the truth of what caused the downfall of Easter Island. The consequence for this fixation is laid upon the people who inhabit Easter Island, due to people blaming their ancestors for the collapse and not the South Americans.



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