After setting the stage for the narrative, in geographical, personal and historical terms, I give a detailed description of the place, starting with the main settlement of Hanga Roa, followed by a description of the rest of the island with its rolling landscape, extinct volcanoes and beaches, its archeological sites, national park and government farm. Rapa Nui’s history is then reconstructed, since its early settlement by Polynesians until the first contacts with Europeans in the 18th century. Next is an account of the first European explorations, the Peruvian slave raids of the 1860s, and the visits of French missionaries and French and Scottish/Tahitian planters for reasons of conversion to Catholicism and economic profit. The following section explores the history of Chile and the island at the end of the 19th century. The introduction finishes with an analysis of the book’s plot in theoretical terms, and a summary of the content of its chapters.
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