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Articulating Rapa NuiPolynesian Cultural Politics in a Latin American Nation-State$
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Riet Delsing

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780824851682

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824851682.001.0001

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Chilean Colonization and Rapanui Resilience

Chilean Colonization and Rapanui Resilience

(p.27) Chapter 1 Chilean Colonization and Rapanui Resilience
Articulating Rapa Nui

Riet Delsing

University of Hawai'i Press

Starting with an examination of the Rapanui and Spanish versions of the annexation treaty of 1888, I offer an analysis of how Chileans and Rapanui view the issue of Chilean Sovereignty over the island and how this can be interpreted according to contemporary international law. After a review of the first years of Chilean colonization, I then describe how Chile leased the island to Williamson, Balfour and Company, a British early multinational, which created the Compañía Explotadora de la Isla de Pascua and turned the island into a sheep farm until the early 1950s. The Chilean state was represented in these years by its Navy. The Rapanui challenged these colonial impositions by acts of resistance, notably in 1914, when a leader by the name of María Angata staged a rebellion. The reeling and dealing between the various actors: the Rapanui, the Company and the Navy, in the first half of the 20th century, are examined next. In 1933 the Chilean state confirmed its sovereignty over Rapa Nui and its geopolitical interest in the island, by declaring the whole island to be Chilean public land.

Keywords:   Rapa Nui, Chile, treaty, sovereignty, international law, colonialism, rebellion, British company, navy, María Angata

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