Some of the mysteries of Easter Island were shown to me on my trip there. Let me share with you a few theories/stories that caught my imagination:
It looks like the Moai (big statues) ´walked´to their positions. We saw the quarry they were made and then were shown how they were possibly transported; upright, left right, left right. Each statue represented a person who had died and inside the statue was the peron´s mana so that their wisdom could stay with the people. If the statue fell over on the way to it´s ahu (platform), it meant the person hadn´t been as powerful as they´d thought. That´s why the island is littered with statues that have fallen over (that and that many were pushed over during war). There was no point in moving them once they´d fallen; they´d become nothing more than rock.
Once, back in the day (I´m bad with dates), the Chilean government rented out the island to a British sheep farmer. Having been told the island was uninhabited the farmer was annoyed to see people living everywhere. Because of this the people were hearded up and moved to Hanga Roa. If they wanted to spend time on the rest of the island they´d have to stay in caves. The Rapa Nui are still not allowed to live out of the town as the rest of the island is now a national park. This means that even now people go and spend a little time living in caves if they want to be out on the island.
Easter Island is not as bare as you´d think. Yes, it lost all it´s vegetation, but over the last few years it´s been replanted. I´ve always assumed that introducing species anywhere is a terrible idea, but on an island with no vegetation I suppose there was no other option. Some trees (e.g. eucalyptus) are doing really well; others are killing other species, spreading wildly and generally proving to be a bad choice. I´ll be interested to see how it pans out.
There are so many stories but I´m going to stop there. Others have inspired ideas for my novel so you can read about them later!