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Abstract

The entire population of Easter Island (approximately 2500 people) lives today in Hanga Roa, the capital and only city. Two-thirds of the inhabitants are from autochthonous lineage; the remaining residents and visitors are considered to be estrangeros (foreigners) and come mostly from the Conti (an abbreviation of continente) that is, Chile. which has become a metonymy of the outside world in the natives' mind. In February 1995 I was one of those foreigners. My goal here is to recall basic geographic and historic information about the island and to comment upon my stay among the friendly people I met there.

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