Paul Trachtman


The Mayor of Rapa Nuj, Petero Edmund, sticks his fingers in his ears. "They're like this!" he how me, describing the Chilean government's refusal to listen. If Chilean officials Iistened, they would hear the Mayor telling them to stop parceling out Rapa Nui land. "The land is part of our culture," he says. It is to preserve and build upon the culture that he wants Rapanui control of the land to be kept as a park, not broken up into individual homesteads. This is only one point of view on the island, but everyone is talking about the land. As the Mayor put it, "Yes, even the Council of Elders is fighting among themselves , which is proper to our spirit around the island there is always some kind of fight. But if you ask any native on the island, what is your objective, what is your point of view about strengthening your position as a native, everyone will agree on the land. No land, no culture. No land, no identity."