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Abstract

When I arrived on Rapanui on I April 1972, I was fortunate to know and work (after some months) with Victoria Rapahango, Jose Fati, Leon Tub, Amelia Tepano and several others who gave generously of their time to talk to a tangata hiva (outsider). Like Routledge, I was a long-term resident researcher and, so, could come back for repeated visits to the same wise persons; I could question them and compare answers. My interest was not really in the ancient past, but in the more immediate experience the Rapanui had with outsiders. Nevertheless, people did want to tell me what they knew about their intriguing past, as much as they could remember. Sometimes, we would discuss various sources, written and oral, and try to draw our own conclusions. Leon Tub, in particular, favored this dialogue approach.

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