Rapa Nui is to civilization what the four-stroke is to motocross. Confused? You should be, but first let me explain the relationship. Rapa Nui—best known as Easter Island, because that is the day Dutch
sailors first found it—is famous for its giant, stone monolithic heads (called
moai). The Polynesian people had settled on Rapa Nui hundreds of years
before the Dutch arrived in 1722. At one time it was an island paradise, with
fresh water, fertile soil, abundant forests, and plentiful fish and game.