Cultural role of sea turtles on Rapa Nui (Easter Island): Spatial and temporal contrast in the Pacific island region
Sea turtles are deeply rooted in Pacific cultures. Rapa Nui (Easter Island, Chile) has a complex societal and ecological history and marine resources have always been exploited; nevertheless, little is known about relationships between these resources and Rapanui islanders. This study aims to explore the historical and contemporary role of sea turtles on Rapa Nui, contrasting it with information from other Pacific region societies. We triangulated information through a literature review, semi-structured interviews, and participant observations. Our results show a strong cultural connection between Rapa Nui and other Pacific islands, with turtles represented in their art, culture, mythology, symbolism, popular traditions, and ritual and spiritual life. Use of these animals on Rapa Nui has varied historically, and nowadays turtle consumption is widely rejected among Rapanui community members. Currently, sea turtles have a crucial role in tourism, constituting an opportunity for local development, further knowledge, and conservation of natural heritage.
Artículo de publicación ISI
Quote ItemIsland Studies Journal, 15(1), 2020, 253-270
The following license files are associated with this item: