The Impact of Development on Easter Island (Rapa Nui), Chile 1967-2001

Tandy Shephard


2000 miles off the coast of Chile lies Easter Island also knownas Rapa Nui by the native islanders, who call themselvesRapanui. In 1888, Chile annexed Easter Island and since thattime the island has been run as a sheep farm, endured a brief period of Chilean Navy rule, and begun its course of“modernization” with the arrival of the first commercial flightin 1967. Since this time, islanders have witnessedimprovements in infrastructure, the betterment of socialservices and the development of a tourism industry. However,the process of development has played a strong role inmodifying the physical landscape and altering some of theeconomic, social, and political aspects of traditional Rapanuisociety.

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