The development of theatre in Easter Island: Hakararama i Te A'amu o Rapa Nui
Hakararama i Te A’amu o Rapa Nui means to show Rapa Nui stories. Easter Island has a unique way of presenting their stories; they use different types of performances throughout the show, such as kai kai (string figures), takona (body painting), riu and ute (songs), pata’u ta’u (recitations) and a’amu (the narrative itself in te re’o, Rapa Nui language). The combination of all these s results in a dynamic show that contains not only the verbal text, but also the visual text, using kai kai and takona, for instance, as an aid for the understanding of the story. The language and the narrative created by each civilization give primacy to cultural identity which transcends time. This core value can be applied to oral tradition, as a way of showing, presenting, performing, telling and teaching the knowledge from generation to generation. Language is one of the key aspects in which Rapa Nui people perform, using te re’o during the entire show. Performing their oral traditions and histories might be one way in which their culture is preserved, and continues to live and develop. This is the first research that has been undertaken about Theatre in Easter Island. This research will contribute to clarifying some concepts of Rapa Nui performing arts, explaining the background behind each presentation, as well as outlining the rules and features that this type of theatre has.
Advisor: Bendrups, Dan; Reilly, Michael; Rewi, Poia
Degree Name: Master of Arts
Degree Discipline: Pacific Island Studies
Publisher: University of Otago
Keywords: theatre; Rapa Nui; Easter Island; performance; cultural identity; oral tradition; performing arts
Research Type: Thesis