The Sleep of Reason Produces Monsters. Misconceptions about Easter Island in the Light of 21 st Century Science

Zuzanna Jakubowska-Vorbich



Warsaw 2018, s. 475.

(…) I have chosen this rather provocative statment by Goya as the main title of the present book, as I find it offers very telling insight into the ways that people often deal with what they know and what they claim to know. Due to a phenomenon that I would call intellectual inertia, various old, deep-rooted misconceptions about many issues tend to linger on in the public opinion. This holds true also in the case of Rapa Nui (Easter Island) – a small Pacific island of volcanic origin, the east-ernmost outpost of Polynesia, situated in the south-eastern Pacifiv Ocean and presently forming part of Chilean territory. The real Rapa Nui, world famous especially for its huge stone statues, the moai – popularly, but erroneously called „big heads” – has its own folkloric, banalized counterpart, persisting in the popular imagination.

In present volume we encourage the Reader, among other things, to return to the very basics of Easter Island studies. When I invited the Autors to contribute to this book, I offered them the idea of challenging and debunking old myths (in the sense of unscientufic convictions, fantasies, prejudices), and I have not restrained the scope of the papers, not wanting to limit the horizons of the publication.

From the Introduction

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