"Island Name" Top 5 Page for this destination Easter Island Local Custom Tip by pure1942

Easter Island Local Customs: 28 reviews and 26 photos

Easter Island and its Spanish equivalent ?Isla de Pasqua? are the names most commonly used to reference this small Pacific island. However if you really want to score brownie points with the locals you should refer to the island by its traditional name, Rapa Nui. The name Easter Island only came after a Dutch expedition under Admiral Jacob Roggeveen became the first Europeans to set foot on the island on Easter Sunday 1722 and named this speck of land, Easter Island.
However, even the traditional name, Rapa Nui, isn?t the original name for the island. The name Rapa Nui (meaning Big Rapa) was only given to the island in the last few centuries by Tahitian sailors who likened the island to a larger version of Rapa Iti (meaning Small Rapa) located in the Bass islands of French Polynesia.
The original name for the island is in fact, Te Pito O Te Henua, which means ?naval of the world?. What an apt name for one of the most isolated places on earth!!! There is also a lesser known name which was once used to reference the island, Mate-ki-te-rangi, which translates as ?eyes looking at heaven?.

Review Helpfulness: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Was this review helpful?

  • Written Nov 2, 2011
  • Send to a Friend
  • Add to your Trip Planner
  • Report Abuse



“See The World From A Different Angle”

Online Now


Top 1,000 Travel Writer
Member Rank:
0 0 1 6 3

Have you been to Easter Island?

  Share Your Travels