Rapa Nui people

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Traditional Rapa Nui dance

The Rapa Nui are the native Polynesian people of Easter Island, or Rapa Nui, in the Pacific Ocean. The easternmost Polynesian culture, the Rapa Nui people currently make up 60% of Easter Island's population. Some live in mainland Chile. They speak both the traditional Rapa Nui language and the primary language of the island, Spanish.[1] At the 2002 census there were 3,304 island inhabitants. Almost all lived in the village of Hanga Roa on the sheltered west coast.

As of 2011, Rapa Nui's main source of income comes from tourism. Tourists come to see the giant sculptures called Moai. Some fruits are grown for local use. Rapa Nui activists have been fighting for their right of self-determination. They also want control of the island. Recent protests by the Rapa Nui on Easter Island against Chilean rule has led to clashes with the Chilean police.[2]

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