What I Learned on Easter Island

communal society travel Apr 01, 2024
Passport 2 Pleasure
What I Learned on Easter Island

This past New Years, I fulfilled a long-standing childhood dream by spending 10 days on the mystical island of Rapa Nui, better known as Easter Island or Isla de Pascua. Not only does this, the most remote populated island on the planet, boast the iconic Moai statues of legend, but it also holds a fascinating history of communal living and family dynamics. In this blog entry, we'll delve into the unique aspects of Rapa Nui's communal family structures and explore how they offer a fresh perspective on the ancient tradition of non-monogamous relationships.










The Communal Spirit of Rapa Nui

Rapa Nui, situated in the middle of the vast Pacific Ocean, is renowned for its colossal stone statues and the mysterious civilization that carved and erected them. Beyond the statues, the island's cultural history reveals a communal way of life where families lived in close-knit communities, sharing resources, responsibilities, and even relationships.

Non-Monogamous Traditions

In the traditional culture of Rapa Nui, communal living extended to the realm of relationships. While monogamous unions existed, it was not uncommon for individuals to engage in consensual non-monogamous relationships within the community. The emphasis was on cooperation, communication, and maintaining harmony within the group.

Family Dynamics

Rapa Nui's family structures were characterized by a sense of collective responsibility. Children were, and commonly still are, considered the responsibility of the entire community, fostering a communal parenting model. This communal approach to family life created strong bonds between individuals, transcending our more current nuclear family norms.

Non-Monogamy in the Rapa Nui Context

The communal family dynamics of Rapa Nui offer an intriguing perspective on non-monogamy. Relationships were seen as a shared experience within the community, with an emphasis on open communication and mutual consent. This approach allowed individuals to form connections based on compatibility and shared values, rather than adhering strictly to monogamous norms.

Lessons for Modern Relationships

While the world has evolved, and societies have transformed, there are still valuable lessons to be learned from Rapa Nui's communal family dynamics. In today's modern context, where non-monogamous relationships are gaining acceptance, the principles of communication, consent, and communal support can be applied to foster healthy and fulfilling connections. Sharing in responsibilities, expanding our capacities, and supercharging personal growth are all potential benefits from embracing what we now know to be traditional non-monogamy.

Embracing Diversity

Rapa Nui's history encourages us to embrace diversity in relationship structures. Just as the islanders found harmony in communal living and non-monogamous relationships, individuals today can explore various dynamics that align with their values and contribute to a sense of communal support.

As we reflect on Rapa Nui's communal family dynamics and non-monogamous traditions, it becomes evident that diverse relationship structures are not new and, in fact, have existed in various incarnations all over the world and throughout history. By drawing inspiration from these cultural practices and traditions, we can cultivate a more open-minded and accepting approach to non-monogamy, recognizing the beauty of different ways individuals choose to connect and build meaningful relationships.


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