Easter Island and Its Mysteries

Ann M. Altman has uploaded her translation of Dr. Stephen Chauvet's 1935 book Easter Island and Its Mysteries to the internet. In his preface, editor Shawn McLauchlin mentions offhand that Chauvet never actually visited Easter Island! Thus the user of Altman's version must always bear in mind that this is a scholarly compilation of existing research and not a firsthand account.

Easter Island and Its Mysteries provides ample footnoted data on the Rapanui and their religion, the flora and fauna, the monuments, and the island's artifacts. The website also exhibits numerous illustrations from the book, surely a most valuable resource for students of Easter Island.

I admire the altruism of Ann M. Altman and Shawn McLaughlin in freely posting their work on the web, although I find it rather tedious to try to absorb such complicated material off a computer screen. The advantage is, of course, that it's fully searchable online. For those who like the feel of a real ink-and-paper book in their hands, hard copies of another Altman translation, Early Visitors to Easter Island 1864-1877 can be ordered through Amazon.com.

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