Easter Island - The Footprint of the Incas
According to a recent thesis from Jean Hervé Daude (sociologist and researcher), the particular nature of Rapanui's culture, which differs from the rest of Polynesia, can be explained by its contact with another culture, that of the Incas. For Daude, the thesis of a South American influence on Easter Island would have been rejected incorrectly, based on prejudices on the navigation capability of South Americans. Oral tradition suggests the presence of two distinct populations on the island: Small Ears and Long Ears. The first group is of Polynesian origin and the second of Inca origin. This Inca presence would result from the visit of the Inca Tupac Yupanqui around year 1465 during an expansionary naval expedition. He set foot on the island with his elite guard: the Orejones. These had long ears stretched by pendants and also had turbans on their heads. Oral tradition also refers to the competence of Long Ears for stoneworks. Although the Inca influence is still visible in the remains of the great stoneworks and in some elements of the wooden statuary, it is now hardly observable in the population itself. The Incas, who arrived without women, would have integrated the Polynesian group, which would have made their genetic characteristics almost disappear. According to the oral tradition, Long Ears would have been eventually exterminated by Small Ears. This second settlement would have been made of stockier men, which is also characteristic of Andeans, who have rib cages that are particularly developed.