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Red Hair And Long Ears

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Uncovering The Secrets Of Easter Island

By James Donahue

Readers of this site know by now that this writer has a keen interest in both ancient history and stories of the sea. Thus when Thor Heyerdahl’s book “Aku-Aku: The Secret of Easter Island” was published in 1988, I was among the first in line to read it.

Heyerdahl presents in his book a wonderful story of adventure and archaeological discovery. He began with a thesis that the people of Easter Island got there on sailing ships that followed the eastern trade winds from South America. To prove it was possible, he constructed a vessel from the natural woods, barks, vines and fibers available to the natives, and successfully sailed it across the Pacific to the island.

That part of Heyerdahl’s book, alone, is an adventure story well worth the read. The second part of the book involves his research on the island after his arrival. The book then includes a first-rate detective story as the author writes about collecting native lore, inspecting the strange standing (and some not standing) cut stone figures for which the island is famous, visiting the quarry where other images still lay, partly finished, and even explored caves, high on a cliff over the sea, seeking clues about the history of the island and its people.

What Heyerdahl uncovered was astounding. He said the evidence exists to show that the island was “invaded” by a white skinned people that arrived on the island about 500 A.D.

This race of people had unusual features that included red hair and long thin noses. They were remembered by the natives as the “long ears” because they wore large ear rings that elongated their earlobes. They took possession of the island and forced the natives to work as laborers.

Descendants of the long ears still exist on the island today. They are the predominant families, many of them still with red hair and European facial features that set them apart from the dark haired, dark-eyed natives.

From oral traditions passed down by the red-haired descendants, the first white people arrived on the island by boat at some historical time, and set up a kingdom under a ruler named Hotu Matua.

They then forced the dark skinned natives of the island to work for them, constructing buildings and carving the famous stone statues. These giant monoliths show images of long faces, with long ears and long noses. They all had tops carved from red rock.

The stone figures look nothing like the flat nosed, dark skinned natives and thus support the native mythology.

Even though they are massive stones, considered by some to have been too large for normal humans to cut, move and erect with primitive tools, Heyerdahl found that the natives still remembered how the images were made. He got the people of the island to finish one of the partly cut faces and then move and erect it with the help of logs, weights and sheer manpower.

That an ancient white migration occurred in the South Pacific at some historic moment in history has been well established through Heyerdahl’s work. Yet his discovery has been largely ignored by historians.

Who were the long ears? Where did they originate? The natives of South America, prior to the arrival of the Europeans, also were dark skinned people.

The red haired, white skinned people were the Kelts who predominately originated in Ireland, Scotland and Northern Europe. Rock works and monoliths found in New England and other sites throughout North America prove that the Kelts also settled and explored the North American continent even before the Vikings arrived at Newfoundland in about 1000 A.D.

Did a Keltic ship also continue on to Easter Island?