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Music of Easter Island

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Title: Music of Easter Island  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Easter Island, Music of the Cook Islands, Fakanau, Music of Tokelau, Music of Tuvalu
Collection: Chilean Music, Easter Island, Polynesian Music
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Music of Easter Island

Traditional musical dance of Rapa Nui (Easter Island).

Easter Island is located in the Pacific Ocean. Though its earliest inhabitants, the Rapa Nui People, are ethnically Polynesian, the island is part of the South American state of Chile. The music of the island combines influences from both cultures.


Traditional music from the island consists of choral singing and chanting, similar to Tahitian music. Families often performed as choirs, competing in an annual concert. They were accompanied by a trumpet made from a conch shell and a percussive dancer jumping onto a stone which is set over a calabash resonator. Other instruments include the kauaha, the jaw bone of a horse, upaupa, an accordion, and stones, which are clapped together for percussive effect.

Due to ongoing contacts with Chile and elsewhere in South America, [[Latin American

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