MYSTERIES OF EASTER ISLAND by Francis Maziere

MYSTERIES OF EASTER ISLAND

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KIRKUS REVIEW

M. Maziere, in his energetic theorizing and archeological-ethnological explorations, has contributed still more tantalizing clues to the mysteries (the statues, the ideographs, the migrations, etc.), but what distinguishes this expedition is the author's close and affectionate ties with the tragically exploited people. Because Mme. Maziere was Tahitian, the natives, although painfully restricted by the Chilean authorities, were uncommonly hospitable and helpful, aiding in the location and excavation of sites. They presented the expedition with a valuable notebook of ideographs, interpreted by a local ancient, probably the last remaining scholar of the hieroglyphs, who had died in 1914. From the natives also, Mme. Maziere heard the unique legends and tales reproduced here, some containing rituals as yet undiscovered in Polynesia, from where, the author believes, migrations took place toward the end of the 13th century. But it is the first race, before the statue-building Polynesians, that remains a mystery. When the author ruminates upon this ""antediluvian people"" he leaves carbon-14 for the music of the spheres, reproducing native statements of ""terrible importance"" he heard beneath the ""blazing stars."" Here the sternly scientific will tune out, but Maziere's less transported hypotheses are contributions, and his exposure of the dreadful lot of the Easter Islanders is indeed a service.

Pub Date: May 29th, 1969
Publisher: Norton