Rapa Nui, My Voice

World Indigenous Tourism Summit 2018. Angie Pont. Photo by Mark Coote.I am Angie Pont.

I work in cultural management, am an artist, a curator and most definitively Rapa Nui. I work with my husband to care for and preserve the culture in Rapa Nui.

My culture and family are what motivate me most in life. I feel we have a responsibility to teach our children and an obligation to take our culture into the future.

The preservation of our stories, our history and the protection of our sites of significance is the most important thing that we have to do now. The biggest challenge here is how we preserve the integrity and depth of our language, protocols, myths and histories. Rapa Nui is a wholly oral language, we’re forbidden to pen our stories and so we’re forced to absorb everything we possibly can by memory only and pass it the same way.

The elders consider our minds as being our most powerful tool. We’re like living books. The reason we don’t have any literary resources about the Rapa nui culture is because it is sacred and precious to us. We don’t want to divulge our culture to just anybody. This is why we need to learn our language, understand and memorise all the information to ensure the future of our people.

I would love to be able to write about Rapa nui culture, personally I think that it is necessary but I need to respect the leadership of our elders. It is this belief that keeps us from being able to be present in the literary world but it also keeps our people safe.

I believe that the future of Rapa Nui is in the protection and conservation of our ceremonial grounds with that we have the ability to acquire resources, to build our community, our language and create work for our people through tourism and in turn strengthen our culture throughout Rapa Nui and then the world.

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