Pacific Matters

We forget that islands are mountain tops, some of them former volcanoes. As is the case with Easter Island, because the huge Moai statues there were hewn out of volcanic rock, a thousand years ago. And what’s absolutely unique about these stone creations that most of them face inland. The indigenous Polynesian tribes creating them, not as a symbolic force, facing away to scare off potential invaders, but having them emerge from the waters, coming ashore in great numbers to protect them from other dangers, even themselves perhaps. Statues with elongated heads and torsos, as if wading towards you through waist high water, legs hidden, arriving, when everywhere else anything ‘foreign’ would not have been welcome. The Chinese Terracotta Warriorsfor instance, where were they facing? For this says more about a people than those creations themselves… and in proper context one day making a magnificent literary metaphor!

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