Easter Island and Its Mysteries






This book is dedicated to:

The Order of the Very Reverend Fathers of the Sacred Heart of Picpus, who played a fundamental role on Easter Island and introduced French ideas and thought to the island and, in particular, to:

— The Reverend Fathers E. Eyraud, H. Roussel, and Gaspard Zumbohm, who devoted themselves to the conversion of the islanders to Christianity;

— Monsignor Tepano Jaussen, who discovered the written language of the ancient islanders, studied it and provided the first literal translation;

— Reverend Father Ildefonse Alazard, to whom we are indebted for publication of the notes of Father Roussel and the monograph by Monsignor Jaussen and who, also, organized the archives of the Order, which contain invaluable documents about Easter Island, and the precious works of island art that are in the Museum of Braine-le-Comte 19.

With inexhaustible good humor, Father Alazard provided all the documents and information that I requested from him. Once again, I wish to express my profound gratitude for all his help (and that of his successor, Father Desmedt).

The book is also dedicated to:

The great Frenchmen who, one after another, went to explore Easter Island:

— The Admirals La Pérouse and Dupetit-Thouars; Captain Thibaud; Vice Admiral T. de Lappelin and his officers (Commander Jouin, Doctor Aze and the aspiring author Pierre Loti); the explorer Alphonse Pinart and the crew of the Seignelay; the officers of the research vessel La Durance, etc.

This book is dedicated to the memory of:

— The famous scholar and explorer J. de Morgan, who introduced me to ethnography and prehistory; and of

— The great lover of Polynesia, Pierre Loti, whose collections and recollections reinforced my interest in the sciences when I was young;

And, finally, this book is dedicated to:

— Charles Chadenat; Dr. Delabaude; Father Mouly (of the Picpus Fathers), Dr. Rivet (Director of the Trocadéro Museum); Samuel Viaud; Commander Vivielle; and, finally, to the Director of Ethnography and the officials of the British Museum ..., who were all kind enough to provide valuable documentation and all of whom I wish to thank most wholeheartedly.




19. Father Eyraud spent time on the island in 1864 and returned in 1866 with Father Roussel. The latter spent from 1866 to 1873 on the island and was, in his turn, subsequently joined by Father Zumbohm.





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