Felipe Pakarati Tuki, blind since 1968, has left an important legacy for future generations in Rapa Nui. In the book “Papa Tu’u ‘i Hanga Kao Kao”, dedicated to his grandfather Timothy Pakarati, has been narrating the social and cultural changes of his time.
In those days, they began to set aside land in Vaitea to give to the islanders to reforest and to cultívate. Corn was the base of the economy because it was used to fatten pigs for lard which the company exported. The ears of corn were huge and could get to be 30 centimeters (12 inches).
As children we entertained ourselves with everything in nature. We swam at the beach. We ran naked in the rain. After the rains, the Hatatiri mushrooms and the flowers would come out. We ate figs which were delicious. We all had calves, pigs, chickens and horses. We’d watch the newborn animals for hours. We also had to help our families with the work. After 4th grade, a group of us boys went to a seminary on the continent. I went to the seminary in San José de la Mariquina until the last years of secondary school. I remember that I didn’t have the proper clothes and it used to shame me. The family didn’t have much and we were a lot of children. I liked learning with the priests and driving the tractors, making cider and toasted wheat, repairing shoes and working with a lathe. But I did miss my people. When I returned to the Island, I had a problema. Everyone was examined once a year for leprosy. In those days many of us had marks on our bodies called Kino Ariki , a type of very contagious fungus which appeared in the royal descendants. Due to that I wasn’t able to return to Santiago to finish my studies, but the priests had prepared me well.
Felipe con sus ojos, su nieta with his eyes, his granddaughter Hinewa Pakarati
Su Esposa / His wife María Cristina Paoa Avaka
Manuel TukiAt almost one hundred years of age, the sculptor Manuel A. Tuki is a shining example for the young people of today. He lives on his farm and, since he retired, he hasn’t stopped carving in stone and wood. Major works with his signature are to be found in...
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