9/1 – Ile de Pâques : On t’ “M”

Nous arrivons sur ce petit bout de terre, perdu au milieu du pacifique, à mi- distance du Chili et de Tahiti, environ 4000kms de chaque côté. Formée à partir de 3 volcans, de forme triangulaire, elle ne fait que 24km de long et 12km en son point le plus large. Sa piste d’atterrissage est l’une des plus longues du monde car conçue pour pouvoir accueillir la navette spatiale américaine. Les 3 volcans dont elle est issue sont éteints (heureusement…).

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L’Ile de Pâques ( Rapa Nui en polynésien) tient son nom du fait que la première fois où un européen (un hollandais) a foulé son sol, c’était un dimanche de pâques de 1722.

On dit de Rapa Nui qu’elle est une ile déserte recouverte de tas de cailloux, que la déforestation est la conséquence d’un usage abusif des arbres pour le transport des statues. Aujourd’hui il y a de très belles forêts d’eucalyptus et les fameux tas de cailloux sont essentiellement des vestiges laissés par les pascuans constituant les 36000 lieux archéologiques recensés. Certes, l’ancienne forêt a disparu, la cause principale en est les incendies, la cuisson des aliments, la crémation des morts. Il fallait tordre le cou à une idée répandue selon laquelle les pascuans, afin d’honorer leurs dieux, auraient provoqué la déforestation de l’ile.

DSC04782 Nous tenons ces informations de la bouche de Lili, spécialiste de l’ile de Pâques,vivant sur l’ile depuis 27ans, marié à un pascuan Tadéo, de lignée royale. Nous avons rencontré Lili, aujourd’hui guide , lors d’une visite guidée d’une partie de l’ile. Elle est intarissable et répond à toutes nos questions en s’appuyant sur les résultats des recherches faites par des scientifiques ayant pu valider leurs hypothèses. Si un jour vous allez à l’Ile de Pâques, allez voir Lili.  Elle est connue de tout le monde. Un personnage hors du commun tant par son érudition que par son long parcours.

 

Un peu d’histoire……..car, nous français, sommes un peu concernés

Les premiers arrivants, auraient débarqué vers le Vème siècle, en provenance des iles du pacifique. Au début peu nombreux, la population s’est rapidement développée faisant place à des affrontements tribaux au cours du XVIIème siècle entre un clan de nobles (ceux- là mêmes qui ont réalisé les fameuses statues) et un clan de guerriers. C’est au cours de ces affrontements que les statues ont été pour la plupart renversées face au sol. Après 1722, espagnols, anglais,russes se succédèrent. Et puis, en 1870, l’aventurier français Jean Baptiste Dutroux-Bornier commença l’exploitation commerciale de l’ile. Il importa des moutons et transforma l’ile en un véritable ranch. Il y régna comme un tyran, proposant à la France (qui refusa)de prendre possession de l’ile. Il s’est illustré par sa sauvagerie, en effet , avide de femmes il les attrapait au lasso…….voilà de quoi ne pas être très fiers!!! Aujourd’hui Rapa Nui est chilienne, mais les pascuans ont des revendications foncières car ils estiment avoir été spoliés par le passé et réclament au gouvernement qui possède près de 90% des terres, la rétrocession de celles-ci.

Et si on parlait des statues : Les Moai

On a écrit beaucoup de choses sur les Moai. Grace au travail des chercheurs et de l’écoute qu’ils ont enfin accordé à la transmission orale des pascuans, il est établi que ces statues représentent les chefs de village, lesquels symbolisent la puissance et la fertilité. De leur vivant, ils faisaient tailler dans une carrière leur statue et à leur mort celle-ci était acheminée au village car elle conservait les symboles du chef décédé. C’est la raison pour laquelle les statues étaient tournés vers la terre (vers le village) et donc tournaient le dos à la mer.

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Leur taille de 2 à 21mètres de hauteur, pesant plusieurs dizaines de tonnes. Pendant longtemps leur déplacement a été une énigme; maintenant on sait qu’il étaient transportés depuis la carrière d’extraction en position verticale, par rotation, à la manière dont nous déplaçons nos machines à laver et réfrigérateurs, aidés par des troncs d’arbres et des cordes. Depuis toujours les pascuans disaient que les statues  se déplaçaient “ en dansant” Personne ne les prenaient au sérieux. Un jour mis au défi ils en ont fait la démonstration en déplaçant un Moai de 7m pesant 20 tonnes.

Voilà le décor (succinct) planté……et nous….

Et nous, nous faisons partie de ces 40 OOO visiteurs qui atterrissent ici par an parmi les 3800 habitants que compte l’ile. Dès le premier soir, après avoir pris possession de notre chambre dans un camping face à l’océan, nous participons à une fête folklorique avec repas et danses pascuans.

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c’est là qu’on mesure combien l’Ile de Pâques est une véritable charnière entre une civilisation ( que nous avons quittée en partant de Santiago), somme toute “occidentale”, et notre future rencontre avec la civilisation asiatique.

Le lendemain avec Lili nous découvrirons le sud de l’Ile et au travers des multiples sites archéologiques, son histoire, racontée avec passion et érudition. 6heures durant ,explications, questionnement, affirmations, Lili nous a enchantés de son propos. Et pourtant c’est pas notre truc d’écouter un guide . A faire rêver.

DSC04865 Ensuite randonnée sur le sommet le plus haut, 514m. Oui ce n’est pas l’Himalaya. Pour nous conduire, au pied de la piste, nous sommes pris en stop et conversation s’engage avec un vieux monsieur. Nous apprendrons ensuite qu’il s’agissait d’une sommité de l’Ile qui à 89ans continue de sculpter des Moais pour l’italie, l’Espagne et les USA. Du sommet nous avons une vision à 360°. Seul le vent nous accompagne dans cette rando et de superbes chevaux sauvages en liberté.

Retour à Hanga Roa sous une pluie torrentielle, le seul village de l’Ile de Pâques, car autrefois tous les habitants ont été regroupés dans ce lieu afin d’être mieux surveillés. Cela ne nous empêchera pas de nous baigner dans une eau à 25° en compagnie d’une tortue géante. Nous faisons une autre rando sur le volcan Rano kau,  altitude 410m,  à côté d’un site abritant un ancien village cérémoniel parfaitement conservé construit sur les rebords d’un cratère, à 400m d’altitude au bord d’un à pic plongeant dans l’océan.

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Nous gardons la cerise sur le gâteau, pour le dernier jour en allant sur la seule plage de l’Ile, Anakena. Nous rêvions de sable blanc et cocotier, nous y voici.

DSC04857  Nous aurions bien aimé faire une petite sieste à l’ombre des cocotiers, mais la garde du parc nous siffle pour nous prévenir du danger des noix de coco sur la tête. Voilà notre périple dans la zone hispanique se termine. Ile de Pâques on t’M parce que tu es Mystérieuse, Mythique, Merveilleuse…….

Bernard

Cet article est publié depuis la Polynésie ou nous rencontrons des difficultés de connectivité. L’album de photos sera publié dès que possible

34 127 réponses à “9/1 – Ile de Pâques : On t’ “M””

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