easter island

I’ll be frank. I use to enjoy playing in certain kinds of sports games, but I don’t like watching sports on tv or in videos. Indeed, I don’t like personally attending sporting events to watch them. Doing so bores me too much, although I do have friends who do like to do so. So I am glad that they get pleasure in the activity.

That being shared, I will admit that I saw a documentary about one sporting event that fascinated me. It was about preventing conflicts and murder among four tribes on Rapa Nui (named Easter Island by Europeans). It also promoted democratic principles while there was not a lot of food for the tribes.

The game that took place once a year went like this:

Each tribe would train its one best athlete for the game that took place once a year. Tribal members would also weave him a mat and roll it up in a coil so that he could carry it on his shoulder.

The order of the four athletes successfully fulfilling their tasks would rank order the amount of food that each tribe got. In other words, your tribe would get the least if your athlete came in last. The tribe with the best one ensured that your tribe got the most food and its athlete would be the ruler of the island for a year when the game happened again. The second place competitor got the second most food for his group and the one in third place got the third most. … Not a shabby plan for an island with food shortages and, meanwhile, nobody starved or fought over food. Instead, they focused on preparing for the next game, grew food and lived in peaceful harmony with each other, including in disputes with others in which that year’s ruler acted as judge and jury or assigned others to do so, I imagine.

The game went thusly:

All four warriors were barefooted and carrying their mats. They met on top of a hill
At the signal for the event’s beginning, they would run down the hill and jump off of a very high cliff. Then they would swim out as quickly as possible to a particular small island, find an intact bird egg from a specific type of bird, keep it safe in the mat since it can’t be delivered broken, climb up the steep, high, rocky cliff with no footwear and while only wearing a cloth over private parts (since who has time to make clothes when growing food and training your tribe’s athlete are main focuses). Then each contender would run up to the place where the race started. Winner does not take all!

Imagine if groups of people in each state were divided up into four groups and had a similar contest of some type for its prize athlete. I can guarantee that the outcome would be more fair and just than our current economics system, which primarily benefit many of our politicians (of which not all are corrupt and some are wonderful) and the wealthy. It would be more equitable instead, it would seem

Easter Island
Island in Chile
Easter Island, a Chilean territory, is a remote volcanic island in Polynesia. Its native name is Rapa Nui. It’s famed for archaeological sites, including nearly 900 monumental statues called moai, created by inhabitants during the 13th–16th centuries. The moai are carved human figures with oversize heads, often… More
Population: 7,750 (2017)
Language: Spanish, Rapa Nui

Sally Dugman writes from MA, USA.



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