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AKU-AKU: The Secret of Easter Island by Thor…

AKU-AKU: The Secret of Easter Island (edition 1958)

by Thor Heyerdahl

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717813,134 (3.8)10
Title:AKU-AKU: The Secret of Easter Island
Authors:Thor Heyerdahl
Info:Rand McNally & Co (1958), Edition: 1st, Hardcover, 384 pages
Collections:Your library, Nehwon rpg bibliography, shelves
Tags:grg white, nonfiction, 2014-14

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Aku-Aku: The Secret of Easter Island by Thor Heyerdahl


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A very, very good book that is both well-written and a great adventure story. Much of his writings have been disproven, but it sill makes for a great story. Sadly, I have a problem with T.H. bartering with something that does not have a high value to him (cigs, etc.) for island artifacts that were held in high esteem by the local culture until westernization. Tis the Dutch and Manhattan Island all over again. ( )
  untraveller | Jan 18, 2016 |
A very interesting account of an archaological expedition to Easter Island, told by an adventurerer who also sailed a raft across the Pacific. The book at its best evokes the environment of Easter Island, both above and below ground, and the social structures of the natives. But from the chapter 'Superstition against superstition' the book started to lose this reader. The author displays a marked European sense of superiority to the native beliefs, and spends a lot of time trying to hoodwink the locals into handing over their old 'family stones' to him so that they can be put 'safely' in a museum. I was convinced by his theory that Easter Island had been settled by two different peoples (Polynesians and pre-Columbian Peruvians) in its pre-European days; but not his more general ideas about Polynesian and Inca origins. ( )
  questbird | Jan 6, 2013 |
I haven't read this one for at least 30 years. I bought it (hardback) recently for its evocative ancient colour photos.
10 years ago I read the Ra expedition, which was very boring, and the Kontiki one, which was more interesting but just a description of months at sea. As a scientist, Heyerdahl is OK, but flawed. He proves that something can be done, not that it was done that way. But one problem is that what can be done (from his point of view) demands a huge amount of received knowledge which the ancients didn't have and possibly his pride in his Viking ancestry, which means his motivations are not what ancient motivations would have been. ( )
  FuficiusFango | Sep 21, 2009 |
I know nothing about how Heyerdahl is viewed by anthropologists, but I do know he writes a compelling story, has interesting theories and does more than sit in his armchair to talk about them. I really enjoyed his descriptions of Easter Island and the things they discovered there. ( )
1 vote MrsLee | Mar 4, 2009 |
tom 26 serii naokoo œwiata
  kemotdoman | Jan 24, 2009 |
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Thor Heyerdahl (1914 - 2002) was a Norwegian ethnographer and adventurer with a background in zoology and geography. He became notable for his Kon-Tiki expedition, in which he sailed 8,000 km (5,000 mi) across the Pacific Ocean in a self-built raft from South America to the Tuamotu Islands in 1947. The expedition was designed to demonstrate that ancient people could have made long sea voyages, creating contacts between apparently separate cultures. He is the author of another important text, Aku-Aku, this time focusing on the secrets and mysteries of Easter Island. This was linked to a diffusionist model of cultural development. Heyerdahl subsequently made other voyages designed to demonstrate the possibility of contact between widely separated ancient peoples. He was appointed a government scholar in 1984. In May 2011, the Thor Heyerdahl Archives were added to UNESCO's "Memory of the World" Register. At the time, this list included 238 collections from all over the world. The Heyerdahl Archives span the years 1937 to 2002 and include his photographic collection, diaries, private letters, expedition plans, articles, newspaper clippings, original book and article manuscripts. The Heyerdahl Archives are administered by the Kon-Tiki Museum and the National Library of Norway in Oslo.
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