‘Anakena is a white coral sand beach in Rapa Nui National Park on Rapa Nui (Easter Island) a Chilean island in the Pacific Ocean.

‘Anakena has two Ahu one with a single Moai and the other with six. It also has a palm grove and a car park.


According to island oral traditions Anakena was the landing place of Hotu Matu'a a Polynesian chief who lead a two canoe settlement party here, and founded the first settlement on Rapa Nui.

It was later a ceremonial center where islanders read from Rongorongo boards.

"Anakena" featured in the Tangata manu or Birdman cult as in years when the new Birdman was from the western clans, he would end his celebrations at Anakena.


Modern Archaeology has found signs of human settlement at Anakena as early as 1200 CE, though linguistic and other analysis indicates a range of dates for first settlement of Rapa Nui between 300 and 1200 CE.

‘Anakena has been the site of several archaeological digs including those of Katherine Routledge in 1914 and Thor Heyerdahl in the 1950s, and both of its Ahus have been restored.

Popular culture

* ‘Anakena was used as one of the film locations for the 1994 Kevin Reynolds film Rapa Nui, starring Jason Scott Lee, Esai Morales, Sandrine Holt, George Henare and Cliff Curtis. The film was produced by Kevin Costner.

External links

* [ Rapa Nui at IMDb]
* [ PBS Nova: Anakena]

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