A gift to humanity from Rapa Nui, UMANGA


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Source: Pressenza

The responses of the past open solutions to the present and the future; Tapu and Umanga: Tapu is an absolute obedience to the laws and rules, to live together in self-care. Umanga: I help you, you help me, and between the two of us we help others, without thinking that you will pay me.

During the coronavirus pandemic, Rapa Nui was closed to avoid contagion. Bearing in mind that for three decades the territory’s economy was sustained by tourism, with more than 150,000 visitors per year, this 150,000 visitors a year, this meant a total change of life on the island. In this unexpected situation, the islanders gave a completely opposite response to the individualism that had prevailed during this period.

Mayor Pedro Edmunds says that based on their worldview, “we generated the idea of self-production. Family gardens, fishing and whatever we are doing, sharing. Umanga is called in Rapa Nui”. They decided to promote the creation of more than a thousand vegetable gardens that would allow the population to be self-sufficient in food, in the context of a culture of what on the continent they call bartering. The islanders concluded: “It wasn’t so bad, we saw a lot of UMANGA, living in community”.

The abnormality of individualism, which has been instilled by the neoliberal system, and which in times of crisis does not provide responses to the people, time and again drives us to go back to the roots in order to survive, revealing that in times of crisis, the individualism of the people is not the only way to survive.
In moments in which this model does not respond, people return to relate to each other, define concrete needs as priorities, leaving aside the superfluous, and the superfluous, giving rise to the superfluous, giving rise to joy and the FORCE of community collaboration.

The Rapa Nui people managed to realise the things they had forgotten for years and that they could take up again, such as sowing, raising animals, bartering, demonstrating that it is indeed a way of life in which one really goes from one’s own look to looking after others. All this shows how interesting and valuable the contribution of the diversity of Chile’s peoples and cultures is, and how coherent their recognition of pluri-nationality is.

Chile will be a nation with the possibility of influencing from the cosmovisions that give rise to the forms of life on the planet, teaching us about good living and instructing us on how to exercise a community based on sustainability to exercise a community based on sustainability, overcoming westernism, integrating a political representation that historically speaks to us of the most sensitive and basic mandate, that of the defence of nature and the value of nature the defence of nature and the valorisation of the land.

From the island they show us in a concrete way an entrance door, to then continue advancing with the linguistic and cultural rescue, which in their case is led by the council of elders.

ILO Convention 169 and art. 237 of the Chilean Penal Code speak of reparation agreements for the families on the island and ancestral peoples, giving legal support to the validation of the TAPU, as an act respectful of Chilean legality.

The richness of each worldview, not only at the national level, but worldwide, offers us a route in which embracing multiculturalism provides and opens up endless possibilities in human relations and how we value diversity, emphasising the convergence of cultures.

Finally, this shows us that we are all one, that is, we realise that what happens to the other affects us all equally, and equally, that the mutual benefits are for all.
all of us.


Collaborative writing by Ruben Marcos, Guillermo Garcés, Sylvia Hidalgo, Natalia Canto and César Anguita, from the Political Commission.

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