Books: The Hipster Islanders

AKU-AKU, THE SECRET OF EASTER ISLAND (384 pp.)—Thor Heyerdahl—Rand McNally ($6.95).

Easter Island, a pinpoint in the wide Pacific 2,000 miles west of Chile and 1,000 miles from the nearest inhabited place, has long presented scientists with a stony enigma. Somehow, some time in the past, an industrious people carved out hundreds of stone statues of big-nosed, long-eared men and moved the figures, weighing up to 50 tons, from inside an extinct volcano to stone platforms rimming the island. According to archaeological evidence, the job was done without metal, without knowledge of the wheel, without technical aids save poles and fiber ropes....

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