Explorers Club members, Edmundo Edwards FI’90 of Chile/Easter Island and Lynn Danaher MN’05 have created the Pacific Islands Research Institute, a 501c3 non-profit to fund their research & upcoming expeditions. PIRI is dedicated to the study, understanding & preservation of the unique cultural heritage & fragile environment of the remote islands of the Pacific Ocean. Along with Dr. Nancy Sullivan FI’06, they plan to return to Papua New Guinea, Upper Karawari Region in the not too distant future. In 2008 Edmundo and Nancy established the camps & contacts with the local people of the region to better access the remote tribe they plan to study. They also completed a study of the cave paintings in the area. They hope to return to a more remote valley to study and make “first contact” with the Meakambut tribe of hunter-gathers. They plan to record & film their rituals, cave paintings & the every day life of this pristine culture.
Their long term plan for PIRI is to impart knowledge of the special environments, history, and varied cultures of the Pacific islands. They plan to accomplish this through series of educational programs including slideshow lectures, and documentary films and photo exhibits. Current efforts are focused on the some of the most remote islands of the Pacific, Raivavae, Rapa Nui (Easter Island) and Papua New Guinea. To date, a documentary film about Raivavae and Papua New Guinea is in post-production and they are compiling a collection of over 8,000 photographs into an ethnographic record of Raivavae and the cave paintings of PNG. They also plan to translate Edmundos 35 years of research on Rapa-Nui from Spanish into English. In the future the plan is to offer, lectures, presentations and film documentation to the general public and school groups. They believe it is impetrative to educate in order to understand the importance of preservation and continued research in these remote isolated environments
OUR PURPOSE & GOAL
To be able to pursue scientific research in these remote and unknown areas of the Pacific, we have set up several unique Expeditions with the aid of the Pacific Islands Research Institute a nonprofit USA Foundation. These Expeditions are led by the most prominent scientists working in such places, who will be able to reveal to you in all it’s splendor those hidden Worlds of the Pacific. We hope this way to be able to attract to these areas potential donors, and get them interested in financing Specific Educational and Scientific Research Projects of vital importance to these local populations, and to better our scientific knowledge of such areas. These involve promoting schooling and education, as well as archaeological, biological and environmental studies. Those people, who do not know or understand their past, live usually a diminished future. Our interest is therefore to promote a greater understanding of these past cultures in a wider non sectarian universal sphere, so they will be able to better conceptualize their past event and feel pride in their unique past cultural accomplishments, such as their astronomical knowledge and navigational skills, or the carving, transport and erection of the giant stone statues on Easter Island. Most of not all of the cost of these Expeditions are tax deductible, and the proceeds will be used to further the above mentioned research.