THE HISTORY OF EASTER ISLAND
Early European visitors to Easter Island recorded the local oral traditions about the original settlers. In these traditions, Easter Islanders claimed that a chief Hotu Matu’a arrived on the island in one or two large canoes with his wife and extended family. They are believed to have been Polynesian. There is considerable uncertainty about the accuracy of this legend, as well as the date of settlement. Published literature suggests the island was settled around 300-400 AD, or at about the time of the arrival of the earliest settlers in Hawaii.