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The Team


Photo of Darus Ane Darus Ane
Darus Ane is an accomplished watersports athlete who has been heavily involved in outrigger canoe activities in California including the founding of Long Beach's Kahakai Outrigger Canoe Club. Darus' family members in Hawaii are deeply involved with the emerging rediscovery of Polynesian voyaging with the voyaging canoes Hokule'a and Hawai'iloa. Darus' considerable knowledge in the technology of the outrigger canoe and his experience in canoe construction makes him an invaluable member of the Moai team. Darus received his education at California State University of Long Beach and currently serves as the leader of a rescue unit with the Los Angeles County Fire Department.


Claudio Christino Claudio P. Cristino
Claudio Cristino has been Easter Island's resident archaeologist for the past two decades. He is also Assistant Professor of Prehistory at the University of Chile, Research Fellow at the Easter Island Studies Institute of the University of Chile, Associate Researcher with the Department of Archaeology of French Polynesia and Director of the Eastern Pacific Research Foundation, a Maryland-based organization that finances scientific projects in the Eastern Pacific. Claudio's connection with Easter Island dates back to 1976, when he arrived as a graduate student to participate in the restoration of the famous birdman cult ceremonial site of Orongo. In the following years he excavated and restored Ahu o Kava and many other ceremonial sites. In 1978 he founded the Easter Island Studies Institute of the University of Chile, and acted as its first Director until 1985. From 1992 to 1996, he was the archaeologist in charge of restoring Easter Island's largest ahu at Tongariki. He has continued to carry out numerous studies in anthropology, ethnology, and ethno history on Easter Island, in addition to directing the Rapa Nui Archaeological survey, a gigantic task still in progress.


Edmundo Edwards Edmundo Edwards
Edmundo Edwards has lived on Easter Island for 36 years, working in archaeology and ethnohistory. In 1960 he worked as a volunteer with Professor William Mulloy in the restoration of Ahu Akivi, one of Easter Island's most visited moai sites. In 1977 he was a founder of the Easter Island Studies Institute of the Chilean University, where he worked as ethnoarchaeologist until 1985. Edmundo has lectured in several countries and at more than 30 universities and museums throughout the United States. He has also written many scientific papers on his work on Eastern Polynesia on subjects related to anthropology, ethnology, ethnohistory, ethnoarchaeology and ethnoastronomy. At present he is Vice President of the Eastern Pacific Research Foundation, a Maryland-based nonprofit organization that finances archaeological research in Easter Island and Eastern Polynesia.


Santi Hito
Santi has shown his rock sculptures and paintings at the Museum of Art Los Angeles in 1996, Spring Street Gallery Los Angeles in 1995 and Haight Street Gallery San Francisco in 1994. His work was also featured in Brentwood Magazine in the September 1995 issue. His music is based on his native language and musical rhythms. Recently he has performed at Mann Group, Renaissance and Venice Sunrise Cafe. Santi is a native of Rapa Nui, who moved to Los Angeles, California to work as an Art Director and Production Designer in the film industry. He has worked on many feature films, as well as various commercials and music videos. Santi is fluent in English, Spanish and Rapa Nui.


Vincent R. Lee
Vincent Lee is a self-employed architect in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, and has lived there since 1968. Prior to that, he served four years as a Marine Corps officer in the Far East and obtained both undergraduate and graduate degrees from Princeton University. He received a Master of Fine Arts in architecture in 1966. In addition to his professional practice, he operated a seasonal mountaineering guide service for 20 years and led hundreds of alpine ascents and scores of expeditions worldwide. During a 1982 climbing trip in Peru's Cordillera Vilcabamba, his boyhood fascination with ancient America was reawakened and his part-time guiding activities gave way to what has since become a second career in Andean archaeology. Accompanied by his wife, Nancy, he has devoted much of the past 15 years to extensive field explorations and mapping projects in Peru, Bolivia and Ecuador as well as various studies in pre-Columbian architectural design and construction techniques, in particular those involving megalithic masonry.


Margee Ralston
Margee Ralston has been an outrigger canoe competitor since early childhood in Hawaii, and currently paddles with the Kahakai Women's Masters crew in California. Margee has helped with many outrigger and Polynesian cultural events in and around Los Angeles for the past 10 years and has developed a program using the outriggers as a cultural reconnection for Polynesian school children living in California. Margee received her education at University of Arizona and at Azusa Pacific University and currently teaches middle school in Paramount, CA.


Photo of Ted Ralston Ted Ralston
Ted Ralston has been involved with outrigger canoes and Polynesian culture since his earliest remembrances as a child growing up in Hawaii. Now living in California, Ted is a principal member of the Kahakai Outrigger Canoe Club, which promotes the sport of Polynesian outrigger racing and Polynesian culture in general in the Los Angeles area. Ted developed a connection with Rapa Nui during the 1995 voyage to Long Beach of the Polynesian voyaging canoe Hokule'a, which served to bring together the many Pacific nations represented on the US West Coast. Ted joined the team at the request of Dr. Van Tilburg, in order to include his expertise in the technology of the voyaging canoe. Ted received his education at the University of Illinois and Rensaelaer Polytechnic Institute, and serves as an Executive Specialist at The Boeing Co., Long Beach, CA.


Photo of Zvi Shiller Zvi Shiller
Professor Shiller is on the faculty of the Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Department at UCLA. He received a B.Sc. degree from Tel Aviv University, and M.S. and doctoral degrees from MIT, all in mechanical engineering. His research activities have focused on robotics, motion planning, dynamics and control, and on intelligent vehicles. His contribution to the Easter Island project is to determine the energy-optimal paths that could be used to transport the moai on Easter Island, in addition to helping to refine the transport theory.


Jo Anne Van Tilburg Jo Anne Van Tilburg Ph.D.
Jo Anne Van Tilburg is an archaeologist, Research Associate of the Institute of Archaeology and Director of the Rock Art Archive, UCLA. She is a specialist in Polynesian studies and has conducted field work in the Republic of Belau, Micronesia, and on Easter Island. For more than 15 years, she has worked closely with the Easter Island community, including artist Cristian Arevalo Pakarati, to discover and describe more than 900 of the island's famous monolithic statues. A passionate interest in Polynesian history led Dr. Van Tilburg to create the Rapa Nui Outrigger Club in 1989. Thanks to the leadership of the Rapanui community and the generous efforts of a world-wide circle of supporters, the Club successfully re-introduced the once-lost outrigger canoe, the quintessential Polynesian symbol, to the island.


Johannes Van Tilburg, FAIA
Johannes Van Tilburg is an architect, a Fellow of the American Institute of Architecture and President of Van Tilburg, Banvard and Soderbergh, AIA, Santa Monica, CA. Born in Holland, he is a recognized expert in his field who teaches and lectures at the University of Southern California and Harvard University. He has participated in archaeological field surveys on Easter Island and in the Republic of Belau, Micronesia. His maps and plans of ceremonial architecture on Easter Island have contributed greatly to understanding the complex interaction of art and architecture. Jan Van Tilburg lives with his wife Jo Anne and their daughter Marieka in Malibu, CA.




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