School of Music and Arts of Rapa Nui – NGO Toki Rapa Nui

Toki Rapa Nui School of Music and Arts

The School of Music and Arts of the NGO Toki Rapa Nui aims to preserve the culture and environment of Easter Island. Meet this wonderful project and plan your visit.

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The first great work of Toki Rapa Nui

Inauguration of the Toki Rapa Nui School of Music and Arts Easter Island

Inauguration of the Toki Rapa Nui School of Music and Arts

The School of Music and Arts of Rapa Nui, is the first great work of NGO Toki Rapa Nui, non-profit organization, which was born in 2012 on the initiative of 9 young Rapanui professionals, who sought to contribute to the island with their new knowledge.

The project is led by the concert pianist Mahani Teave (twice elected Woman of the Year, Cultural Ambassador of Rapa Nui, honorary VP of the World Indigenous Business Forum 2017) and the Constructor and Musician Enrique Icka (elected among the 100 young leaders in Chile 2016 ).

This Integral Development Center is at the service of local needs, promoting initiatives of cultural preservation and care of the environment for sustainable development through four areas:

1) School of Music and Arts
2) Environmental protection
3) Social protection
4) Preservation of the tangible and intangible ancestral legacy

The origin of the idea

Mahani Teave and Enrique Icka with students from the Toki Music School Easter Island

Mahani Teave and Enrique Icka with students from the Toki Music School

In 2012, Mahani Teave, together with Enrique Icka and a group of young island professionals, created Toki Rapa Nui NGO; “Toki” in the Rapanui language is the tool used by their ancestors to shape the moai, the emblematic rock statues of the island. His goal was to show that we can all be a “toki“, building a better future and develop a cultural space where to preserve and promote the music, arts and traditions of Rapa Nui.

That year, thanks to the donation of some instruments, the dream of creating the free School of Music began, doing the classes in different spaces of the island (parish and houses of students or teachers). Thus, the need to have an own space where to hold classes was born; The next step was to build a school!

Concert of the students of the Toki Rapa Nui Music School Easter Island

Concert of the students of the Toki Rapa Nui Music School

Six years have passed, and now we have our own School of Music and Arts, teaching free classes to more than 120 children, in classical disciplines (piano, cello, orchestras, violin, music theory, trumpet) and the Rapanui tradition (Rapanui dance, ancestral song, takona-body painting, hoko-rapanui ceremonial dance and ukulele). We also carry out different artistic and cultural activities open to the entire Rapanui community and promote environmental care and heritage rescue activities.

The architectural project

The School was built on the land donated by the co-founder, musician and construction engineer Enrique Icka and was designed under the premise of Earthship Biotecture. An innovative proposal by the American Michael Reynolds, who traveled to Easter Island and drew the plan in the shape of a flower that would house the Toki Music School. The building was designed to be open to the local community and to plant the seed in a self-sustaining form of construction in Rapa Nui.

The Toki School is a self-sufficient and ecological building and in its construction ten tons of cartons and six pellets, 1,500 tires, 30,000 aluminum cans and 20,000 glass bottles were reused. It generates energy with solar panels and recycles rainwater with storage tanks and botanical cells.

Plano de la futura Escuela de Musica Isla de Pascua

Plan of the Rapa Nui Music School

It also has an Ancestral Organic Orchard that provides vegetables and fruits, which have a high cost in Rapa Nui. The building is the first of its kind in Latin America and Oceania, and was recognized in Chile for its high environmental impact with the 2015 National Environment Award.

The building of the School was conceived as a flower with eight petals and its construction involved more than 400 volunteers from different countries, along with volunteers from Rapa Nui, who were trained in sustainable construction techniques and the use of recyclable materials. This learning will allow them to develop an economic and efficient method of replicable construction at the local level and thus be able to deal with environmental problems such as excessive pollution, lack of energy and lack of water that affect the island today.

Preserve culture and the environment

Toki NGO works intensely in the rescue of the language because they believe that a sustainable culture is what can remain in time, despite the different changes and globalization. Their workshops of traditional disciplines are taught in the Rapanui language, by professors with a broad ancestral knowledge and command of the language, who encourage learning in the students, through entertaining and innovative ways of teaching our rich and unique ancestral culture.

They dictate workshops of Re’o Riu (ancestral rapanui song), Ori (rapanui dance), tupuna maramarama, hoko (ancestral dance of activation), takona (body painting) and ukulele.

Solar panels installed on the roof of the Toki Rapa Nui school Easter Island

Solar panels installed on the roof of the school

Toki NGO encourages the participation of projects that seek environmental care and protection, based on sustainability and facing the great ecological challenge that exists in Rapa Nui. They know that the joint work of the company, the organized civil society and the local government generates real and concrete changes. The space of the School of Music and Arts, where all these have converged actors, have taken over a natural leadership to co-construct the common dream of a Sustainable Island.

Toki seeks to make positive changes, offering a space for holistic development of people and in addition to the artistic-musical classes currently taught, aspire to rescue traditional herbal medicine, ancestral stories, visits to archaeological sites and the community of the elderly, thus allowing bring children together with the knowledge of their ancestors, thus preserving the unique Rapanui wisdom.

Agroecology in Toki’s organic farm

Toki organic farm Easter Island

Toki organic farm

The members of Toki are also aware of the great food problem in Rapa Nui, where food is brought at a high cost from the continent. So they have developed the Toki Agricultural Program in a land of 1, 5 hectares, where they plant and harvest products native to the island and other mass consumption using Rapanui ancestral techniques and other cutting-edge technology. They are mainly commercialized on the island, which allows them to advance in Toki’s self-financing, and they are also donated to a vulnerable elderly population. They also share this knowledge with part of the Rapanui community, which owns agricultural land and needs support to exploit it.

FIA, Fund for Agricultural Innovation

Toki was awarded the FIA Fund with the project “Organic Farm of Toki” that seeks to rescue systems of crops and ancestral techniques little used at the moment, mixing those techniques that conform part of the traditions of these indigenous peoples, with the last agricultural technologies, so to generate more agricultural products and of better quality, with fewer resources. They also aspire to put together a seed bank, which will protect genetically unmanaged species and traditional species of the island.

Tourism with sense

Collaborating on Toki's organic farm

Collaborating on Toki’s organic farm

From the beginning of the construction, the Toki School began to receive daily visits from tourists from different parts of the world interested in knowing about the project. Due to the characteristics of Rapa Nui and the deep ecological, social and cultural commitment that is the essence of the Toki project, they decided to take firm steps towards a sustainable tourism that achieves a low impact on the environment and culture of a region, contributing to generate income for Toki and socially responsible jobs.

Toki wants to show its work to national and foreign tourists who visit Rapa Nui. They would like to disseminate the mission of the NGO, promote the type of ecological and sustainable construction of the School and value the rich native Rapanui culture and its preservation. At the same time they want to publicize the Toki Ancestral Organic Farm and sell its products.

Tourist visits to Toki

Tourists visiting the Toki Rapa Nui School of Music and Arts Easter Island

Tourists visiting the Toki Rapa Nui School of Music and Arts

Toki has everything ready to receive you at the School of Music and Arts and make your visit an unforgettable experience, with meaning and contributing to the sustainability of Toki Rapa Nui.

You will know its history and objectives, the construction system of the School of Music, the Ancestral Agroecological Orchad and the interactive cultural learning space (Sala ZIM Rapa Nui). You can also choose some of the following optional activities and coordinate: hoko workshop, ori or takona, Earthship construction workshop, volunteering or traditional planting in the Agroecological Orchard.

Schedule your visit directly by calling them to the cell phone: + 56931957648 or email turismotoki@tokirapanui.org

All the income of the Toki Sustainable Tourism Program helps to continue providing free education for children and young people of Rapa Nui!

How to help if you travel to Rapa Nui?

The team of Imagina Isla de Pascua collaborates with Toki Easter Island

The team of Imagina Isla de Pascua collaborates with Toki

In order to finance this great project it is essential to obtain resources and the most important thing is to get companies and individuals that want to commit themselves in the long term.

Through the website Imagina Easter Island, besides helping you with your trip and offering you information about the island, what we are most excited about is to contribute our bit in the protection and development of the Rapa Nui culture. That is why we have committed to donate 10% of our profits (originated by commissions, advertising and other services) to the wonderful project of the NGO Toki.

Every time someone downloads the app or book an accommodation, a tour or an activity through our website, they are collaborating with the Rapa Nui School of Music and Arts.

» Download our app for free

If you are not going to travel to Rapa Nui but want to collaborate with this beautiful project you can make your donation in:

Banco Estado (de Chile)
Bank Account Nº: 291-0-003157-2
Name: ONG Centro de Desarrollo Rapa Nui, Toki.
RUT: 65.075.191-4 / email: finanzas@tokirapanui.org

And if you want to contribute to Toki monthly, contact them directly: contacto@tokirapanui.org

Contact information

Address: Sector Toki s/n – Rapa Nui – Isla de Pascua
Phone: +56956281600
Website: tokirapanui.org
Email: contacto@tokirapanui.org
Toki Tourism: turismotoki@tokirapanui.org
School of Music Coordinator: escuela.musica@tokirapanui.org


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