They are thought to be of the Polynesian race. When they settled on Easter island it was well wooded, and abounded in small game and birds. It would appears that a second people also settled there at a later date.
Looking at those enigmatic statues, that stare out to sea, they seem to be subdivided into the 'long ears' and the 'short ears', representing the two different cultures. The population cut down most of the trees, to cut and use as rollers to transport the huge statues. The actual purpose of the statues, or what they represent, is unknown. Many unfinished statues remain scattered in the quarries where the rock came from. The people probably lived in crude shelters, and in caves, their lifestyle was primitive in the extreme. The flora and fauna was not as lush and plentiful as on other Pacific islands groups such as Otaheite (Tahiti nui) and Hawaii
Eventually, the food sources disappeared, and the people could not survive entirely from the sea. There may have also been ciivil or tribal war amongst the population. Any survivors could no longer subsist on the barren, windswept island, and are presumed to have sailed away if they were able to construct boats, which is doubtful due to the lack of available materials.
Their final fate remains a complete mystery.