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Petroglyphs God of the Tangata manu or Birdman cult Easter Island has the richest assortment of petroglyphs in Polynesia. Model - no Property - no. Sorry your purchase has been declined because your account is on hold.

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The Sooty Tern and its Role in Easter Island’s Birdman Ceremony

Please refer to the license restrictions for more information. Each contestant would then appoint one or sometimes two hopu other adult men of lesser status who would actually swim to Motu Nui carrying provisions in a bundle of reeds called a pora under one arm and await the arrival of the terns, hoping to return with the first egg, whilst their tribal sponsors, the contestants, waited at the stone village of Orongo.

The race was very dangerous and many hopu were killed by sharks, by drowning, or by falling from cliff faces, though replacements were apparently easily available. Once the first egg was collected, the finder would go to the highest point on Motu Nui and call out to the shore of the main island, announcing his benefactor by that benefactor's new name and telling him, "Go shave your head, you have got the egg!

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The unsuccessful hopu would then collectively swim back to the main island while the egg-finder would remain on Motu Nui and would fast alone until he swam back, which he would do with the egg secured inside a reed basket tied to his forehead. On his reaching land, he would then climb the steep, rocky cliff face and, if he did not fall, present the egg to his patron, who would have already shaved his head and painted it either white or red. This successful contestant not the hopu would then be declared tangata-manu , would take the egg in his hand and lead a procession down the slope of Rano Kau to Anakena if he was from the western clans or Rano Raraku if he was from the eastern clans.

The new tangata-manu was entitled to gifts of food and other tributes including his clan having sole rights to collect that season's harvest of wild bird eggs and fledglings from Motu Nui , and went into seclusion for a year in a special ceremonial house.


Once in residence there he was considered tapu sacred for the next five months of his year-long status, and allowed his nails to grow and wore a headdress of human hair. He would spend his time eating and sleeping, and would be expected to engage in no other activity. The Birdman cult was suppressed by Christian missionaries in the s. The origin of the cult and the time thereof are uncertain, as it is unknown whether the cult replaced the preceding Moai -based religion or had co-existed with it.

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Katherine Routledge was, however, able to collect the names of 86 tangata-manu.