View from the summit of Rano...

View from the summit of Rano...

View from the summit of Rano Kau and down to Motu Nui, 324 meters below. For every September between 1460 AD and 1866 AD (406 years!), there were birdman festivals on the peak. A race was staged where the participants would make the dangerous swim to the off-shore island of Motu Nui to find the first egg of the sooty tern bird. The winning participant would then carry the egg to the top of the peak Rano Kau and would be proclaimed as "birdman". The winner was thought to posses supernatural powers.
on Nov 21, 2005 3:45 pm
Image ID: 137382


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CharlesD - Feb 13, 2006 10:47 pm - Voted 8/10

Bird! Man!

I was just reading about this in Collapse by Jared Diamond. Apparently the swim is made even more dangerous because the intervening waters are rife with Great White Sharks.

I can't imagine swimming with a large egg, never mind doing it with sharks all around. Those easter islanders were bad dudes.

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