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The 48 oval stone houses of this ceremonial village, likely constructed in the late 1600s and used by locals until 1866, were occupied only during the ceremony honoring the god Make-Make. The high point of the annual event was a competition in which prominent villagers designated servants to paddle small rafts to Motu Nui, the largest of three islets just off the coast. The first servant to find an egg of the sooty tern, a bird nesting on the islets, would swim back with the prize tucked in a special headdress. His master would become the tangata manu, or birdman, for the next year. The tangata manu was honored by being confined to a cave until the following year's ceremony. Dozens of petroglyphs depicting birdlike creatures cover nearby boulders along the rim of Rano Kau. There's a ranger station at the entrance to Orongo, where you pay admission to the Rapa Nui National Park (the same ticket is valid for Rano Raraku).
- Address: South of Hanga Roa on Rano Kau
- Cost: US$10.
- Location: The Western Circuit
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