Next stop? Orongo and Bird Island.
Every year in August when the birds arrived, all of the clans gathered together up near the volcano and each chose a hopu manu (representative) for the annual competition. After all of the celebrations and feasts, the hopu manu had to climb down the Orongo Cliff, swim to those islands, wait there until they could collect the first egg laid by the sooty tern, swim back, and climb back up the cliffs without breaking the egg. The winner was named the tangata manu during that season. The provided his clan with all of the political advantages until the following year.
These little squares are the entrances to their homes during this time of the Bird Man competition. How'd they even get in those things?! And they definitely weren't able to stand up in these structures...unless they were REALLY short.
The stone huts line the cliffs over looking Bird Island
Rano Kau Volcano is dated to have erupted 2 million years ago
Here we are looking into the crater...
And here's the view when we turned away from the volcano and looked down onto the inhabited part of the island...Nice, Jake.