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Tangata Manu: Fågelmannens uppror.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts, Department of Archaeology and Ancient History.
2019 (Swedish)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesisAlternative title
Tangata Manu : The rebellion of the birdman (English)
Abstract [en]

This study investigates the ceremonial village of Orongo and the sacred site of Mata Ngarau. They are located on the southern edge of the Ranu Kau volcano crater, as well as the Motu Nui islet in front of the named volcano. Orongo was the scenario of important political and religious events that submerged Rapa Nui and its inhabitants in a magical story from the mid-1500s to the mid-1800s.

This study aims, to some extent, elucidate the context in which the legend and the ritual of the Tangata Manu originates and its importance for the development of the Rapa Nui society. The study examines archaeological, ethnohistorical and contemporary evidences of the birdman cult and contradictory theories about the catastrophe that loomed over the Rapa Nui society

The archaeological evidence of those events is the silent testimony of the god Make Make and Tangata Manu, the birdman, the god representative on earth. These are carved on the edge and the slopes of the Ranu Kau crater, in the carved and rupestrian paintings of the stone houses of Mata Ngarau at Orongo, in the caves of the Motu Nui islet and in the one of the cannibals, Ana Kai Tangata. Ethnohistorical evidences provide data on the ritual activities in connection to the birdman cult.

The social and environmental degradation which causes of the almost total extermination of its inhabitants as well as the eroding of its culture and with it that of the birdman, Tangata Manu. Today the birdman culture and Orongo is one of the prominent visitors’ sites on the island but interviews with Indigenous Rapanui show that the site also continue to have spiritual and political meaning in today’s society. The modern Rapa Nui society today shows contradictory features. On the one hand we see the face of a thriving, mercantilist society, with hundreds of thousands of tourists visiting it annually and buying handicrafts of dubious local creation. On the other hand, we observe the efforts of hundreds of islanders who struggle to maintain their language, their cultural heritage, their petroglyphs, their cave paintings and their legends. That is the spirit of the rebellion of Tangata Manu.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2019. , p. 50
Keywords [en]
Easter Island, Rapa Nui, Make Make, Tangata Manu, birdman, Makohe, Manutara, Manu Piri, Manavai, Ranu Kau, Motu Nui, Mata Ngarau, sacred recint, Orongo, ceremonial village
National Category
Archaeology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-394884OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-394884DiVA, id: diva2:1359681
Subject / course
Archaeology
Supervisors
Examiners
Available from: 2019-10-10 Created: 2019-10-10 Last updated: 2019-10-10Bibliographically approved

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