Manutara (Sooty Tern) Competition Notes – Orongo Easter Island (Rapa Nui)

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Manutara (Sooty Tern) Competition Notes – Orongo Easter Island (Rapa Nui)

The Manutara is the local name for the Sooty Tern.  These notes describe an ancient competition between the Clans of Easter Island. They swim 1.4km though the rough shark invested sea to the Motu Nui islet from the bluff of Orongo, south east of the Rapu Nui Island.  They wait to collect the first egg of the migrating Sooty Tern to nest.   Upon returning the same route with egg, the champion is named the new tangata-manu’ which is considered tapu’, (sacred) and subsequently lived in ceremonial seclusion for one year.  The last competition took place in 1867.

Pictures and notes copied from displays at the Orongo Visitors Reception Area who are the originators and presented here with thanks.

  • Species:Sooty Tern (Onychoprion fuscatus)
  • Bird Type:Adult
  • FamilyGulls, Terns and Skimmers( Laridae)
  • Date Taken20191016
  • Location:Orongo
  • Area:South East Rapa Nui
  • Country:Easter Island
  • Region:Australasia
Photo File Ref: BEI00006 Manutara Competition Orongo - Easter Island (Rapa Nui) Oct19 PH3_9442
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