Rapanui Sculptor, Easter Island

Rapanui Sculptor, Easter Island

In the early 18th century “Easter” island became overpopulated and resources diminished. Warriors known as matatoa gained more power and the Ancestor Cult ended, making way for the Bird Man Cult. By 1760 leadership of the island was won by the fastest individual to climb down its vertical slopes, swim through shark-infested waters to one of three small islets and bring back the unbroken egg of a nesting Sooty Tern. Whoever successfully completed this test first was considered the Birdman of the year and was bestowed with special honours and privileges.