National Geographic : 1962 Jan
KODACHROMEW NATIONALGEOGRAPHIC5OUlTCI Dancing Petroglyphs Preserve the Rituals of a Vanished Bird-man Cult Until the mid-1800's the bird-man feast highlighted the religious year. Cultists moved into stone huts on Rano Kao crater, where they overlooked the isle of Motu Nui, nest ing place of migratory sooty terns. For weeks celebrants chanted and danced. When the sacred birds settled on their nests, strong men swam the channel in competition for the season's first egg. The winner's patron became a ceremonial chief for a year, with a 112 license to exact tribute. Hole behind the carvings leads through the roof of a stone hut.