Orongo is a place with greater cultural and historical importance, since it was the seat of the Taƞata Manu. This ceremony honored the creator god Make-Make and consisted of a competition during the Manutara season.
Made up of elliptical stone houses that offer a perfect view of the three islets or Motu that are in front of Rano Kau
Inside some of the houses, interesting paintings related to the birdman ceremony have been found. Generally, the large vertical slabs on the wall opposite the entrance to the house were painted, so that they received light from outside.
Conformed by stone houses with elliptic shape that offer a perfect vision towards the three islets (or Motu) located right in front of Rano Kau. This Village was inhabited only during the days when the Taƞata Manu competition was celebrated in spring, in which each clan would compete to get the first egg of the Manutara bird to become the governors of the island.
The first stone houses in Orongo seem to be built around 1.400 a.c. from the rocks that are nowadays in the center of the village.
Right in the beginning of the village, in the side that faces the crater of the volcano Rano Kau, you can see the remains of a small Ahu or platform where there’s still the base of an unique Moai, the famous Hoa Hakananai’a, which was taken in 1868 by the crew of a British war ship, “Topaze”. This Moai is located since then in the British Museum in London.
In front of the Ahu you can find little holes in the stones that seem to have been used as an astronomical observatory to determine the position of the sun.
Rapa Nui emerged between 3.000.000 and 200.000 years ago from the bottom of the ocean when submarine volcanic cones, product of the movement of the tectonic plates, formed mountains as high as 3.000 meters. Part of these volcanic cones is what we now know as Rapa Nui, with a triangle shape and an area of 166km. From the ancient volcanos of the island, Rano Raraku and Rana Kau are two of the most visited craters. Poike, which is the oldest volcano is located on the East corner while Terevaka, the highest peak with 507 meters over sea level, is located in the middle of the island.