The song „Mister Birdman“ explains the principle of the bird man cult (Tangata Manu) of the Rapa Nui. During springtime young men (Hopu) – representatives of the applicants for the position as bird man – swam from Orongo to the Motu Nui Island to find the first egg of the Sooty Tern. Whoever was the first to arrive with an intact egg back at Orongo had his mentor declared as bird man for one year. The bird man was the incarnation of creator Make Make. He enjoyed many privileges, stayed in Mataveri and after his death, a place at the Ahu Orohie site was bestowed upon him.
Your Hopu climbed down the mountain
and he swam to Moto Nui,
waiting for this one moment
to be the first to catch this egg
The incarnation of Makemake
brought you to the Sooty Tern,
making you the chosen man
Ao’s path is made for you.
tell me Mr. Birdman
how does it feel to be the first?
Hey Mr. Birdman
that’s your way Mr. Birdman
now you know you have to be alone, be alone
They shaved your body and painted your skin
on your way to Mataveri,
you`re so lucky to be favoured by him
you`ll be buried at Ahu Orohie.
Now it´s your turn to be the number one
your name will never be forgotten,
you will never die because
this magic power has come to you.