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Abstract

According to the beliefs of the ancient Easter Islanders, the main god, Makemake, made the earth, the sun, the moon and the stars. He also was the creator of mankind (Metraux 1940:312,314). Birdmen figures were features of the cult; frequently these are represented in the local rock art (Metraux 1940:314; Lee 1992:15,22 ff), but it is also known that this mysterious deity was the great spirit of the sea (Thomson 1891:482). The god Tangaroa appeared at Easter Island incarnated in a seal, and his mana, supernatural power, was over the sea (Metraux 1940:310). These items state that Makemake is the Polynesian god Tangaroa, the Lord of the Ocean.

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