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I became interested in the terminology of the bird-snare picture:

The 'snaring perch' is called mutu, the tree tutu and turuturu perhaps indicates the bird. It can hardly be a coincidence, I thought, that of the 8 vocals all of them should be u.

Mutu we have met before, that is the name of one of the nights in the moon calendar:





MÚtraux (Thomson)


he tahi kokore

the 1st moon

(Oari?) Ohiro

Tireo (Tueo)


he rua kokore

the 2nd moon

Kokore tahi



he toru kokore

the 3rd moon

Kokore rua

Ata (Oata)


he ha kokore

the 4th moon

Kokore toru

Ari (Oari)


he rima kokore

the 5th moon

Kokore ha

Kokore tahi


he ono kokore

the 6th moon

Kokore rima

Kokore rua


he hitu kokore

the 7th moon

Kokore ono

Kokore toru


he vau o hua

the 8th hua


Kokore ha


he haru tea

white haru


Kokore rima


he popo tea

white ball


Kokore ono


he popo mea

pink ball




he popo uri

black ball


Hua (Ohua)


he popo hega

red ball


Atua (Otua)


he raakau (= rakau)



Hotu (Ohotu)


he omo tohi

full moon

Kokore tahi



he maure

? (for clan?)

Kokore rua



he ohiro

new moon

Kokore toru



he rua te ohiro

the 2nd new moon

Kokore ha

Motohi (Omotohi)


he toru te ohiro

the 3rd new moon

Kokore rima

Kokore tahi


he ha te ohiro

the 4th new moon


Kokore rua


he rima te ohiro

the 5th new moon


Kokore toru


he ono te ohiro

the 6th new moon


Kokore ha


he vau te ohiro

the 7th new moon

Orongo taane

Kokore rima


he o hea

'victim' (?)

Mauri nui



he o hau

'hat' (?)




he o huri

'tribe, kin' (?)


Rongo (Orongo)


o ari

'point' (?)

(Tueo?) Tireo

Rongo Tane (Orongo Tane)


o ata

(month of) shadow




a raga

(month of) fugitive




a tai

(month of) sea


Mutu (Omutu)

This night, (O)mutu, evidently is at the end of the month, though Atan does not use that name. Earlier I have suggested that in the Mamari moon calendar the night is depicted as Ca8-20:

7th period
Ca8-16 Ca8-17 Ca8-18 Ca8-19 Ca8-20 Ca8-21
Orongo Tāne Ma˙ri-nui Ma˙ri-kero Omutu Tireo
8th period
Ca8-27 Ca8-28 Ca8-29 Ca9-1 Ca9-2

In Text Centre I searched for mutu and stumbled on six other moon calendars:

  MAORI MORIORI HAWAIIAN (Drops k; k ior t). TAHITIAN (Drops k and ng). MARQUESAN (Drops r). RAROTONGAN (Drops h).
1 Whiro O Mutu Hilo Hiro hiti Tu nui Iro
2 Tirea O Whiro Hoaka Hoata Tu hawa Oata
3 Hoata Otere Ku kahi Hami ami mua Hoata Amiama
4 One Ohewata Ku lua Hami ami roto Mahea ma tahi Amiama aka oti
5 Okou Oua Ku Kolu Hami ami muri Mahea ma waena Tamatea
6 Tamatea kai ariki Okoro Ku pau Oreore mua Koekoe tahi Tamatea aka oti
7 Tamatea ananga Tamate tutahi Ole ku kahi Oreore muri Koekoe waena Korekore
8 Tamatea aio Tamate turna Ole ku lua Tamatea Poipoi haa pao Korekore aka oti
9 Tamatea whakapau Tamate nui Ole ku kolu Huna Huna O Vari
10 Huna Tamate hokopÓ Ole ku pau Ari Ai Una
11 Ari roa Ohua Huna Maharu Huka Maaru
12 Mawharu Owaru Mohalu Hua Mehau Ua
13 Maurea Hua Hua Maitu Hua E atua (or Maitu)
14 Atua whakahaehae Mawharu Akua Hotu Atua O Tu
15 Turu Outua Hoko Mara`i Hutu nui Marangi
16 Rakau nui Ohotu Mahealani Turutea Hutu manae Oturu
17 Rakau matohi Maure Kulu Raau mua Tuu Rakau
18 Takirau Oturu Laau ku kahi Raau roto Aniwa Kakau roto
19 Oika Rakau nui Laau ku lua Raau muri Ms tahi Rakau aka oti
20 Korekore Rakau motohe Laau pau Oreore mua Kaau Korekore
21 Korekore turua Takirau Ole ku kahi Oreore roto Kaekae tahi Korekore roto
22 Korekore piri ki Tangaroa Oika Ole ku lua Oreore muri Waena Korekore aka oti
23 Tangaroa a mua Korekore tutahi Ole pau Taaroa mua Haa pao Tangaroa
24 Tangaroa a roto Korekore turua Kaloa ku kahi Taaroa roto Hanao tahi Tangaroa roto
25 Tangaroa kiokio Korekore whakapau Kaloa ku lua Taaroa muri Wawena Tangaroa aka oti
26 O Tane Tangar˛ a mua Kaloa pau Tane Haa paa O Tane
27 O Rongo nui Tangar˛ a roto Kane Roo nui Puhiwa Rongo nui
28 Mauri Tangar˛ kikio Lono Roo maori Tane Mauri
29 O Mutu O Tane Mauli Mutu Ona nui O Mutu
30 Mutuwhenua O Rongo nui Muku Teriere Ona mate Otire o Avaiki (or Otireo)
31   O Rongo mori        

The Moriori have their O Mutu at the beginning of the month and the Marquesans did not use the name mutu (similarly Atan).

Neither Vanaga nor Churchill has any explanation for the word mutu, but Wehewehe illuminates its use:

1. Cut short, shortened, amputated; at an end, ceased; anything cut off short; short, brief, quick (rare). Ua muku ko'u lole, my dress is shortened. He kanaka wāwae muku, a person with amputated foot. Huli muku a'ela nā wa'a, the canoes turned sharply. (PPN mutu.)

2. A measure of length from fingertips of one hand to the elbow of the other arm, when both arms are extended to the side.

3. Broken section of a wave or crest. See lala 1.

4. Same as Mumuku, a wind.

5. Thirtieth night of the moon, when it has entirely disappeared (muku).

6. Starboard ends of 'iako (outrigger booms), hence starboard sides of a canoe.

The meaning 'cut short' is similar to the meaning of teke (and koti and oti):


Occiput. Teketeke, short (not tall); also: teke. Vanaga.

Teke ki nei, as far as, until (? tehe 1). Teketeke, crest, ridge. Churchill.


To cut with scissors (since this is an old word and scissors do not seem to have existed, it must mean something of the kind). Vanaga.

To tear; kokoti, to cut, to chop, to hew, to cleave, to assassinate, to amputate, to scar, to notch, to carve, to use a knife, to cut off, to lop, to gash, to mow, to saw; kokotiga kore, indivisible; kokotihaga, cutting, gash furrow. Churchill.


To come to an end; to suffice, to be enough: ku-oti-ß, it is finished; ina kai oti mo kai, there is not enough to eat; he-oti ß, there isn't anymore left, it's the last one; it's enough with that. Vanaga.

Ta.: 1. Oti, presage of death. Sa.: oti, to die. 2. To cut. Mq.: koti, oti, id. Sa.: 'oti, id. Ma.: koti, id. Churchill.

The two assistants of Hotu Matu'a who helped him with the emigration from Hiva were named Teke and Oti. And we remember that another assistant, Moa Kehu, gave us the clue that names of assistants were chosen to indicate the position of the sun: 'Hidden; what cannot be seen because it is covered; he-kehu te raß, said of the sun when it has sunk below the horizon'.

The two names (mutu and teke) given by Makemson for the perch of the bird snare mean about the same thing ('finished'):

'Pewa-o-Tautoru, Bird-snare-of-Tautoru; the constellation Orion in New Zealand. The Belt and Sword form the perch, te mutu or te teke, while Rigel is the blossom cluster, Puanga, used to entice the unsuspecting bird ...'

A further seach in Text Centre reveals that the full name of the bird-snare was mutu kaka.


Kakaka (kaka). Bark of banana-tree. Cut into strips, and left to dry out, its fibres, hau kakaka, are used to make small baskets, small bags etc. Vanaga.

Samoa: 'a'asa, glowing hot. Tonga, Uvea: kakaha, hot, fiery, painful. Futuna: kakā, fiery, reddened by fire. Niuē: kakā, hot, red-hot. Churchill 2.

Maybe the dry fibres were used to ignite fires. I guess that the double meaning of fibres and hot was used in mutu kaka to suggest that there is a time of invisibility due to the sun disturbing the observations. The bird snare perch stopped the celestial bird from flying away as at a solstice. The celestial bird could be the moon (new moon time) or the Pleiades (or similar star - or constellation - used as an indicator of time), i.e. mutu (kaka) should be a time of darkness when the bird (like Phoenix) was consumed in the flames of the sun.

Affirmation of the end of the month as a time of death can be seen in the Marquesan Ona mate as the name of the 30th and last night. Ona probably is Rongo (cfr the Maori list).


1. To die; he-mamate te gagata, many people die. 2. To faint, to lose consciousness; he-tutu ka mate rˇ to beat someone senseless (often used hyperbole). 3. To feel an overwhelming desire, to be dying for; he mate ki te vai, to be dying for a drink of water. 4. Manava mate, infatuated, in love (with something). 5. To be overwhelmed with pain: mate-ß i te mamae. Matega, death. Vanaga.

Death, to die, to be ill, to be unfortunate. Hakamate, to kill. P Pau.: mate, to die. Mgv.: mate, to be sick, dead, love, ardent desire. Mq.: mate, illness, death, grief. Ta.: mate, death, illness. Matea, lifeless, passionate. Matega, death. Mgv.: matega, illness, death. Matekeo (mate - keo) pulmonary disease. Matemanava (mate - manava) to marvel at. Matemate, to have a slight illness, to suffer pain. Materaa (mate - raa) sunstroke. Matevai (mate - vai) thirst. Churchill.

Rarotongan Otire o Avaiki (or Otireo) also seems to indicate a land of the dead (Avaiki), whereas Atan - equally eloquent - chose to point at the sea (a tai).

I now suggest that also the year had a similar time - when the old year 'died' and a new year rose from the ashes - and that the name Pewa-o-Tautoru, Bird-snare-of-Tautoru, the constellation Orion in New Zealand with the Belt and Sword forming the perch (te mutu or te teke), indicated by its heliacal rising that 'burning' was due.

As sun is born in the east and moon in the west, the heliacal rising should be the observation time rather than the heliacal setting time.

As the bird (now the sun himself) was caught and couldn't move, the time of new year must be a solstice.

Summer solstice may be the right time, because at that time the sun is at its highest. We also have understood that sun is exhausted and 'dies' (like other fires) shortly after his maximum, as probably is recorded in Aa1-11 (yearly cycle) and in Aa1-26 (diurnal cycle):


Now we will return to the New Zealand dilemma:

"Various factors other than a graceful compliance on the part of the invaders helped to bring about the compromise. The Pleiades year had originally begun in the autumn, about September 22, and had been gradually sliding toward the winter solstice as the result of precession of the equinoxes and the discrepancy between the sidereal and tropical years at the rate of 14 days per 1,000 years.

Autumn equinox (September 22 north of the equator) could be said to be the point when the rule of sun ended and the rule of moon began. In west moon is being born and autumn is the time of harvest. The fruit (nut) of the old year is ripe and it will be cut down.

If the yearly cycle is regarded as something ruled by the moon, her new year certainly begins at autumn equinox. If, however, the sun is the ruler, than the vernal equinox should be chosen as the beginning of the year and the observations instead be made just before dawn.

In the far southern latitude of New Zealand the Rigel year began about the time of the winter solstice in June-July. In equatorial or more northern regions the Pleiades make their first appearance in the east before sunrise a month before Rigel appears in the same circumstance, rising two hours before Rigel, owing to the difference in their right ascensions.

"Right ascension (abbrev. RA; symbol α) is the astronomical term for one of the two coordinates of a point on the celestial sphere when using the equatorial coordinate system. The other coordinate is the declination.

RA is the celestial equivalent of terrestrial longitude. Both RA and longitude measure an east-west angle along the equator; and both measure from a zero point on the equator. For longitude, the zero point is the Prime Meridian; for RA, the zero point is known as the vernal equinox point (also known as the First Point of Aries), which is the place in the sky where the Sun crosses the celestial equator at the March equinox.

RA is measured eastward from the March equinox. Any units of angular measure can be used for RA, but it is customarily measured in hours, minutes, and seconds, with 24 hours being equivalent to a full circle. The reason for this choice is that the earth rotates at an approximately constant rate ...  Since a complete circle has 360 degrees, an hour of right ascension is equal to 1/24 of this, or 15 degrees of arc, a single minute of right ascension equal to 15 minutes of arc, and a second of right ascension equal to 15 seconds of arc. Sidereal Hour Angle, used in celestial navigation, is similar to RA, but increases westward rather than eastward. It is important not to confuse SHA with the concept of hour angle as it is ususally used in astronomy, which is how far west an object is from one's local meridian.

The concept of right ascension has been known at least as far back as Hipparchos who measured stars in equatorial coordinates in the 2nd century BC. But Hipparchos and his successors made their star catalogs in ecliptical coordinates, and the use of RA was limited to special cases." (Wikipedia)

In the latitude of New Zealand, however, this no longer held true, the difference in their right ascensions being compensated by the discrepancy in their declinations and the latitude; so that when the Pleiades made a belated appearance in the northeast before dawn in June-July, it was to find Rigel resplendent just south of the east point. This fact, in conjunction with the short diurnal arc the Pleiades enjoy in that southern latitude, doubtless contributed to the defeat of the cluster. It must have dismayed the new settlers to see the champion of the calendar for uncounted centuries retire ignominiously to the rear, when the challenger of the southern sky made his entrance into the arena ...

The Pleiades year commencing in late fall was an ancient institution in India, Sumeria, Arabia, and other parts of Asia in the northern hemisphere. A parallel with the New Zealand, Chatham Islands and Pukapukan year is found in South America where the Inca sun worshipers dated the year from the June or winter solstice when their days began to lengthen." (Makemson)

Sun worship maybe was an institution originating in the southern hemisphere? Maybe the 'tagata henua' on Easter Island also were sun 'oriented'? We should reexamine the sacred geography as described in Barthel 2:

'One interesting aspect of the quarternary system is the fact that it imposes a fourfold division on the roughly triangular outline of Easter Island (a nearly rectangular triangle with a southwest-northeast hypotenuse). This must be the 'four parts of the land' (ahaha aro o te henua, ME:67), mentioned in one of the oral traditions. To achieve this fourfold division, the triangle, which represents the real outline of Easter Island, has to be transformed into a model with four sides (compare MGV. aro ha 'squared, four-faced'). On other Polynesian islands, the rectangular houses might serve as a model, but the houses on Easter Island do not fall into this category. The only square architectual layout is the inland plaza of Ahu number 2 in Vinapu ...

A carbon-14 test puts the date for this unusual site at A.D. 757 ▒ 200, and the Norwegian archeological expedition has classified it as 'Early Period'. Smith (1961; NA I:218) has pointed out the possible connection between Vinapu and 'cultural centres farther to the west' (i.e., the Society Islands, the Marquesas, and Mangareva). Because the ahu of Vinapu are all (roughly) oriented toward the rising sun of the solstice and the equinox (NA I:94), it is safe to assume that the plaza, too, had some kind of solar function.

1. Hanga Te Pau, the landing site of Ira and his band of explorers, is the natural anchorage for those approaching Vinapu by sea. The remarkable stone fronts of the ahu of Vinapu are all facing the sea. The explorers landed at Hanga Te Pau during the month 'Maro', that is, June ....

2. The cult place of Vinapu is located between the fifth and sixth segment of the dream voyage of Hau Maka. These segments, named 'Te Kioe Uri' (inland from Vinapu) and 'Te Piringa Aniva' (near Hanga Pau Kura) flank Vinapu from both the west and the east. The decoded meaning of the names 'the dark rat' (i.e., the island king as the recipient of gifts) and 'the gathering place of the island population' (for the purpose of presenting the island king with gifts) links them with the month 'Maro', which is June. Thus the last month of the Easter Island year is twice connected with Vinapu. Also, June is the month of summer solstice, which again points to the possibility that the Vinapu complex was used for astronomical purposes.

3. On the 'second list of place names', Hanga Te Pau is called 'the middle (zenith) of the land' (he tini o te kainga). This may refer to a line bisecting the island, but it can just as easily mean the gathering of a great number (of islanders). The plaza (130 x 130 meters) would have been very well suited for this purpose.

4. The transformation of the 'second list of place names' into a lunar calendar links Hanga Te Pau and Rano Kau. A similar linkage occurs in connection with the third son of Hotu Matua between the 'pebbles of Hanga Te Pau' and his name 'Tuu Rano Kau'. There can be no doubt that Vinapu was dependent on the economic resources of the large crater.

5. In the 'scheme of lunar nights', Hanga Te Pau introduces the second half of the month in contrast to Hanga Ohiro, which introduces the first half. That means that Vinapu and Anakena were calendary opposites. Based on the encoded information gained from numbers 1 and 2, 'Maro' (for the Vinapu area) is contrasted with 'Anakena' (for the Anakena area) - or, to put it differently, the last month of the year is contrasted with the first month of the year.

6. The fact that the year ends at Vinapu and begins anew at Anakena may have meaning beyond the obvious transition of time and may also indicate a historic transition. The carbon-14 dating test assigned a much earlier date to Vinapu (ninth century) than to Anakena. This raises the question of an 'original population', which, according to the traditions, lived along the northern rim of Rano Kau (i.e., inland from Vinapu) and their relationship to the explorers.

7. During his visit in 1886, Thomson wrote about the plaza:

Immediately behind this platform (that is, Ahu Vinapu) a wall of earth encloses a piece of ground about 225 feet in diameter and circular in shape. This is believed to have been the theater of the native ceremonies, and perhaps the spot where the feasts were held. (PH:512-513)

Two names, he tini o te kainga ('a great number of people from the homeland') from the 'second list of place names' and te hue ('the gathering'), a local name from the area of the third-born, tend to confirm the statement by Thomson, and so does a revealing passage about Vinapu in one of the traditions (ME:373; Knoche 1925:266).

This passage deals with a festival (te koro o vinapu), during which a young woman appears, disguised as a bird (poki manu, Campbell 1971:224). She is the daughter of Uho, who had married Mahuna-te-raa ('sun with curly hair? hidden sun?') in the 'land of the nocturnal eye' (henua mata po uri). But she longed for her homeland, the 'land of the light and clear eye' (henua mata maeha) until she was able to return to it.

Uho's journey across the sea began on the beach of Anakena, that is, the 'opposite' place from Vinapu. In the foreign land Uho instructs her daughter how to transform herself into a bird.

The tale is interesting because it is the only one with the motif of a solar marriage. As such, it is possibly connected with the solar orientation of the Vinapu complex. Furthermore, the RAP. text lists the contrasting qualities of the two regions as mata po uri vs. mata maeha.

Transferred to the fourfold division of the island, the contrast of 'night darkness' vs. 'daylight' corresponds to the contrast between the region of the night, including the landing site of Ira, which belongs to the third son, and the region of the noon sun, including the landing site of Hotu Matua, which belongs to the first-born. This tale again emphasizes the contrasting values assigned to Anakena and Vinapu. According to an unpublished fragment by Arturo Teao, which was recorded by Englert in 1936, 'Uho' was born in 'Hare Tupa Tuu', that is, in the house of the first-born.

However, having been born in Anakena, she would not have gone on a journey across the sea upon being married, but would have left her home for a region on the other side of the island. Her husband, 'Mahuna Te Raa', may have been a quasi-historic figure connected with the Vinapu complex. Since mata also refers to the political unit of a tribe on Easter Island, the metaphysical contrast arising from the fourfold division of the land also has its political counterpart in the form of  four different tribal attributes:

1. mata maeha

for Tuu Maheke and Anakena

2. mata nui

for Miru

3. mata po uri

for Tuu Rano Kau and Hanga Te Pau

4. mata iti

for Hotu Iti

The first pair (numbers 1 and 2) expresses positive qualities, the second (numbers 3 and 4) mostly negative ones. This again seems to foreshadow the later conflict between the tribal federations.'