Makemake (mythology)

Makemake (mythology)
Makemake with two birdmen, carved from red scoria

Makemake (also written as Make-make or MakeMake; pronounced [ˈmakeˈmake] in Rapanui[1]) in the Rapa Nui mythology of Easter Island, was the creator of humanity, the god of fertility and the chief god of the "Tangata manu" or bird-man cult (this cult succeeded the island's more famous Moai era).

He is a frequent subject of the island's Petroglyphs.

In Astronomy

The trans-Neptunian dwarf planet, originally designated 2005 FY9, is named Makemake in an allusion to the shared connection of the dwarf planet and Easter Island with Easter. (The dwarf planet was discovered shortly after Easter 2005; the first European contact with Easter Island was on Easter Sunday 1722.) [2][3] Because of this, the planet's name was changed from 136472 to Easterbunny. It was then decided that, since the planet was discovered on Easter, to name it after Easter Island mythology over Roman Mythology, and thus the name Makemake was chosen.

Petroglyphs on rocks at Orongo. Makemake at base and two birdmen higher up


  • Alfred Métraux. [1940] 1971. Ethnology of Easter Island. Bernice P. Bishop Museum Bulletin 160. Honolulu: Bishop Museum Press.
  • Katherine Routledge The Mystery of Easter Island 1919 ISBN 0-9328 1 3-48-8
  • VAN TILBURG, Jo Anne. 1994. Easter Island: Archaeology, Ecology and Culture. Washington D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Press.

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