Museo Chileno de Arte Precolombino

Indigenous Stories > Rapa Nui > Makemake the Creator

make make creador

As told by Arturo Teao Tori

Makemake was alone, and this was not good. He picked up a gourd filled with water and peered inside. Makemake’s reflection entered the water, and he saw the reflection of his face in the water. Makemake greeted his own reflection, saying “Greetings, my young fellow! How beautiful you are, like myself”. A bird landed heavily on Makemake’s right arm, startling the Creator, who now saw a being with beak, wings and feathers reflected in the gourd. He took the gourd with the two reflections (Makemake and the bird) and left it aside.

After a time, it occurred to Makemake to create a man in his own image, with a voice so he could speak with the Creator.

Makemake impregnated some stones, but this did not work, as the waters that washed over them spilled into barren ground.

Next, he impregnated water, but the seed he spilled produced only a shoal of tiny paroko fish.

Lastly, Makemake impregnated some clay, and from it man was born. Makemake saw his creation and was pleased.

Later, Makemake saw that things were not quite right—the man was alone. Makemake made the man sleep in his own house, and when he had fallen asleep, Makemake impregnated the ribs on his left side and woman was born.

Makemake then said: Vivina, vivina, hakapiro e ahu ê!