The Short Ear workers are forced to build an even bigger statue in an impossibly short amount of time. The king's advisor ruthlessly enforces the rules and status quo by publicly killing a Short Ear fisherman who had accidentally caught a taboo fish.
Noro's father stole a canoe and sailed away, and is accused of abandoning the tribe. They have a secret relationship Ite Ahi Ahi - Matatoa - Rapa-Nui (Cassette) have fallen in love. Ariki-mau tells Noro that he has to compete Ite Ahi Ahi - Matatoa - Rapa-Nui (Cassette) the Birdman Competition so Ariki-mau can continue to rule the island.
Noro asks if he can marry Ramana if he wins the Birdman Competition. The king reluctantly agrees. He checks her virginity and snidely remarks to Noro, who is watching Ramana being lowered to the cave, that she isn't right for the Virgin's Cave and that it will be their secret. Ramana takes one last look at the sunset and goes into the cave. Noro approaches Ramana's banished father, a canoe maker, and asks him to help him train for the Birdman competition. He initially refuses, because it is Noro's fault that his daughter is confined to a cave, but later relents and trains Noro.
While training Noro he explains that he and Noro's father were great friends once and that he gave the canoe to Noro's father. He further explains that Noro's father sailed away after discovering a piece of a shipwrecked Spanish galleon, Ite Ahi Ahi - Matatoa - Rapa-Nui (Cassette), thus breaking the long-held belief that Rapa Nui is the only land left with people on the Earth.
Meanwhile, the Short Ears are beginning to starve because the king insists on them working on the new statue instead of growing food but continues taking the full quota of their remaining food for the Long Ears. The resources of the island are being rapidly used up and depleted with the last remaining tree being cut downdue to the extensive Moai construction and overpopulation. Noro is the only person worried about the resource depletion, but his concerns are dismissed by the increasingly senile Ariki-mau.
Make reacts badly and Noro realizes that Make loves her, too. Make declares that they are no longer friends and runs off. Separately, Noro and Make visit Ramana at her cave, bringing her food and talking to her through the barrier at the mouth of the cave.
They both declare their love to her. She always responds, but she sounds despondent. After a supply shortage results in the death of one of the Short Ears Heki, the former master carverthey demand half of the wood, food and other materials and that they be allowed to compete in the Birdman Competition. The King's advisor initially refuses and orders their death. However, the King gives in to their demands after realizing that if the Short Ears die no one will build the moai.
The King, however, only allows them to compete after the moai has been completed. He makes the condition that if the Short Ear competitor loses he will be sacrificed. Despite these conditions Make accepts the position of the Birdman Competitor on the condition he be allowed to marry Ramana if he wins. The King agrees and Make spends all his time working and training, leaving no time for sleep or other recreational activities.
Meanwhile, work on the great Moai has become so important that the Short Ears sacrifice their food to complete it. Finally it is the Birdman Competition. Nine competitors must swim to a close by islet surrounded by pounding surf, climb the cliffs to get an egg from Ite Ahi Ahi - Matatoa - Rapa-Nui (Cassette) nest of a sooty tern and bring it back.
The first to return wins for his tribe. Noro barely wins and Ariki-mau gets to be the island's ruler for another year. Ramana is brought from the cave, pale from Ite Ahi Ahi - Matatoa - Rapa-Nui (Cassette) long underground stay and obviously pregnant. Before anything is decided about the fate of Ramana or Make, an iceberg is spotted off the coast.
Ariki-mau believes that the iceberg is the great white canoe sent to take him to the gods and goes out to it with some of his followers. After the iceberg has carried Ariki-mau away, the advisor attempts to seize control of the island, but Make kills him and the Short Ears stage a rebellion, slaughtering and even eating the remains of the Long Ears.
Noro alone survives, as Make allows him to live, and Noro, Ramana and their baby escape Ite Ahi Ahi - Matatoa - Rapa-Nui (Cassette) island in a canoe Ramana's father built. Several pieces such as "Te Parau O Eri Rama" and the shoutout for the return of a high priest, "Tamaki A Te Mau Ariki," are multi-layered, while sustained strains of "Tarema," as well as "Tevaitau," are polyphonic, at times cacophonous.
Hymnal pieces include "Va Hiti" and the deity song "Himeme Tatou," while call and response between male and female informs the near classical resolutions of "Te Matamua. It tells of a spirit quite different from Western or Eastern cultures, signifying a specialized group of people who are not generally regarded as having a distinct sound of their own music.
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