Pu o Hiro (Hiro's Trumpet) - Atlas Obscura

Pu o Hiro (Hiro's Trumpet)

In the Middle Ages, villagers would sound this stone trumpet to boost fertility and coax fish to shore.  


In the era of Rapa Nui’s famous moai carving (sometime between 1250 and 1500), another special stone, Pu o Hiro (Hiro’s Trumpet) was located in Hanga Roa, the main village. It was named for Hiro, a Rapa Nui rain deity, and its musical capabilities bestowed it with sacred responsibilities.

Villagers would blow into the natural hole at the top of the stone, creating a loud, breathy trumpeting sound. This was used for several purposes: to summon their neighbors for a gathering, aid in fertility (despite its phallic shape, the stone has some petroglyphs carved into it that resemble female genitalia), or coax fish to swim up to the shoreline.

Pu o Hiro was revered for these perceived magic powers and traveled around the island as a trophy for the victors in battle. 

The stone has settled at its current location on the north coast of Rapa Nui, where it is fenced off to discourage tourists from attempting to sound the trumpet themselves.

Know Before You Go

The stone is set a few feet in from the right side of the road if you're traveling eastward. It's close to but before the road turns right to head south.

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