Pu o Hiro, the trumpet of Hiro

Pu o hiro isla-de-pascua

Pu o Hiro is a unique stone used as a musical instrument by the ancient inhabitants of Rapa Nui. The stone has a main hole through which it was blown, producing a deep sound similar to a trumpet with which Hiro, god of rain, was invoked.


Pu o Hiro, a stone to blow

Orificios de salida del aire del Pu o Hiro
Three air outlet holes of Pu o Hiro

Located on the northern side of the coast road, the Pu o Hiro is a stone approximately 1.25 meters high, whose name means “trumpet of Hiro”, ancient god of rain. It is also known as Maea Puhi (stone to blow).

It is a stone aerophone, considered as an ancestral musical instrument of the Rapa Nui culture. It has a main hole through which it was blown, producing a deep trumpet-like sound. There are some islanders who are skilled at making it sound, which is not easy.

It is a unique artefact on the island and its use is not well defined. It seems that it was formerly considered a talisman for fishing. Certain traditions point out that when blowing in one of its holes, there was a loud audible sound to the region of Poike (3 km far away) that attracted the fish to the coast. It was also a war trophy, carried from one end of the island to the other at different times.

On the surface of the stone there are several petroglyphs with vulva forms (“komari”), the symbol of fertility, so it is believed that Pu o Hiro was used in rituals related to it. It is likely to have been an instrument of call, though it could also have constituted the center of a ceremonial site in honor of Hiro, since that area is very rich in monuments and engravings.


A call to gods

Petroglifos en la boca utilizada para soplar del Pu o Hiro
Petroglyphs in the mouth used to blow Pu or Hiro

The god of rain was invoked in periods of drought in order that rain showered by means of prayers that were in charge of Ariki Paka (Great Lord of the Drought). Dressed in special clothing and erected on some mound within the affected region, Ariki Paka turned his face to the heights, chanting his song to the divinity:

E te uá, matavai-roa a Hiro-é
ka hoa mai koe kiraro
ka rei mai koe kiraro
e te u´a matavai-roa a Hiro-é

The rain, the great tears of Hiro
Send us down
Pour down
The rain, the great tears of Hiro

How to get to Pu o Hiro

From Hanga Roa you can get there by two routes. The fastest is to take the road that crosses the island in the direction of Anakena. Just before reaching the beach, turn right at the junction in the direction of Poike. About 2 km after passing the Ahu Te Pito Kura, after the petroglyphs of Papa Vaka, you will reach Pu o Hiro which is located on the right side of the road.

The other option is to take the road that borders the south coast in the direction of Tongariki. Continue leaving the Poike hillside to the right and take the curve to the left to advance along the north coast road. Pu o Hiro is to the left of the road, just over a kilometer from this curve.

Location Map


Nearby places

Rano Raraku

Rano Raraku

Volcán Poike

Poike volcano

Papa Vaka

Papa Vaka

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