Tucked behind a religious statue behind the Cathedral of the Holy Family in Tafuna, you’ll find one of the island’s several tia seu lupe, or star mounds. This example, three meters (almost 10 feet) high, is one of the best-preserved and most easily accessible of these mysterious configurations. Believed to have been used in a ritual by tribal chiefs to capture pigeons for an unknown rite, these stepped-stone structures are similar to others found throughout Polynesia.

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