Rapanui Proper and Place Names versus Rongorongo Texts

© Sergei V. Rjabchikov

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Part 8.

19. It is interesting to note that in the “Apai” text, an oral version of a rongorongo inscription, Old Rapanui tuhunga ‘priest’ and taura ‘priest’ are presented (Rjabchikov 1993: 134), cf. also Proto-Polynesian *taaula ‘priest, medium, shaman’ and *tufuga ‘priest, expert’ (Biggs and Clark 2006). Both terms are registered in the rongorongo records which will be studied below. Rapanui tuura ‘servant of the king’ derives from Old Rapanui taura ‘priest’. According to a Rapanui song (Felbermayer 1972: 276), a tuura gave tablets (rongorongo) to a king. This tuura corresponds to Mangarevan taura rongorongo or a chanter. The Mangarevan priests (taura) conducted different religious ceremonies and were assisted by rongorongo chanters (Buck 1938: 210). In the Rapanui language tahura means not only ‘servant of the king’, but also ‘expert’ (Métraux 1940: 325). It is clear that the word tahura can sound as taura or tuura because of the alternations of the sounds h/-, a/u.

A text (I 3) of the Santiago staff is presented in figure 25.


Figure 25.

It reads as follows: 4 (102) 4 25 (a vertical line) 6 (102-123 102) 6 (102-123) 56 (102) 22 Tutuhu haha po ao (rapa). ‘The priest looks at (the sun) on the night ‘The Paddle’ (it is the moon in the second part of the month).’

As an illustration let us study the tattooing design on the back of a Rapanui old woman (Brown 1996: 172-173, the left photo). I distinguish the crescents (cf. glyph 61 hina) and ceremonial paddles (cf. glyph 22 ao, para) here. On her face there are dots. It is safe to assume that the number of the dots was 18, and it was the designation of the 18th night Motohi of the lunar month when the moon passed the full stage.

Old Rapanui haha ‘to see; to observe; to look; to look for; to search’ corresponds to Maori haha ‘to look for; to search’ and Rapanui ha ‘to gape’ < ‘to see in the darkness; darkness’.

20. Let us consider three records of the Santiago staff (I 10) presented in figure 26.


Figure 26.

A text is presented in fragment 1. It reads as follows: 110-(102)-69 59-33 … 110-(102)-69 6 12 (102) 4 59-33 54 6 3 (102) Vie Moko. Kau… Vie Moko. A ika atua Kau, kai a Hina ‘(It is the the goddess) Vie Moko. (It is a place called) Rano Kau… (It is the the goddess) Vie Moko. The fish (belong to) the deity (= place) Rano Kau; (it is) the food of (the fishing ground) Te Hina.’

The goddess Vie Moko ‘The Lizard woman’ is relevant to a lizard figure united with the symbol of water/rain at the place Vai a Tare not far from the Rano Kau volcano (see Lee 1988: 100, figure 4.94).

A text is presented in fragment 2. It reads as follows: 48-15 (102) 54 11 18 (102) 12 (123) 12 (102) 15 12 6 19 (102) Huri kai, manga; te ika, ika roa, IKA aku. ‘(It is a place where) the food is in abundance; the fish, the large fish, the fish aku.’ Here the fishing ground Te Akurenga [Te Aku renga] is described. It belonged to the Miru tribe. Old Rapanui huri ‘to fill; full’ corresponds to Rapanui hurihuri titi ‘to fill; full’. Both terms are conparable with Proto-Nuclear Polynesian *huli ‘shoot of a plant, sprout; descendant, offspring’ (Biggs and Clark 2006).

A text is presented in fragment 3. It reads as follows: (a vertical line) 47 (102) 73 12 (a vertical line) 48-15 (102) 54 11 (a vertical line) Ovahe Ika. Huri kai, manga. ‘(It is) Ovahe, (a location of) fish. (It is a place where) the food is in in abundance.’ Here the fishing ground Ovahe is described. It belonged to the Miru tribe. This offshore fishing location is called Ovahi or Ovahe (Englert 1974: 200; Barthel 1978: 173). The alternation of the sounds i/e is possible. It seems likely that this place name denotes the full moon (Old Rapanui ava).

21. Let us consider several records of the Santiago staff and the Honolulu tablet B.3623 (U) presented in figure 27.


Figure 27.

A text (I 3/4) is presented in fragment 1. It reads as follows: 30-44-44 (102-123) 15-4 44 12 9 (102) 69-24 4-19 58 12 (a vertical line) (123 102) 4-23 44-(102)-28 12 56 24 21 (102) 17 156 44-(102)-28 61 (a vertical line) Anakenakena. Rotu Taha ika, niu/makoi, tuku tahi ika. Tuura tahanga ika, po Ari. Ko te toa tahanga Marama [Hina]. ‘(It is a place) Anakena. (It is) the offering of the Frigate Bird (= the supreme deity): fish (victims?), coconuts (pendants tahonga?), nets (kupenga tuku, kupenga tukutuku) with first fish. The priest sacrifices (to the deity) on the night Ari. A warrior sacrifices (people) of the Marama tribe.’

Here the first portion of fish brought to the king Nga Ara is described. The expression tahi ika reflects the late stage of the development of the Old Rapanui language. The night Ari corresponds to the 27th night Rongo or 4th night Ariari according to the calendar on the tablet Mamari (Rjabchikov 1989). Old Rapanui tahanga ‘to sacrifice’ is comparable with Rapanui tahanga ‘victim’. Old Rapanui toa ‘warrior’ corresponds to Rapanui matatoa ‘warrior’ (cf. mata ‘tribe’), toa ‘enemy; murderer’, cf. also Maori toa ‘warrior’.

In conformity with a Rapanui legend (Métraux 1940: 386-387), a warrior by the name of Engo lived at Anakena. He killed people. Another warrior by the name of Ure a Toro who also lived at this place watched prisoners there. Interestingly to note that a woman said that the daughter of Engo and her children was protected by a great man. I suppose that it is a hint of the god Tangaroa. The early form of this name was Tamaroa (Rjabchikov 1988), cf. also Proto-Polynesian *tama ‘father’ (Biggs and Clark 2006). The deity’s name signifies ‘The Great Father’. The name Engo (< Henga?) might be devoted to the sun deity. It is common knowledge that some persons were killed near the ceremonial platform Ahu Naunau in Anakena in the old times (Lee 1992: 169). It is possible that the rongorongo record read above describes the human sacrifices at this area. In compliance with another Rapanui legend (Métraux 1940: 384-385), the people of the Tupa-hotu tribe were defeated by Ure Atoro [a Toro] Humu Kena. This person took several prisoners in caves. He said to the warriors: “Kill you victims”. Among them was (Humu) Have ‘The Earth Oven of the Flying Fish (hahave)’, the murder of Ure’s mother. It is clear that here was the same warrior (paoa, matatoa/toa) Ure a Toro mentioned in the first legend. His nickname was Humu Kena ‘The Earth Oven of the Booby’ (a hint of Anakena?). A man called Ure Atoro is mentioned in a Rapanui genealogy (Englert 1974: 56). It is possible that Ure a Toro and Ure Atoro [a Toro], a son of Pu Revateva, were one and the same person.

A text (I 10/11) is presented in fragment 2. It reads as follows: 156-15 25 (102) 6-17 21 44 (a vertical line) 19 33-29 (102) 14 (102) 6-6 73 (102) 19 (102) 30 6 69 6 (102) 30 6-17 6-4 12 (102) 9 21 47 19 (102) 33 6 43 17 (102) Toro Hua ate (= ati) ko taha(nga) kio vairua Haua. Haha he kio ana, a moko (= momoko) a ana. Ate (= ati) Hotu ika niva, ko Have kio, ua a mate. Toro Hua (= Ure a Toro) kills the victims (taken) from the slaves of the deity Haua. (He) looks for slaves from caves. (He) kills the numerous victims of the Tupa-hotu, (and Humu) Have who lived (and) died.’

Old Rapanui ate ‘to strike; to carve’ corresponds to Rapanui ati, aati, hati, hahati ‘to strike’ (the alternations of the sounds e/i, h/- are possible). The name of the ghost Toki-te-ate ‘The-stone-adz-of-ate’ is known (Métraux 1940: 318). Here Old Rapanui ate signifies ‘striking; carving’. In this text glyphs 6-17 are united with a small glyph (?) which can be read 5 ati.

On the other hand, the place name Kohau hati is known. It can be interpreted as ‘A written [carved] tablet (kohau rongorongo)’. In a Rapanui genealogy the native Kekepu is mentioned as maori kohau motu maori rongorongo (a rongorongo expert) (Englert 1974: 50).(6) His son was Te Rongo Pua, and his grandson was Ventura Te Hati renga. It is possible that these persons were rongorongo men, too (cf. the terms rongo and hati in the names). The following names of rongorongo men were recorded: Tuki hatihati and Ati a Ure (Routledge 1914-1915). I believe that here Old Rapanui rongo signifies ‘rongorongo record’, and hati, hatihati and ati signify ‘scribe; carver’.

In the light of these data let us examine again a text of the Honolulu tablet B.3623 (U) (Rjabchikov 2008a: figure 2), see fragment 3. This segment reads as follows: 73 5 17 6-21 He ati te ako = he timo te akoako ‘A pupil is carving’. The place name Ana tua rongo means ‘A secret cave of tablets’.(7)

Let us study the name of the ceremonial platform Te hati tunu kio laira (Thomson 1891: 506). W.J. Thomson informs us the followind details: “Of great size; but, like the last, in a state of absolute ruin; covering human remains”. I read the name in the following manner: (Ahu) te hati, tunu kio raira[i] ‘(The ceremonial platform where) slaves of the sun were killed and roasted’.

Old Rapanui niva ‘many’ corresponds to Maori niwa ‘great’, niwaniwa ‘unlimited’. Old Rapanui vairua ‘deity’ corresponds to Tahitian vairua ‘ghost; spirit’ and Maori wairua ‘spirit’.

A text (I 8) is presented in fragment 4. It reads as follows: 156-15 (123) 9 (102) 44 17-19 (102) 33-29 56 62 (102) 6-4 30 (102) 25 68 (a vertical line) 19 4 (102) 28 (102) 62 11 37 (102) 44b 11 (a vertical line) 56 39 (102) 44 Toro niu, taha, teki. Vairua Po Too. A atua Nau. Honu. Ku tinga(e), too Pakia nui, tua niu. Po raa Taha. ‘(The warrior) Toro goes (and) kidnaps (the people). (It is) the deity of the Dark Nights. (It is) the deity (= the ceremonial platform Ahu) Naunau [in Anakena] of the water (= this platform was a place where priests prayed for rain). (This warrior) killed (and) took a big shark (seal), (and) the shark (seal) was turned (= it was dead). It is the day of the Frigate Bird (= the 27th night/day Tane).’

Old Rapanui niu ‘to go; to move along’ is comparable with Maori niu ‘to move along’. The ghosts Rapahango, Taretare and the woman Araniu are mentioned together (Campbell 1971: 193). As the name Rapahango is the designation of the west (see above), and the name Tare is the designation of the east (Rjabchikov 2001a), the name Araniu can be the designation of the ecliptic. Old Rapanui ara means ‘road; ecliptic’. In this context Old Rapanui niu means ‘to go; to move along’, too.

Old Rapanui too ‘dark; darkness; to set into the sea, in the waves (of the sun)’ is comparable with Maori to ‘to set (of the sun)’.

It is amply evident that the warrior Toro Hua (= Ure a Toro) participated in certain rites in Anakena. It should be remembered that the Tupa-hotu tribe = the people of the Hanau Eepe (cf. Old Rapanui hotu ‘to bear a fruit’ and Rapanui eepe ‘strong; fat’) and the Miru tribe = the people of the Hanau Momoko (it is the symbolism of the chthonic deities and the west, cf. Rapanui moko ‘lizard’, momoko ‘to hide’, and Mangaian Miru ‘the deity of the Underworld’) (Rjabchikov 1995d: 49).

22. Let us study a Rapanui legend (Heyerdahl and Ferdon 1965: figures 139-142). The words presented in brackets were crossed out in the Rapanui text. I think that this text was re-written from an earlier source.

Ia Ure Ara Runga te ao. Ku tere ro ai, ku piko ro ai te kio i tei oo ara ki. Ko te Kahu Mea. Ku oho ro ai koe e Ure a Reka e ki te Ohiro, ki te ika ko te Kahu Mea [hehe]. Ku piki ro ai koe e Ure a Reka e ki roto i te ana, ki te ika ko te Kapu Mea. Ku too ro maia e te Kapu Mea, ku hore ro ai i te ika ko Ure a Reka, ku tono ro atu ai ki raro he mate atu. He noho a te Kapu Mea, ko paoa topa tahi te kio i muri ia paoa a hei. He taina a paoa a hei [o te Ka] o Ure a Reka. Ko te Kapu Mea te taina o paoa topa tahi. Ko paoa topa tahi te kio i muri ia paoa a hei. Ko te tahi o te raa i ki nei koe e paoa a hei e kia paoa topa tahi: “Ka too mai totaua a te tangata, ka tunu.” Ku too ro maia, ku tunu ro ai, ia pua tunu he ootu, he kai, he kava te haha ki te vai. He ki koe [e paoa a he] e paoa a hei: “E hero koe e repa e amua taua ki turu hai vai, i patu ki ao.” Ku turu ro [ai hai] ai, ku turu ro ai ki Pu nuanua. Ku unga ro ai ia paoa topa tahi: “Ka oho tau vai, ka ui, e ui tau vai o unua; koe o haere koe ia au.” Ku oho ro ai, ku ui ro ai, ku unu ro ai, ku puhi ro ai i te maria o te vai. Ku oho ro maia, ku ki ro aiai: “Ana ra te vai.” Ku ea ro ai, ku oho ro ai, ku tuu ro ai, ku unu ro ai a paoa a hei. Ku ki ro ai: “Ka unu taai o te vai.” Ku hoki ro ai, ku iri ro ai ki Ahu A tungu. Ku ki ro ai koe e paoa e kia paoa topa tahi: “Ka turu koe ki te Hare o te Puoko Tea!” Ku oo ro ai, ku noho ro ai, ku tuu ro ai, koe e te taua e. He tuu koe e te taua e, he noho kia ika, ko paoa topa tahi mo tingai. He oho koe paoa a hei e, he kai te ungu, he oho, he too mai i te maika, ku ootu ro ai te ungu. Ku tao ro ai, ku noho ro ai, ku hinihini ro ai, ku maoa ro ai, ku kokohu ro ai ki roto i te nua, ku mau ro ai ki te paoa. Ku ki ro ai: “I taau o te maika etahi, ka ea tou eve ki runga ki tootoo atu te Oraora.” Ku ea ro ai te eve ki runga, he marere [a kio he oho] te paoa, he noho a paoa topa tahi arurua ko paoa [hei] a hei. He keukeu a paoa topa tahi, a paoa a hei. Ku tuu ro ai ki te ta[te]hi o te raa, ku ea ro ai koe e paoa topa tahi e i te po. Ku iri ro ai ki Tuu tapu, ki roto i te maika, ku momore ro ai i te maika. Etahi maika i te kahui a te pito, erua popo o te maika. Ku amo ro ai, ku oho ro ai ki Ana Mangaro, ki te kio ko te tangata matua i Ana Mangaro. Ku tuu ro ai ki te haha o te ana, ku ui ro ai: “He ro koe e korohua e? A ika too atu.” Ku too ro ai, he uru ki roto i te ana, he piri, he tatangi. He ara koe e paoa a hei e, he ui ka kore koe e paoa topa tahi e. He ea koe e paoa a hei e, he oho, he ui i te ana mo ai te maika i roto i te hatu i Tuu tapu ki te kori i te maika. Kai kori te hoou a paoa topa tahi. Ku hoki ro maia, ku noho ro ai i te rua po. I ki nei: “He ro koe e korohua e? Ka ui mai tau Kahu etahi mo te hoou.” Ku avai ro ai, ku ea ro ai, ku oho ro maia, he oo ki roto i te hare, he moe. Kua raro ai koe e paoa e, ku ki ro ai, ku ki ro ai koe e paoa e: “E ui koe e te mee i te puoko, ku ui ro ai ko te Kahu.” Ko te rua o te marama i oho nei te paoa ki Ana Mangaro, ki te ika ko te Kahu Mea. He too mai, he oho mai, he tuu ki te hare o Ure Ara Runga. He too mai, he viri hai rau toa, he tutu hai ahi. He mate te ika ko te Kahu Maa Ure Ara Runga (= the king Nga Ara) had authority. A slave fled, he hid himself (somewhere near) the upper part of the great road. (It was) Kahu Mea. Ure a Reka came to the victim Kahu Mea [with the epithet ‘dark; damp’, cf. Rapanui hehehehe ‘dark; damp’] on (the first night/day) Ohiro. Ure a Reka climbed into a cave to the victim Kapu Mea. Kapu Mea carried (Ure a Reka), (Kapu Mea) killed Ure a Reka, (Kapu Mea) carried him down, (the latter person) died. Kapu Mea stayed, (they were) a warrior of the first watch, (this) slave (located) behind him, (and) a superior warrior. Ure a Reka (was) a brother of the superior warrior. Kapu Mea (was) a brother of the warrior of the first watch. (They were) the warrior of the first watch, (this) slave (located) behind him, (and) the superior warrior. One day the superior warrior said to the warrior of the first watch: “Let us carry our man, let us cook (him).” They carried (him), they put (and) cooked (him), they ate (him), they wanted to drink the water. The superior warrior said: “O young man, let us go for water to the staff of the power!” They came, they came to Pu nuanua. (He) sent the warrior of the first watch: “Go for appropriate water, look, look for the appropriate water for drinking, go for me!” He went, saw, drank the water, (and) caught crabs in the sea (near the source of) water. He came (and) said: “The water is there.” The superior warrior lifted himself, went, came (and) drank the water. He said: “Drink the water of Ta(h)ai.” He returned (and) went to Ahu A tungu. The warrior said to the warrior of the first watch: “Arrive at the House of the White Head!” The warrior entered, he stayed, (and) he came. The warrior came, he stayed with a victim, (it was) the warrior of the first watch (who came) to kill (the victim). The superior warrior went to eat crabs, he went, he carried bananas, (and) he cooked crabs. He cooked (them), he stayed, he remained, he owned, he hide the food into a cloak, he had the food for the warrior. He said: “The first bananas are yours, lift yourself to take (the month) (H)ora(h)ora.” The warrior lifted himself, he moved quickly, the warrior of the first watch and the superior warrior stayed together. The warrior of the first watch (and) the superior warrior went without stops. A day passed, the warrior of the first watch lifted himself at night. He climbed a banana tree at Tuu tapu, (and) he tore off bananas. (They were) the first bunch of bananas with a bud (and) the second bunch of bananas. He carried (them) on his back, he went to Ana Mangaro (The secret cave) to a slave (who was a mature man) inside Ana Mangaro. He came to the mouth of the cave, he asked: “Are you, an old man, here? The victim, take it.” He took, he entered the cave, he joined (the victim), (then) he cried. The superior warrior woke up, he saw that the warrior of the first watch was absent. The superior warrior lifted himself, he went, he looked at the cave where the bananas were kept from Tuu tapu, (they were) the stolen bananas. The warrior of the first watch did not steal new (fruits). He returned here, he stayed on the second night. He said: “Are you, an old man, here? Look, the age of Kahu (a bunch?) is new.” He carried, he lifted himself, he went, he entered the house, (and) he slept. The warrior came down, the warrior said, he said: “I saw your thoughts in the head, I saw Kahu (a branch?).” On the second crescent the warriors went to Ana Mangaro to the victim Kahu Mea. They carried (him), they went here, (and) they came to the house of Ure Ara Runga (= the king Nga Ara). They carried (him), they wrapped (him) with sugar cane leaves, (and) they burned (him). The victim Kahu Maa died.’(8)

In this text Ure Ara Runga is the name of the king Nga Ara. Old Rapanui ure with the general meaning ‘penis’ can designate the plurality as well, cf. Maori ure ‘penis’, uretoa ‘band of warriors’ < ure toa, cf. toa ‘warrior’. On the other hand, the wordplay is quite possible: cf. Old Rapanui teke ‘king’ and Hawaiian ke’a [teka] ‘penis’ (the alternation of the sounds e/a is possible). Rapanui runga means ‘upper part; height; high; upper’. It is an epithet of the king. In conformity with this text, human sacrifices were performed on nights/days of the new moon. Such persons were called Kahu Mea, Kapu Mea, Kahu Maa ‘The solar eclipse – the Reddish or Bright (colour)’. Ure a Reka (= Renga ‘Yellow’) is a symbolic name of a priest of the sun deity. The slave went along the great road to Mataveri and to the cave Ana Kai Tangata. Certainly, he did not know about his future. The territory round the Rano Kau volcano might be surrounded by numerous warriors during the bird-man elections. The reports about the search for the water have the symbolic meaning, cf. Rapanui ora ‘to give to drink’ (the feature of alive beings), Ora-nui, Hora-nui ‘September/October’. The place name Pu nuanua (the family/tribe of the king) is Ahu aka pu (the platform (associated with) the family/tribe of the king) indeed, cf. Rapanui aka ‘root’ and Samoan a’a ‘fibres of a root; family connections’. Thus, the warriors visited Ahu aka pu and Ahu tahai which were important centres of the island. The ceremonial platform Ahu A tungu is located at the bay Hanga Piko, cf. Rapanui tuku ‘to go back to a canoe’, piki ‘to take a canoe’ (the alternations of the sounds ng/k, o/i are possible). The House of the White Head was located in the village of Orongo. According to K. Rouledge (1998: 257), the face of the statue Hoa-hakananaia was painted white. Hence, the statue stood in this house. It is apparent that the crabs and bananas were standard gifts for the inhabitants of the cave Ana Kai Tangata. We learn that the expression ‘to take (the month) (H)ora(h)ora’ denotes the beginning of the month Hora-nui. The name of Ana mangaro ‘The secret cave’ is other name of the cave Ana Kai Tangata, cf. Rapanui mangaro ‘silent’, ngaro ‘secret; to keep; to disappear’, ngaro raa ‘the sun half-set’. The wordplay is quite possible: the name of Ana mangaro may be read as Ana manga roa ‘The cave of much food’. Old Rapanui ungu means ‘crab’ (Rjabchikov 1987: 365). From the above it might be assumed that the king and his people on the one hand, and warriors on the other hand were not isolated entirely. The victorious warriors still recognised the leadership of the king, and they passed him various gifts.

In the light of these data one can decode a chant which was recited by the native Kapiera (the baptismal name Gabriel, the ancestral name Reva Hiva) (Routledge 1914-1915): Kia teko te ha kia manau naunau a ure are rua te ha ka kai atu ka mau nau nau no a ure are rua te ha. I reconstruct this text as follows: Kio teko(a) te(h)a. Kio ma Naunaunau. A Ure Ara rua te(h)a. Ka kai atu, ka mau. Naunaunau. A Ure Ara rua te(h)a. ‘A kidnapped slave appears. (It is) the slave for the (Ahu) Naunau. The old (king) Nga Ara appears. Eat (the slave), hold (him)! (It is) the (Ahu) Naunau. The old (king) Nga Ara appears.’

Let us study a Rapanui text (Heyerdahl and Ferdon, 1965: figure 170). Here several segments are repeated twice. Moreover, some particles (ko, e) are inserted in the text to single out certain words. There is no question that these words were once said by a teacher in the rongorongo school of the king Nga Ara. The pupils learned this text by heart. I reconstruct the initial version of this record as follows:

Ko Anakena rua, i mate, ai i te Piti Kau Henua. Hea Hua, hea Keakea. He Pua tamahahine tere, popo te vaka, ko Hina iti, ku. Matua i hakakeria hai uhi kanekane mo [or no] moa. Teke ri, mia. Piti, Pata hou. Ma iri. Ai Mata puku, Mata reva. Tongariki ahu roa, ahu Tenga, Runga Vae, Hanga Toromiro. Tataki marama, Kore, Kea U(a). Iri Ure Ara ki Ana Ahouu [= Ahu] Mata tai, ki hara, veri, tahi nia, ana otiti ku, ha Hine kai maika. Para Runga o raro o te rano, otiti ku nei, oa nei, repe nei.(9)

‘(It is) the second (month) Anakena [July/August], (it) died; this is a place (called) Easter Island (= the ecliptic, the Rano Kau volcano (and) the earth). (The 12th moon/night) Hua appears, (and then) the Crab (the symbolism of a lunar eclipse here) appears. The woman Pua (the full moon) swims, (it is) in the canoe, and (it is now) small (and) ill. The Father ordered (the people) to collect bad yams for hen (perhaps, it is an allegory). The king is afraid and surprised. (It is) the ecliptic. (It is the deity) Patu who is new. (It is) the increasing of the brightness. (It is) a place (where) the Face is on the mountain. (They are) the great ceremonial platform Ahu Tongariki, the ceremonial platform Ahu (Hanga) (Te)tenga, (the ceremonial platform Ahu) Runga Vae, (and) the bay Hanga Toromiro. (It is) the count of the crescents (from the nights) Kokore to the dwelling of the Crab. Ure Ara (the king Nga Ara) lifts himself to the House/ceremonial platform [statue] of the First Face (= the statue Hoa-hakananaia), (then) to the road, (he) is afraid, (the moon) is small (now), the full moon who is ill shines, (it is) the moon goddess Hina (resembing) the eating of a banana. (The god) Para Runga (= the sun) is inside the Rano Kau volcano (now) [= it is the night], and the full moon is ill, it stays, it hang (here).’(10)

It is the description of the almost full lunar eclipse of August (Hora-iti) 12, 1840 (I have used the computer program RedShift Multimedia Astronomy, Version 2 again). The king Nga Ara visited the sacred village of Orongo to look at the eclipsed moon. The name of the Para Runga denotes the sun (Rjabchikov 2008b). In conformity with local beliefs, the spirit Rai-ko-puku lived at Rano Kao [= Kau] (Métraux 1940: 318). This name means ‘The sun of (this) mountain’. Old Rapanui piti means ‘ecliptic’, cf. Maori pito o rangi signifies ‘ecliptic’ (Åkerblom 1968). Old Rapanui keakea means ‘crab’, cf. Rapanui pikea ‘crab’. The wordplay is quite possible: keakea means ‘disappearance’, cf. Rapanui keke ‘to set (of the sun)’. Old Rapanui ri ‘to be afraid’ corresponds to ria ‘to be afraid’. Old Rapanui mia ‘to wonder’ corresponds to Maori miha ‘to wonder’ (the alternation of the sounds h/- is possible). Old Rapanui Pata is a variant of the deity’s name Patu. Old Rapanui reva ‘mountain; height’ is comparable with Maori rewa ‘to be elevated; to be high up’. Old Rapanui veri ‘to be surprised; to be afraid’ is comparable with Rapanui veveri ‘to be surprised; to be afraid’.

23. Let us consider several records of the Santiago staff, see figure 28.


Figure 28.

A text (I 4) in presented in fragment 1, it reads as follows: 4-23 49 17 11 (102) 6-17 (102) 6 91 69 (102) 51-15 Tuura – (ariki) mau te paka – ate (= ati) “Taoraha”, “Moko, kero”. ‘The priests ariki-paka carve (the pictures) “The whales” (and) “The lizard”.’

A text (I 5) in presented in fragment 2, it reads as follows: (a vertical line) 84 4 (102) 4-23 56 6-6 26 (102) 62-28 33 6 (102) 28 12 6 72 (102) 56 103 56 (102) 6-17 44-4 (123-123 102-123) 81 (a vertical line 123-123 102) Ivi atua – tuura – po “Haha” maa: tonga, ua, “Hanga Ika, a manu”. Po pea, po, ate, tatu “Manu”. ‘The priests keep (the picture) “The darkness” made skilfully: (this plot is connected with) the rain season, rains; (they keep the picture) “The fish (and) the bird moving in a certain direction”. (They) keep the carving. (They) keep (the picture), (then they) carve (the 2nd sign) “The bird”.’

The sense of such statements we shall realise below.

Old Rapanui tatu ‘to tattoo; to carve’ (< *ta atu?) corresponds to Rapanui tatu ‘to tattoo’, cf. also ta ‘to strike; to tattoo; tattooing’. Old Rapanui (h)anga ‘to look or move in a certain direction’ is comparable with Maori anga ‘to look or move in a certain direction’. Old Rapanui po and popo ‘to keep’ are comparable with Rapanui popo ‘to preserve; to put in safety’. The wordplay is quite possible, cf. Proto-Polynesian *poo ‘to cover with hand’ (Biggs and Clark 2006). Old Rapanui pea ‘carving; to scrape; erasure’ correlates with Rapanui peapea ‘to scrape; erasure’.

A text (I 5) in presented in fragment 3, it reads as follows: 4-23 56-56 (102) 18-4 44-26 (102) 4 73 60 26 25 (102) 11 6-6 (102) 6 91 (102-123) 21 56 (102) 51 (102) 15 Tuura popo “Te atua Tama”, “Atua e Mata” maa, hua “Pakia”, “Haha”, “A Taoraha, oko”, “Po kero”. ‘The priests keep (the pictures) “The god Tama [Tangaroa]”, “The god ‘The face’” made skilfully, (and these pictures are manufactured in the same manner as the pictures) “The seal/shark”, “The darkness”, “The whale and the whale-calf”, “The dark night (The lizard)”.’

A text (I 6) in presented in fragment 4, it reads as follows: 2 (102) 54 44-4 (102) 39 6 73 53 (a vertical line) 73 (102) 58 5 (102) 44-19 (102) 4-23 58 111 (102) 6 49 2 (102) 54 (102) 15 (102) 29-33 111 6 (102) 19 56-56 (102) 68 11 (a vertical line) Ina kai tatu, raa ha, he Maro. He tahiti Taki tuura tahi, ngu a (ariki) mau. Ina kai roa, rua ua, ngu hoki, popo honu paka. ‘(The priests) do not manufacture carvings on the 4th day [= Ari] of the month Maro [June/July]. Taki, the first priest, is reciting (the chants, records), and the king is reciting (the texts). Nothing grows, (it is time of) ‘the sunset – the rain’ (= the rain season), the recitations (are read) about the return (of the hot sun), the priests ariki-paka preserve (nature).’

According to K. Routledge (1914-1915), the king Nga Ara collected the rongorongo men in Anakena during the months Maro (June/July) and Anakena (July/August). Thus, in the text such a meeting is described. K. Routledge’s (1914-1915) field notes contain the following information: near the ceremonial platform Ahu Akahanga lived a rongorongo man by the name of Ana ngungu au. This name can be translated as ‘A cave where the tablets (kohau = ko hau = (ko) au) were read’. The term kohau ‘inscribed tablet’ signified ‘royal (tablet)’ initially.

Old Rapanui tahiti ‘to recite’ is comparable with Rapanui tahito ‘to recite’ (the alternation of the sounds i/o is possible).

It is known the name of the priest Rangi Taki ‘The Sky – the Count (of days)’ who prayed for the rain according to the myth “Hiva Kara Rere, the god of rain” (Felbermayer 1963). I think that Taki and Rangi Taki were one and the same person (cf. also Rapanui taku ‘to predict; prophecy’, rangi ‘to shout; to send’). Interestingly to note that Ko Taku was a rongorongo man from Anakena (Routledge 1914-1915). Moreover, a rongorongo expert called Tataki is mentioned in a Rapanui genealogy (Englert 1974: 51).

Old Rapanui roa ‘to grow’ corresponds to Rapanui roaroa ‘to grow’. The expression ‘nothing grows’ is the distinctive property of the month Maro [June/July] (Barthel 1978: 52).

A text is presented in the manuscript E (Barthel 1978: 323; comments in 88): Rano kau te taki toka hakapiri te vaenga te mukomuko. It can be translated as follows: ‘(It is the) Rano Kau (volcano). (This is the priest) Taki, (it is his) paddle (toko). (He) is connected with the centre (Orongo), (its feature is) the wreath’. The head of the statue Hoa-hakananaia was decorated with a circlet during the feast of the bird-man (Métraux 1940: 336). This text correlates with a text (I 2) of the Santiago staff presented in figure 29.


Figure 29.

It reads as follows: 6 (102) 62-21 6-6 (102) 25 56 105 (102) 48 156 48-15 (102) 19 25 56 (102) 4 (102) 44-19 (102 123-123 102) A toko haha hua po, moe, uu, too, uri, ku hua Patu Taki. ‘The paddle produces the night, sleep, snore, sunset, (and) darkness. (The god) Patu produced (the priest) Taki.’

Old Rapanui hua ‘to produce’ corresponds to Old Rapanui pu ‘to produce’ presented in the “Creation Chant” (Métraux 1940: 320-322). One can offer Rapanui pua and hua ‘flower; fruit’ as well, and here the alternation of the sounds p/h is registered.

Let us consider a text (I 12) of the Santiago staff presented in figure 30.


Figure 30.

It reads as follows: 58-62 105 (102-123) 56 73 (102-102) 68 (123 102) 44-(102)-4 4-33 6 (123 102) 4-50 47 44-(102)-4 56-56 Tahito Moa Pee honui. Tatu atua ua a tui Ava, tatu Popo. ‘The nobleman Moa Pee is reciting (the chants, records); (he) is writing (= tattooing?): ‘The deity/dwelling ‘(It is) the decreasing of the full moon’’; (he) is writing (= tattooing?): ‘(It is) the full (moon)’.’

In this record a rongorongo expert by the name of Moa Pee is mentioned. I believe that he was Moaha, a grandfather of another rongorongo expert known as Tomenika or Vaka Tuku Onge. In compliance with a Rapanui legend (Englert 1970: 67), Vaka Tuku Onge, a member of the Tupa-hotu tribe from the environs of Mahatua, was once saved by the spirit of his ancestor by the name of Moaha. The last name means ‘The protector’, and it can sound as Moaa; cf. also Rapanui pee ‘to protect’. The variants of name of one and the same person were possible in the past. For example, Tomenika (the baptismal name Domingo) was called Vaka Tuku Onge a Teatea, Vaka a Teahiva, and Vaka a Teatea, and the word, Teatea, was the name of his uncle and foster-father (Routledge 1998: 250, 252; Barthel 1978: 294; Englert 1974: 52, 56; Heyerdahl 1965: 361). Here next words are noteworthy: cf. Rapanui vaka ‘canoe’, tuku (cf. kupenga tuku, kupenga tukutuku) ‘net’, onge ‘hunger’, teatea ‘whiteness‘, teahiva (cf. kotea-hiva) ‘name of a fish’, Maori hiwa ‘dark’ and hiwahiwa ‘black; dark’.

According to K. Routledge (1998: 252), Tomenika’s grandfather was Omatohi; and his foster-father, Tea-a-tea (= Teatea), was a rongorongo expert. I believe that this man, Omatohi (Old Rapanui omatohi, matohi, cf. Rapanui omotohi, motohi) ‘The full moon’, was called Moa(h)a (Pee) Omatohi [Ava, Popo] indeed. This inscription reports that this person once wrote his full ancestral name. In the Atan manuscript the following record is written down in Roman letters: Tomanika Ava (see Heyerdahl and Ferdon 1965: figure 108). It is possible that the lunar terminology in this name is a hint of the name of Omatohi.

Let us consider a text (I 11) of the Santiago staff presented in figure 31.


Figure 31.

It reads as follows: 6-39 15 68 (102) 11 30-69 6-50 62-4 (102) 6-17 11 (102) 3 6-6 49 (102) 6-33 6 12 17 (102) Ara roa, honui paka Ana Moko hai toti ate “Pakia”; hina haha. (Ariki) mau hau a ika tea. ‘The great (Nga) Ara (and) the priests ariki-paka from the house Ana Moko with other people carve (the drawing) “The seal/shark”; (it is) the new moon. The king owns the fish kotea.’

Here Old Rapanui hau ‘to own; king’ is written down as two syllables (ha-u) (cf. also glyph 14 hau). It is known that kotea was the king’s fish (Métraux 1937: 50), cf. Maori kotea ‘pale’ and Rapanui tea ‘white’.

I believe that the priest (taura/tuura) Taki was an outstanding artist as well. This man together with other priests created several carved pictures for the king Nga Ara. Moreover, this king also participated in their activities. G. Lee (1988: 51, 53, 61) is right when she claims that stones with bas relief petroglyphs in Anakena (Ahu Naunau and some other sites) were created especially for the king by his own craftsmen; at least three carvings were created by the same artist. I suppose that king Nga Ara placed some slabs decorated with pictures on the ahu and in other places instead of the fallen statues. They were different incarnations of deities.

I pick out eight pictures mentioned in the inscription of the Santiago staff:

1) “The whales” / “The whale and the whale-calf”;

2) “The lizard”’/ “The dark night (The lizard)”;

3) “The darkness”;

4) “The fish (and) the bird moving in a certain direction; (the second) bird”;

5) “The god Tama [Tangaroa]”;

6) “The god ‘The face’”;

7) “The seal/shark”;

8) “The seal/shark”.

The 1st picture fits the bas relief petroglyph (see Lee 1988: 55, figure 8), but cf. (Lee 1988: 59, figure 24; 1992: 93, figure 4.82) as well. The 2nd picture fits the bas relief petroglyph (see Lee 1988: 54, figure 3). The 3rd picture fits the bas relief petroglyph (see Lee 1988: 54, figure 1). The 4th picture fits the bas relief petroglyph (see Lee 1988: 54, figure 5). The 5th picture fits the bas relief petroglyph (see Lee 1988: 54, figure 4). The 6th picture fits the bas relief petroglyph (see Lee 1988: 55, figure 7). The 7th and 8th picture fit the bas relief petroglyphs (see Lee 1988: 59, figure 26 and 27), but cf. (Lee 1992: 169, figure 6.2 [3]) as well. Here dolphin and seal/shark are represented, cf. Rapanui mamama niuhi ‘dolphin’, niuhi, mango ‘shark’, pakia ‘seal’, Old Rapanui paki(a) ‘shark; seal’. Some of these bas relief pictures have been investigated by the author earlier (Rjabchikov 2005).

In this carvings the images of the gods Tangaroa [1, 5, 7, 8], Tane (Makemake) [4, 6], Hina [4] and Hiro [2, 3] are reflected.

Really, the deity Tangaroa was declared as the mythological founder of the king’s dynasty (Métraux 1940: 127; Lee 1988: 61). Interestingly, the name Tangaroa-tatarara is included in the kings’ list (Métraux 1940: 90-91, table 2). In my opinion, it is an additional designation of the mythological ancestor of the Rapanui kings. In this name one can pick out Rapanui tata ‘nearness; near’ and rara ‘side’ (cf. also raaraa ‘the sun’).

The deity Tane appears as the birds and big-eyed mask. Here is the idea about the spring months. The name of the god Tiki (cf. glyph 1) is not presented at all as he was the power or the son of the supreme god only. And representations of Tane in Anakena are free from the birdmen motifs. It is intriguing that in the birdmen culture the conceptions about the gods Tane and Tangaroa are mixed. The deities Tane and Hina appear together as the images of the bird(s) (Hena Naku) and the fish (Hina Hau Mara).

It is also known that the king sent his son or another priest ariki-paka to perform rites devoted to the rain god Hiro (Métraux 1937: 55)..

24. Let us consider a text (I 5) of the Santiago staff presented in figure 32.


Figure 32.

It reads as follows: 68 2 (a vertical line) 44 (102) 48 6 65 (a vertical line) Ono Hina. Tau Ara(a)ra [rangi] ‘The moon goddess Hina adds (nights). (It is) a year of (the king) (Nga) Araara.

The native Kapiera used the expression ‘the time of Ngaara’s grandfather’ (Routledge 1998: 289). As an additional parallel let us study the Rapanui folklore. The native Tomenika recited the following text: Kia nau kia au taki te tau ko te tema tahi; na ohotu ana o taki kia tuki te tau ko te rua; na poie nuinui a tuke kia tau te tau ko te tora; kia ta te tau ko te ha; na te umu roa ata ka tiki hahai tie tau ko te rima (Routledge 1914-1915). I reconstruct this text (a rongorongo record?) as follows: Kio (ha)nau, kio (ha)nau Take, te tau ko te maa tahi. Na o Hotu, a na o Take kio Tuki te tau ko te rua. Na Poie nuinui a Tuki kio, tau te tau ko te toru. Kio Ta(h)a te tau ko te ha. Na te Umu roa ata, ka Tiki, haha i tie, tau ko te rima. ‘The people Take won; it was the first year of the bright light. This Hotu, this Take won (the king) Tuki; it was the second year. This great (king) Poie, son of Tuki, won; it was the third year. (The tribal union) Taha ‘The Frigate Bird’ won; it was the fourth year. This Great Earth Oven was (made one) morning/evening; the god Tiki burned (it), he looked at the grave; it was the fifth year’.

In Marquesan traditions Take is the original name of the Polynesians (Tregear 1891: 453). In the Rapanui text the name of the tribe called Hotu or Tupa-Hotu (cf. also the name of Hotu Matua) is associated with this term. These people lived on the east of Easter Island (on the Poike peninsula). This tribe won the Miru tribe (the name of the king Tuki is mentioned). Then the Miru tribe (the Hanau Momoko) won, and the great Poie, son of Tuki, was its king at that time. This war was long. These events are described in the Rapanui folklore (Routledge 1998: 285-289; Métraux 1940: 74-84; Barthel 1962b: 848). The Miru tribe was called Ta(h)a ‘The Frigate Bird’ as well. The Miru ate many warriors of the Tupa-hotu (the Hanau Eepe) as victims. I believe that the king Poie (cf. Rapanui poipoi ‘morning’) of the Miru (the Hanau Momoko) ruled in the 17th century.

Rapanui tau signifies not only ‘year’, but also ‘epoch’. Perhaps, the last meaning is more appropriate for the text studied above. Old Rapanui ti(a) signifies ‘grave’, cf. also Samoan tia ‘grave’ (Rjabchikov 1997b: 34).

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