This text was published by Campbell accompanied by string figures (1971:418-422) and also in a shorter version (1971:456). A neru appears to be encouraging herself before undertaking the difficult departure from 'Ana O Keke, hindered by blindness and overweight. The "mist and fog" part – a staple chant segment – could have been present in the original text as an allusion to the girl's poor eyesight, but it may also have been introduced when vaka became interpreted as "boat" instead of "house". The last line provides an important detail regarding the neru diet: pi'op'o, the sweet juice from the banana flower.  

Added: 2016-09-27

Campbell (1-4)

Text 1

Go on, go on, go on, go on,

– the sweet potatoes will bring the cure –

in this mist, in this fog!

That dark and narrow "house" (was) an agony,

(but) (I) have become fair!

(I) cry out, (I) must leave, (it) is finished!

(I) walk on, blindly, groping!

My chest feels pangs,

(but) (I) will not give in!

How I will be limping in Vai-a-repa!

How clumsy I will be at the ceremony

of Tuhi-renga in Vai-mata,

a gross figure to be looked upon,

a delicate figure beneath all this banana flower juice!

Kia-kia; kia-kia: /

tari rau kumara, /

i te ehu-ehu; /  i te kapua-pua. /

Tatá te vaka, / po ihu-ihu

mea-mea; /

o ou e oho kero é. /  

Hahá, hahá; /

vere taaku kakava; /

ina avai é. /  

Ka haro au i Vai-a-repa; /  

ka kokoni au i te paina, /

a Tuhi-renga, i Vaimatá /

Matá nui: araha é; /

matá iti: araro pio-pio é.  

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kia kia kia kia  

tari ra'au kumara  

i te ehuehu i te kapuapua

tata te vaka po ihuihu  

meamea  

o'ohu e oho kero e  

haha haha  

vero ta'aku kakava  

'ina avai e   

ka haro au i Vai-a-repa  

ka kokone au i te paina  

a Tuhi-renga i Vai-mata  

mata nui araha e  

mata 'iti araro pi'opi'o e  

Text Campbell

Reconstruction

Translation

This version (Campbell 1971:444-445) is important because it confirms that the end of the seclusion was signalled by the first menses (vari) and because it refers to 'Ana O Keke as a "gourd" (ipu kaha). The term taokete, "sister-in-law", is notable as neru texts usually use taina (lit. "siblings") for "sisters". If the segment where it occurs was part of the original text, it would be an indication that elite girls were already promised to certain marriage partners before becoming neru.

Text 2

Introduction

Campbell recorded some neru texts when he was collecting traditional song material for his study of Easter Island music. The texts, however, were poorly translated and in general not related to the cult of the secluded girls. The first two chants are possibly versions of an older and longer text.

How I will be limping in Vai-a-repa!

How clumsy I will be at the ceremony

of Tuhi-renga in Vai-mata!  

About the cave I will brag, when (it) lets (me) go,

but (I) will feel uneasy

and (I) will cry over that murky hole!

How I will be limping in Vai-a-repa!

How clumsy I will be at the ceremony

of Tuhi-renga in Vai-mata!

O, sister-in-law, you must have your menses (too)!

Let the confinement of the both of us be stopped,

of (sitting) inside this "gourd"!

Bring (it) forth and end your subjection!

Ka haro au i Vai-a-repa; /

ka kokoni au / i te paina

a Tuhi-Renga, / i Vaimatá. /

O te ava paru au i vaai mai, /

e Kuihi

e tatangi o te pu ehu. /

Ka haro au i Vai-a-repa; /  

ka kokoni au / i te paina

a Tuhi-Renga, / i Vaimatá. /

E taokete, e kavari mai koe, /

ka to'o i to taua hakakio, /

noroto roo mai i te ipu kaha; /  

ka pu; / ka to'o tou hakakio.

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ka haro au i Vai-a-repa

ka kokone au i te paina

a Tuhi-renga i Vai-mata

o te ava e paru au i vaai mai

e ku'iku'i

e tatangi o te pu ehu  

ka haro au i Vai-a-repa

ka kokone au i te paina

a Tuhi-renga i Vai-mata

e taokete e ka vari mai koe

ka to'o i totaua haka-kio

oroto ro mai i te ipu kaha

ka pu ka to'o to'u haka-kio

Text Campbell

Reconstruction

Translation

This text (Campbell 1971:408-409) was published earlier in more distorted versions by Barthel (1960:847) and Heyerdahl & Ferdon (1965:fig.170). The last lines connect it to the He timo te akoako text (cf. R1-4).

Text 3

In this special cave, I have become very ill!

What a trap!

Alas, o mother, o mother, (I) am swelling up!

(Your) daughter is getting fat!

This crack in the rock is a trap, dark and silent!

Dark and silent is this "house" with nothing (in it)!

I have made myself sick

with poorly developed yams!

With this figure that has been eaten by bugs,

this fair one is gloomy!

This fair one is gloomy

(because) this crack in the rock is a trap!

This colorlessness is disgusting!

Look at this wrinkled figure,

a figure that flutters

when the north-east wind penetrates inside!

Are (they) ever going to disappear,

these large swellings,

these bulging swellings on (my) legs?

Will the Miru festival be pleasant  

(when) the light at the festival annoys me?

This "secluded one" will climb up,

this stiffened "secluded one" will climb up and up!

(I) will reveal

to the noblemen this exuberant figure

(and) (they) will look very attentively!

(They) will look very attentively

(and) (I) will be "pierced"!

(I) will be "pierced" by one (of them)

to end my maidenhood!

(I) am eating overripe bananas

on this floor of mud!

Surely (I) cannot stand up because of this "cover"?

Will this flabbiness be cast off

by this "exhausted one",

by this "four-legged bird"?

I Anakena au i mate ai, /

ko te kopiti; /

hau he nua; he nua / he kea-kea,  

he pua; / tamahahine... /  

Kopiti; kopata; / tere momo;

tere momo; / te vaka ko Ina. /

I haka keri a /

hai uhi kane-kane / Ko au

ko matai / momo-momo; /

te kere mea,

te kere mea; /

kopiti; kopata. /

Ko hou-hou / Mairi  

ai-ai, / mata puku,  

mata reva-reva /  

ka tomo ko Tongariki, /  

ingaro roa ai. /

Ahu roo, /

ahu Te-tenga, / Runga-Vae. /  

He anga toromiro /

tataki marama; / koro i au

iri; / e uru  

iri-iri. / A ure harara, /

haaki ana /  

ki a Honu-mata-taiko; /

he ara, /

he hara; /

vero é,

vero é; / etahi; /

mo oti aaku hahine. /

Kai maika para

oraro, o te rano, /

O tu'u o te na'a; /

oa-oa te na, / repe-repe te na; /

e te rerehu, /

e te manu vae ehá.  

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i 'ana ke a au i mate ai

ko te kopiti

aue e nua e nua he keakea

he puha tamahahine

kopiti 'opata kere mumu

kere mumu te vaka ko 'ina

i haka-kekeri a  

hai uhi kanekane ko au

ko mata i momomomo  

kekere (?) mea

kekere (?) mea

kopiti 'opata  

ko houhou mariri

aia i mata puku

mata revareva

ka tomo ko tongariki

e ngaro ro ai

ahu roa

ahu tetenga arunga va'e  

he hanga koro Miru  

tatake marama koro i au

iri e huru

iri-iri a huru harara

haaki ana

ki a honui mata taiko

he ara

he ara

vero e

vero e etahi

mo oti 'a'aku hahine

kai maika para

oraro o te rapo (?)

'o tuu o te na'a

hoahoa te na reperepe na

e te rerehu

e te manu va'e eha

Text Campbell

Reconstruction

Translation

The following text (Campbell 1971:249) is important because the announcement of the menses is described in much the same way as in Atu'a Mata Riri (vs 45-47) (cf. text T1). Also of interest are the "fish" references, the familiar theme of the deceased sister, and the dialogue structure (N: Narrator; M: Mother; T: Tuu, a neru).

Text 4

How (they) cry out, the experts:

"The vaginal fluid is appearing,

the fluid is coming down in a broad stream

for this 'fish'!

Young men will be asking to marry (her)!

'Little Tuu' (has become) 'Big Tuu'!  

Tuu has reached puberty (and) menstruates!"

(But) (her) parent sees (her) crying:

Has it come with nausea,

with sickness, o Tuu?

You are lying down!

You can see that (I) am hindered,

o mother, by this swelling!

Your "swollen one" has been "toppled"

by this desolate cave!

With (my) sister (I) have sung mockingly to it:

"How you have expanded the flesh on these 'fish'!"  

(It) was an appropriate song!

O sister, where are you?

Ka tangi te ngamaori /  

Vai-Tino-Hee, a  

Vai-uturu-roa é. /

mo te ika   

kopeka kore /  

Ko-Tuu-nui, Ko-Tuu-iti, /

Ko tuu: Ko Pare-haavaré. /

Ui tangi roa matua, /  

¿Ia ai korua   

ko mahaki e Tuu é?... /  

Mohe koe  

ui ena, / a koe ana mauá,  

e nua é, e te au eré... /  

He haka uri taa au  

ana roke, /  

e hei a mona ko taina é. /

A haro kiko mai ai koe, / i te ika  

ko tau ate, /  

e koe taina é...  

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ka tangi te nga ma'ori

vai tino e'a   

vai tuturu roa e  

mo te ika   

kope kako ro  

ko Tuu nui ko Tuu 'iti   

ko Tuu ko pari haka-vari  

u'i tangi roa matua  

ia ai ko rua

ko maki e Tuu e  

moe koe

u'i ena a koe ana mau a  

e nua e e te ahu era    

he haka-huri ta'a ahu  

'ana roki   

he 'ei a mo'ona ko taina e   

ka haro kiko mai ai koe i te ika

ko tau ate  

he koe taina e  

Text Campbell

Reconstruction

Translation

N:








M:



T:


(2) Line 2 may have been swapped with line 3. Sweet potatoes were forbidden for the neru. It appears here that they are expected to cure the physical problems resulting from the one-sided diet of sugarcane and other fattening foods.  

(12) The name of the ceremony could be interpreted as paina a tui renga, "festival of the beautiful exiles". Englert, who was given the name of Taurenga in this context, suggests that this was the location of one of the royal residences (1939:197).

Commentary

(6) ehu: this may originally have been hue, "gather", "hide", "seclude".

(10) too: the dualis totaua in line 11 and the singular to'u in line 12 suggest that the girl who is speaking has already reached her menses whereas her sister-in-law-to-be has not.

(12) ipu kaha: an example of 'Ana O Keke being metaphorically compared to a "womb" and a "gourd".

(13) ka pu: this expression is repeatedly used in Atu'a Mata Riri (cf. text T1).

Commentary

(5) kopiti: it has been assumed that the word is cognate with MAO kopiti, "shut up, closed"; HAW 'oopiki, "trap" (Biggs et al. 2015).

(8) poorly developed yams: apparently, these were eaten by the girl as an alternative to the one-sided diet.  

(13) houhou: it has been assumed that the word is cognate with MAO houhou, "disagreeable, unpleasant"; MQA hauhau "degoutant, sale" (Biggs et al. 2015).

(19) tetenga: it has been assumed that the word is cognate with MAO tenga, "Adam's apple"; TON tega, "a swelling, a tumour"; MVA tega, "the belly swelled by too much food" (Tregear 1891:504).

Commentary