Tablet E, side recto, lines 1-4

e matua e (1) tae tama (2) hanga he pu   

hanga ro tae pu hanga tae puhi pupa-pupa (3)

e tangata e tae tangata tangata riva (4) o tama e

tae tama hanga i punga-punga

O parents, (your) children do not like (living in) a hole!

(They) really do not like that hole, (they) do not like (its) cold draft!

O people, the best of (your) children (will become) inhuman!

Those children do not like to become fat!

(1) e matua e: the damaged part can be compared to the vocative expression e tangata e in this and other lines. (2) tae tama: although the "head" is not clearly turned to the left but upwards, it has been assumed that the glyph has the same meaning as the tama-sign with reversed "head" in this and other lines. (3) puhi pupa-pupa: the upper part of the downturned "arm" has been taken for another pu-sign. The closing pu-glyph is probably reversed in support of the negation. (4) riva: despite the fact that it should have a (clearer) dent in its base it has been assumed that this is a riva-sign because further on in the text the sign appears upturned, i.e., as its negation. An alternative possibility is vaka, i.e., people living in the same hare vaka.

pu maatou na

pu tae maatou a pu roa pu

e tangata e tangata riva o mata (2) e

tae hanga kopu

pii hanga pu pipi

hanga pu po pu too roou

Would we (ourselves) go into that hole?

(No,) we would not go into that hole (because) it is an isolated (1) hole!

O people, (they) are the best people of the tribe!

(They) do not like those bellies!

Are (we) going to put an end to it (or) do (we) accept that small hole?

Do (we) accept that dark hole, a hole that hinders taking care (3) (of them)?

(1) isolated: lit. "far away"; alt. "deep". (2) mata: it has been assumed that the long beak was used in this sign to indicate that it does not read tama, "child". The most logical alternative is mata, "tribe". (3) taking care: as in other Polynesian languages roou means "to steer", an alternative is "selfcontrol" (cf. also disyllabic sign rou).

e tangata e tangata riva o tama e

tae hanga pu tae kokoro

hanga pu na (1) hanga pu kohu

hanga pu kohu i puku (2) tohu

hehe tangata tae riva o [tama] e

[tae] (3) hanga pupa punua

O people, (they) are the best of (your) children!

(They) do not like that narrow hole!

Should (they) like that hole? Should (they) like that gloomy hole?

Should (they) like that gloomy hole on that cursed cliff?

The best of (your) children will be dazzled!

Those "hatchlings" do not like (their) "nest"!  

(1) na: if this interpretation is correct, this is a rare example of the (a)na-glyph as independent sign. If, however, it is a pu-sign turned upside down, the phrase could read hanga tae pupu: "(they) do not like being gathered together". (2) puku: an example of "the Rapanui language’s unconditioned allophonic alternation of the unstressed vowels o and u” (Fischer 1997:583;en.10). (3) o tama e tae: it has been assumed that the two signs o and e on the edge of the tablet represent an abbriviation of the phrase that appears in the preceding and following lines.

pu   ki-ki (tae) pu-ra-  ana    he-he tangata      o  (tae)       ta-e  hanga (pu-)te pu-ha-   (tae) o (tae)   hanga  pu            too   roou   pu(-ra)   ngii                     ri-va     ta-ma  e               ko-pu      pu(-ha)  ta-ma ta-ma ana hole  stiff NEG blind MOD  dazzle  man       POS NEG     NEG   like     fat    fatten NEG POS NEG accept hole remove steer    DUP  glare             NEG good   child COORc          belly       DUP      child  child MOD

pu too kiki tae roou

pura-pura ana ngii

hehe tae tangata riva o tama e

tae hanga kopu puti (1)

puha-puha (2) tae tama

o tae tama ana hanga pu

(It is) a hole that takes away (their) firmness (and) does not take care (of them)!

(They) will be blinded by the glare of the sun!

The best of (your) children should not be dazzled!

(They) do not like those fat bellies!

Those children should not grow fat,

because (they) will no longer be children when (they) accept that hole!

(1) hanga kopu puti: it has been assumed that this is a similar reduplicative construction as hanga pupa punua in the previous segment. An alternative interprettation is an enumeration of things the children do not like: "bellies", "menses", and "growing fat". The term puti – written as pute – usually appears as causative haka-puti (e.g., in Ab4, Ca3, Hr8). (2) puha-puha: the interpretation is uncertain as in lines Gr7-8 and Hv11 puha is written with the allograph of (h)a. The word appears without the reduplication in line Ev3.

mo pu e tangata e

tae tangata tangata riva o tama e

tae hanga i puhi-puhi

puhi-puhi hehe tangata riva o tama e

ata rangi

If (they) go into that hole, o people,

the best of (your) children (will become) inhuman!

(They) will not like (it) when (they) become bloated!

The best of (your) children will be bloated (and) dazzled,

(they) will become "heavenly shadows" (1)!

pehe tari-tari

pu ua (2) pu nohu-nohu

hehe tangata riva o tama e

tae ata pu

hehe pu e pu tetahi

e tangata e tangata riva o matua e

How can (they) be carried away (1)?

That hole (they) occupy (is) a poisonous hole!

The best of (your) children will be dazzled!

(They) should not become "shadows" of that hole!

That hole will dazzle (them), so let others go into that hole!

O people, (you) should be the best of the parents!

(1) carry: if "carry" can be interpreted figuratively, an alternative is "bear": "How can (they) bear (it)?" (2) ua: cf. Englert (1978:276) uàuà: "residir", "residente".

tae ranginga pupa tetahi ira

(2) hahatu (3) ta na maatou

pehe nga toenga tonga

maa nui maa

Some (of them) overthere cannot control (their) trembling (1)!

Should (their) color be distorted by us?

(The children of) Tonga (4) should be like the rest!

That experience (is) too severe (for them)!

(1) trembling: from cold or fever. (2) the segment from hahatu up to toenga has a parallel in line Ab6. (3) hahatu: it has been assumed that the four round appendages – which are lacking in Ab6 – are a (rare) means to indicate reduplication. This was probably necessary because doubling the "stick" gives a different word, whereas cross hatching produces the interrogative aha. (4) Tonga: this name – in connection with large and small hills – is mentioned in some versions of the He timo te akoako chant. It likely referred to Poike, adjacent to Tongariki, which name could then be explained as "lesser Tonga".

ai ahu

o tama e tae tangata nako (1)

uha tae raua o

tuu ua

ina a heanga ua

tae ranginga ko   

ina tetahi ko mo tae nua

tata ana tae hue (3)

tae ranginga i apa

(They) will be swollen!

Those children should not become fat people!

They really are not going to be women!

Are those occupants able to stand up?

No, those occupants are victims (2)!

(They) have no control overthere!

There are no others overthere (as replacements) for (their) mothers' absence!

Would (they) be in agony if (they) were not secluded?

(They) have no control because (they) were taken away!

(1) nako: alt. anako: "ugly". (2) victims: heanga also means "sacrifice" (Churchill 1912:201). (3) ana tae hue: this expression is also found in Hv7: o hano ana tae hue: "Surely (they) would not be defiled if (they) were not secluded?" and Hv8: ahu ana tae hue "Would (they) be fat if (they) were not secluded?", which is paralleled in Pv9 by mae ana tae hue: "Would (they) be pale if (they) were not secluded?"

Added: 2013-09-08  Modified: 2017-03-20

(1) heavenly shadows: the neru had to go through a transformation process which apparently made them 'ata, "shadow images" or "reflections", i.e., incarnations of one or more divine powers. In the neru chants, the gods Tangaroa and Hiro make their appearance. Both of them were associated with heavenly phenomena such as dark clouds, storm, and rainfall. Tregear (1891:27) has MAO atarangi: "a shadow", and HAW akalani, "a heavenly shadow", "a splendid light". For Easter Island, the term appears (misprinted as atarungi) in Ure Vaeiko’s Apai recitation (Thomson 1891:517; cf. De Laat 2014:31) and in a chant about two neru girls which was recorded by Métraux (1934-1935; NB 5rb:11; partially published in Barthel 1960:844-845). Métraux, however, interprets the term as "couleur de crepuscule", "mordoré" (1934-1935; NB 5rb:14). Below, only the term 'ata is used which will be translated as "shadow". This should be interpreted as "reflection", rather than as something necessarily dark. For example, in one neru text, the children are addressed as "beautiful star".

(drawings by Paul Horley)