Tablet E, side recto, lines 1-4

e matua e (1) tama hanga he pu   

hanga ro tae pu

hanga tae puhi pupa-pupa (2)

e tangata e tae tangata tangata vaka (3)

o tama e

tae hanga i punga-punga mo pu

O parents, should (our) children accept (living in) a hole?

(We) really should not approve of that hole!

(We) should not approve of (its) cold draft!

O people, should members of (our) families become inhuman

because (they) are children?

(We) should not accept that (they) grow fat because (they) (have to) go into a hole!

(1) e matua e: the damaged part can be compared to the vocative expression e tangata e in this and other lines. (2) puhi pupa-pupa: the upper part of the downturned "arm" has been interpreted as a pu-sign. The closing pu-glyph is probably reversed in support of the negation.(3) vaka: it has been assumed that the va-sign is used here as a logogram for vaka, "boatshaped house", i.e., "(extended) family", "clan". This use could have been possible if this was the sign's origin. An alternative reading is riva, "good", "healthy", as this term appears in similar phrases further on in the text. However, it seems unlikely that the sign and its next occurrence (below) would have been so poorly executed.

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 (...)

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) should be healthy people because (they) (are part of) the tribe!

(We) should not approve of those bellies!

Are (we) going to put an end (to it) (or) do (we) approve of that (...) hole?

Do (we) approve of 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". (3) taking care of: as in other Polynesian languages roou means "to steer", a possible alternative is "self-control". The exact meaning of this phrase, which is repeated in line Er3, is uncertain.

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 riva o [tama] e

[tae] (3) hanga pupa kai

O people, (they) should be healthy people because (they) are children!

(We) should not approve of that narrow hole!

Should (we) accept that hole?

Should (we) accept that gloomy hole?

Should (we) accept that gloomy hole on that cursed cliff?

Should healthy people be dazzled because (they) are children?

(We) should not approve of the cold (and) the food!

(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) should not accept 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.

e tangata e tae tangata tangata vaka o tama e

tae hanga i puhi-puhi

puhi-puhi hehe tangata riva o tama e

atarangi (1)

O people, members of (our) family will become inhuman because (they) are children!

(We) should not accept (it) when (they) become bloated!

Should healthy people become bloated (and) dazzled because (they) are children?

(They) should have a red-brown color!

Added: 2013-09-08  Modified: 2017-08-21

(1) atarangi: the term is not listed in the vocabularies, but It appears in a chant about two neru girls which was recorded by Métraux (1934-1935; NB 5rb:11) (cf. text M4). Métraux explains the term as "couleur de crepuscule", "mordoré" (1934-1935; NB 5rb:14). Interestingly, it also appears (misprinted as atarungi) in Ure Vaeiko’s Apai recitation (Thomson 1891:517; cf. De Laat 2014:31 for the reconstruction of the text; the term however is misinterpreted as "shadow"). In this text, the fair daughter of Tangaroa states that the sunlight is threatening to her health because her complexion is "not brown" (ina atarungi).

(drawings by Paul Horley)

pu   ki-ki (tae) pu-ra-  ana    (tae)   tangata      o  (tae)       ta-e  ha-nga    tehe pu-ha-  (tae) o  (tae)  ha-nga  pu            too   roou   pu(-ra)   ngii  he-he           ri-va    ta-ma   e              ko-pu       pu(-ha) ta-ma  ta-ma ana hole  stiff NEG blind MOD    NEG    man     POS NEG     NEG accept    flow  fatten NEG POS NEG accept hole remove steer      DUP   glare dazzle        healthy child COORa        belly         DUP   child     child RES

pu too kiki tae roou

pura-pura ana ngii

tae hehe tangata riva o tae tama e

tae hanga kopu

tehe puha-puha (1) 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!

Those healthy people should not be dazzled because (they) will no longer be children!

(We) should not approve of those bellies!

Those children should not reach menses growing fat,

because (they) will no longer be children!

Should (we) approve of that hole?

(1) 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. An alternative is pua-pua, "covered".

pehe tari-tari

pu ua (1) 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 are (we) going to carry (them)?

That hole (they) occupy is a poisonous (2) hole!

Should healthy people be dazzled because (they) are children?

(They) should not become "shadows" (3) of that hole!

That hole will dazzle (them), (so) should the "others" (4) go into that hole?

O people, (they) should be healthy people because (we) are (their) parents!

(1) ua: cf. Englert (1978:276) uàuà: "residir", "residente". (2) poisonous: possibly derived from nohu, a fish with poisonous spikes (genus Scorpaenopsis). (3) shadows: i.e., "incarnations". It is not clear to which supernatural being the term 'ata refers. There could also be a connection with the neru's ritual transformation into "birds" or "fish" which is found in several neru songs. (4) others: the term tetahi is used very frequently to refer to the children in their capacity as neru. Possibly, it served to denote the deep rift between "normal' human beings and initiates who were intimately associated with the spirit world.   

tae ranginga pupa tetahi ra

(1) hahatu (2) ta na maatou

pee nga toenga tonga

maa nui maa

Those "others" cannot control (their) trembling!

Should (their) color be distorted by us?

Should the rest (of) the winter wear (them) out? (3)

Should that experience be very severe (for them)?

(1) The segment from hahatu up to toenga has a parallel in line Ab6. (2) hahatu: it has been assumed that the four round appendages – which are absent in Ab6 – are a (rare) means to indicate reduplication. This may have been necessary because doubling the "stick" gives the word haha, "mouth", whereas hatching it produces interrogative aha. (3) The meaning of this sentence is uncertain. Possibly, nga toenga, lit. "the remains", refers to the surviving neru, i.e.: "Should the winter wear out the rest (of them)?"

ai ahu o tama e

tae nako (1) tangata uha tae raua

hotu (2) ua ina a

heanga ua

tae ranginga ko   

ina tetahi ko mo tae kai

tata ana tae hue (4)

tae ranginga i apa

Should (they) become swollen because (they) are children?

(They) should not become fat, they are not (adult) men or women!

Should the occupants (of that cave) be sobbing? No!

Should those occupants be victims (3)?

(They) have no control overthere!

(They) would not become "others" overthere if (they) did not (have to) eat!

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) *hotu: cf. MAO: hotu(hotu), "sob"; RAR: 'otu'otu: "sob" (POLLEX). (3) victims: heanga also means "sacrifice" (Churchill 1912:201). (4) ana tae hue: this expression is, for example, also found in line 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?"