pehe ui ko hue
tae koro ko ngaaha hua kee a
How should (we) look at that gathering overthere? (1)
(They) are daubed by darkness (3),
(they) are daubed by the color (of their skin) (4),
(they) are daubed by poisoning,
(they) are daubed by blackness if (they) are secluded!
Are (they) obscured because (it) is a disgrace to stuff those beautiful girls?
(Their) fatness should be smooth (and) (their) limbs should be tanned,
When Metoro "recited" line Ev7 for bishop Jaussen (Barthel 1958:199), he used the term rakau, "medicine", "oinment", "potion", in connection with six out of seven of these signs and the word tupu, "to grow", in two instances. This strongly suggests that he recognized in these figures a plant with medicinal proporties. Possibly, he refrained from naming it poporo because he had already identified as such two similar looking signs (B32; B34).
(3) darkness: it is tempting to interpret this as a reference to Po, as 'Ana O Keke was likely considered to be a gateway to that other world (cf. Neru cult).
(4) they are daubed by the color (of their skin): alt.: "the color (of their skin) is daubed".
hua kee ngaaha hua
tae koro ngaaha hua
e hua auraa hua
tetahi tae raua
mamae ahu ii (3) no (4)
Should those children be exceptional and exhausted children?
Should (they) be stunned by (their) experiences? (2)
Should (they) be lamed?
(because) those children are precious children!
They should not become "others"!
Should (they) always be suffering, swollen, and stuffed?
Should (their) mouths have no taste (5)?
hanga ina ui-
aha ui ka hehe ana tangata pe era na
hehe mamae rua
mamae mai roro ui
rangirua mai era kei
Should (they) accept not (being able to) see?
What do people see when (they) are in a daze like that?
Should (they) be dazzled, should (they) be in pain and feel sick?
Should (their) head and (their) eyesight be suffering? (1)
Should (their) abilities become unreliable? (2)
(1) Alt.: "(Their) head will be hurt by looking!" I.e., since the neru are not used to daylight, they will get headaches.
(1) tae roou roro: this composite also appears in lines Gr1 and Gv7. (2) (their) minds are out of control: lit.:"(who) are not steering (their) mind".or "(who) are not steered by (their) mind". (3) toi: the vocabularies have only the reduplicated form totoi. This can be found in line Ab6. (4) suffocate: Churchill (1912:203) gives Thomson as source for herohero, "suffocating", but it does not appear in the latter's wordlist. (5) roa-
tae toi (3) hero
angahe ana niva
Should (they) accept (or) reject (our) hostility?
Should we accept (or) resent (that) (their) minds are out of control (2)?
(They) should not crawl (on the floor) (or) suffocate (4)!
When have (they) become delirious?
(It must have been) a very long time ago!
How could (we) be happy (with that)?
hanga nako toa
ina ahu ro a
pu tetahi a ao uha na ra (1)
aai no tetahi a
aringa he ui pe tetahi a
tae riva hanga heke-
Should (they) accept (their) fatness (from) the sugarcane,
(or) should (they) not grow fat?
Should those "others" go into that hole, should the women serve (them) (food)?
Who (of them) has been a neru?
Which face that (we) see looks like those "others"?
Should those "others" become unhealthy, should (they) accept those violations?
(1) na ra: it has been assumed that the bend in the sign was necessitated by the preceding sign. If this is not the case, it would read ko ra, which is difficult to explain. Cf. na ra and (ho)ko in segment 3 below.
kei i tehe
matua ngatu tetahi a
aue (2) hariu ra maa (3) pe aha tetahi a
hanga ki tehe ina ta
hanga kiko ture
Should (they) retain (their) abilities when (they) menstruate
(or) should the parents oppress (1) those "others"?
Should the "others" lament (or) should (they) perhaps turn the back on that shame?
Should (they) be cursed by (their) skin color, should (they) be cursed by (their) madness?
Should (they) accept (it) until (they) menstruate and have no color?
Should (they) accept the body (they) resent?
(1) oppress: the interpretation of ngatu is uncertain. Possibly, it is to be taken more literally, i.e., parents who "squeezed" the children (into the hole) or "choked" them by forcing them to grow fat. (2) aue: the parallel fragment in line Gr7 has haoa, "to have wounds". (3) maa: the ha-
noho no ora iti (1)
ina huru na ra
i keke hengu-
o rangirua (4) ka ta
rangi tangata ki tehe
o kei ana tae (5) hakari nako maeha
Should (they) just be sitting around (with) little energy (2)
(or) should (they) not be secluded?
Should (they) be weakened by (their) enormous size
because (our) rejection (of them) is a mistake?
Lest (they) remain confused, (they) should have (their) color!
People should treat (them) kindly until (they) reach menses!
Should (they) be swaying and stumbling
because (their) fattened and paled bodies are incapable?
(1) Line Sa2 has noho (o)ra iti. (2) Alt.: "Only little energy remains!" (3) haka-
Tablet E, side verso, lines 5-
tata nui (1) tetahi no ko (2)
hanga ro koro huru
i tehe no
too ru kee na ko (3) haka-
aa tangata i tehe
Should (they) be exhausted by (their) suffering?
Should (anyone of) those "others" overthere suffer great pain?
Should (they) accept (it) if (we) want to seclude (them)
only because (they) reach menses?
Should (they) tolerate those awkward tremors which lame (their) abilities?
Should people be surrounded (4) because (they) reach menses?
Should (their) vision be violated?
Should (their) mind be violated?
Should (their) (...) be violated?
(1) tata nui: it has been assumed that this composite glyph is a contraction of a similar phrase in Hv1/Pv4/Qv4 (fig. 2). (2) ko: this is the sign in reverse. Therefore, the sentence could read "Those 'others' should not suffer great pain". (3) ko: the meaning of this ko-
(1) There are several alternatives for the interpretation of this phrase. It has been assumed that it should be read with omitted te as ui ko (te), which is similar to ui i te (cf. Kieviet 2016:425: "the perceived object may also be marked with ko, which highlights the significance of the object for the participant."). The verb ui, "to look at", can also be used in the meaning of "to think of", i.e., "What should (we) think of that gathering?" (cf. Kieviet 2016:513). As ui has also the meaning of "to look after" (cf. Kieviet 2016:513), another possibility is: "How should (we) take care of that gathering?" Lastly, the i-
Georg Forster, visiting with Cook in 1774, was the first to mention the plant and its possible use as medicine on Easter Island: "... we came to a cultivated spot, consisting of several fields planted with sweet potatoes, yams, and eddoes, together with a species of night-
Fig. 2 (Hv1)
(all drawings by Paul Horley, except where underlined)
Fig. 1 Ripe and green poporo berries