1. prep. : for, over, by;
    1. a nei, over here;
    2. a ruga, above;
    3. a te tapa, by the side.
  2. genitive particle, used preceding proper names and singular personal pronouns: te poki a Mateo, Mateo's child; aana te kai, the food is his.
  3. particle often used before nouns and pronouns, especially when these are introduced by a preposition such as i, ki; ki a îa, to him, for him.
or also just a, article often used preceding proper names and used in the meaning of "son of…": Hei á Paega, Hei, son of Paenga.
very common abbreviation of the particle ana, used following verbs: ku-oti-á= ku-oti-ana; peira-á = peira-ana.
á, á-á
exclamation expressing surprise or joy, which can also be used as a verb: he-aha-koe, e-á-ana? what's happening with you,that you should exclaim "ah"? He tu'u au e-tahi raá ki te hare o Eva i Puapae. I-ûi-mai-era ki a au, he-á-á-mai, he-tagi-mai "ka-ohomai, e repa ê". one day I came to Eva's house in Puapae. Upon seeing me she exclaimed: "ah,ah" and she said, crying: "Welcome, lad".
to be flooded; flood, deluge: ku-a'a-á te hare i te vai, the house is flooded with water; ku-rere-á te a'a o te henua, water flowed, inundating the land.
  1. who: interrogative pronoun used in place of koai te mee…: Aai i-tu'u-mai-nei, e-haúru-ró-ana au? = Koai te mee i-tu'u-mai-nei, e-haúru-ró-ana au? Who is it who came here when I was sleeping?
  2. whose: genitive pronoun. See the grammar for the differencebetween aai and oai, as well as between aaku, aau, aana and ooku, oou, oona.
to tell, tale, story: ka-aamu-mai e-tahi aamu potopoto, tell me a short story.
width, breadth (of an object).
to spit, spittle.
(iterative) to spit continuously.
to grasp, to grip, to grab, to hold: ka-aaru hiohio i te ura, hold the lobster firmly.
  1. to throw with both hands, to catch with both hands: ka-aau e-tahi maaga, throw a share (of food).
  2. epidemic, contagion: he-tomo te aau o te miro, epidemics come with boats.
race, run, to run in a race.
thin string dangling from the tau (from which hangs the ature fishing-net) into the inside of the net (kupega ature) and is used for tying the bait.
aga, agaga
work; to work, to make, to build, to create: O te atua i-aga-ai i te ragi, i te henua. God made heaven and earth.
to fidget, to be worried, fidgety, to move about worriedly suspecting that others are gossiping about oneself.
when? (in the past): agahé te miro i tu'u-mai-ai? when did the boat arrive?
  1. i aganirá, earlier today, today (past)earlier today, today (past):
  2. i aganirá he-tu'u au ki tai here koreha, today I went to the sea to catch eels. For "today" in the future, that is, "later today," use anirá; e-turu-ró au anirá ki tai, I'll go down to the sea later today.
the night before last.
= i agataiahi, yesterday.
particle sometimes used with the imperative of oho, turu, iri to express the idea of going somewhere unerringly, confidently: ka-turu-age koe ki tai, go down to the sea now; ka-iri-age koe ki taaku me'e to'o-mai, be sure to go up and bring my things. Nowadays it is only used with those three verbs, but its use seems to have been more general once, as ancient chant has these verses: Ka-iri-age Rano Kau te ga atua hami regarega, Ka-oka-age Ha'w koka te korotea a Kava te ruruti, Ka-hi-age Hatehate te kahi-riva a tumu.
agi, agiagi
to know, to make sure of something, to become acquainted with; certain, true: he agi-á, that is sure; ku-agiagi au, I know for sure; mo agiagi i a îa, in order to get to know him.
emaciated, wasted away (from hunger); manava agoago, sunken stomach.
what? which? to do, to be what? He aha koe? what are you? E-aha-á koe? what are you doing? Ku-aha-á koe? what have you done? Kahu aha? what, which garment? E-aha-mai-á ki a koe? what does that do you, whatharm does it do you, what is it to you? Aha is preceded by the article te when introduced by a preposition: te: o te aha, why, what for; mo te aha, ki te aha, what for, with what purpose?
conditional conjunction: ahani koe i nei… if you had been here.
interjection which,when followed by ka, or ka-ta'e and a verb, expresses the idea of "ah, indeed that is why…, no wonder that…". Ahara-ka-tu'u-mai tou hope era, he umu tonei. no wonder this lad has turned up, there's food cooking here. Ahara-ka-ta'e hoki-mai kinei, he riri-ó. ah, that's why he hasn't come back, he is angry .
dizzy spell; to black out.
through where? (adv. del lugar). When followed by ka , it means "when?" referring to the future: ahé ka-tu'u-mai te miro? when will the boat arrive?
fire; he-tutu i te ahi to light a fire.
evening; ahiahi-ata, the last moments of light before nightfall.
change of government, in ancient times, when the command (ao) passed from one tribe to another: ki ea te ahirega , upon the command passing on.
ancient name of the sturdy fishing-line made from the fibers of the hauhau (Triumfetta semitriloba).
  1. funerary monument with niches holding the skeletons of the dead.
  2. generic term for a grave, a tomb merely enclosed with stones.
  3. stone platform, with or without graves.
  4. elevated seat, throne.
  5. swollen; to swell up: ku-ahu-á tooku va'e, my foot is swollen; ananake te raá e-tagi-era te ûka riva mo toona matu'a ka-ahu ahu-ró te mata, every day the daughter cried for her parents until her eyes were quite swollen.
  1. copulation, to copulate (of animals).
  2. there is, there are; e-ai-ró-á, there is. This verb is of limited use and is avoided when not necessary: ai te vai toe? any water left? But: te ahi no te Atua, there is only one God [translator's note: te ahi is probably a misprint for te tahi].
  3. ai ka, expression used with a verb in the sense of "then one must": he-ra'e ana-kai, ai ka-unu i te raau, first eat, then you must drink the medicine.
  4. so, this big, this much: ai te nuinui o te pú, the hole is this big (lit. here is the size of the hole,with accompanying gesture).
  5. ai nará, there is, here is; ai nará te kurí i tooku hare , there's my cat (lit.: the cat in my house); ai nará te kumara i roto i te kete , there are sweet potatoes in the basket.
existence, stay, sojourn.
daring, fearless.
  1. anchor: he-hoa te aka, to drop anchor.
  2. root of certain plants (banana tree, taro, sugar-cane).
  3. to be paralyzed by surprise.
to do something haltingly, ineptly, to bungle, to mangle: he-áka-áka-nó au i te vânaga rapanui, I speak poor Rapanui; te poki nei he-áka-áka-nó te kupu, kai ma'a rivariva i te rutu,this child reads with difficulty, he cannot read well.
stake, thick pole.
stake, thick pole (same as akaûe).
  1. to carry on one's back, hanging from one's neck
  2. basket thus carried.
  1. fingernail (also: maikuku);
  2. hoof.
to sing, to recite: he-ako i te kaikai ,to recite the [text accomanying a] string figure kaikai; he-ako i te rîu. to sing rîu.
to recite hymns in honour of a deity.
a fish.
spirit of the otherworld (good or evil). Ki a au te ákuáku oga apó. I have a dream of bad omen last night.
to smear, to anoint.
to slander, to cast aspersions, to gossip: tagata amiami i te me'erakerake, malicious gossip (person).
to carry on one's shoulders: O Yetú i-amo-ai te tatauró ki ruga ki-te maúga Kalvario. Jesus carried his cross up to the Calvary.
  1. to clean, to clean oneself: he-âmo i te umu, to clean the earth oven; ka-âmo te hare , ka haka-maitaki, clean the house, make it good; he-âmo i te ariga, to clean one's face wetting it with one's hand.
  2. clear; ku-âmo-á te ragi, the sky is clear;
  3. to slip, to slide, to glide (see pei-âmo).
to lick up, to lap up, to dry; to slap one's body dry (after swimming or bathing): he-âmoâmo i te vaihai rima.
bundle; to tie in a bundle: he-amoga i te hukahuka, to tie a bundle of wood.
unreliable, untrustworthy person; scoundrel.
a mu'a
ahead, in front.
glutton; someone who will eat anything, such as unripe or out-of-season fruit.
  1. cave.
  2. if.
  3. verbal prefix: he-ra'e ana-unu au i te raau, first I drank the medicine.
all without exception (see ananake all).
  1. useless (for work); anako koe mo te aga, you are useless;
  2. ugly; anako te ariga oona, his face is ugly.
all; also used reduplicated:
today, now, then, a little later (also: ariná).
reduplication of aanu, to spit continuously.
caterpillar (see peparere butterfly).
  1. command, power, mandate, reign: tagata ao, person in power, in command, ruler.
  2. dusk, nightfall:
  3. ao nui, midnight;
  4. ao popohaga, the hours between midnight and dawn.
to serve (food); ku-âo-á te kai i ruga i te kokohu, the food is served on a platter.
to move or put things down, having removed them from where they were: ka-apa te kumara ki roto ki te kete , put the sweet potatoes inside the basket.
to take thing which have been arranged in a pile and put them down again in order somewhere else.
  1. to cover, to cap; ka-api toou hakari, cover your body.
  2. to translate; ka-api-mai te vânaga rapanui ki te vânaga Tire, translate for me the Rapanui sentence into Spanish (lit.: Chilean language).
  3. to make an offering: i te nohoga tûai-era-á he-api te kai ki a Makemake, in the old days they made offerings of food to Makemake.
apó era
day after tomorrow.
  1. road, path; ladder.
  2. to wake up, to concentrate on something; he-ara te mata, to inspect attentively; hé-ara, he-ûi a raro o te vai kava, concentrating, he looked at the sea-bottom.
to signal, to send signals with the hand (to another person in the distance): he-haaki-atu hai rima ará-ará.
a raro
down, below; he-oho a raro, to go on foot.
both: korua ararua, both of you (also: arurua).
to dig out (e.g. sweet potatoes). Formerly this term only applied to women, speaking of men one said keri, which term is used nowadays for both sexes, e.g. he-keri i te kumara, he digs out sweet potatoes.
  1. tongue (organ).
  2. language: he-aha to'u arero e-vânaga ena? what is this language you are speaking?
face, cheek;
  1. ariga ora, (lit. "living face") keepsake, memento, memory, souvenir (of someone). This used to be the name given the moai (stone statues) carved as memories of the dead;
  2. ariga ora is also used in the generic sense of a memento, a keepsake: he mate te matu'a he ato tepoki i te rîu o toona matu'a; he-ariga ora o toona matu'a; [when] the father dies, [and] the son sings a riu for his father, this constitutes an ariga ora of his father.
  1. king, ruler, member of the nobility, Ariki henua, king; members of the royal family, descenting from Hotu Matu'a; noble, nobility, chief.
  2. divine being, superior being.
Ariki Paka
certain collateral descendents of Hotu Matu'a, who exercised religious functions.
today, now, then, a little later (also: anirá).
face, front, side (of a figure); ki te aro o…, to the front of…
(ki) to greet, to take leave: ka-aroha koe ki to'ou matu'a, say hello to your father; (i) to sympathize with, to feel sorry for: me'e aroha (or: me'e hakaaroha) i te poki tama-hahine, hoko-tahi nó, ina he hokorua, [it is] a thing [that makes you] feel sorry for the girl, [being] still all alone, without a companion.
reduplication of aaru: to grab firmly.
to delouse.
both (also: ararua, which see).
  1. dawn, first light before sunrise; ku-hamu-á te ata , dawn has broken; ku-tehe-á te ata, it's already dawn (lit.: the lights have flown).
  2. particle inserted between the imperative prefix ka and the verb to signify "well, carefully, intelligently": ka-ata-hakarivariva, prepare it well. Between the prefix e and kahara it expresses "to make sure that, to take good care that…": e-ata-kahara koe o oona, be careful not to get dirty; e-ata-kahara koe o kori te moa o te tahi pa, be sure not to steal chickens of another property.
  3. more: iti, small ; ata iti, smaller; he-ata-ata iti-iti ró, the smallest of all.
  1. shadow: he-veveri te poki, ana tikea toona âta, the child is frightened at seeing his shadow; person's reflection (in mirror, in water): he âta oou-á, it's your own reflection.
  2. to be frightened by a shadow: he-âta te îka, the fish are frightened (and they flee) by people's shadows.
to laugh (also: katakata ).
generous, extravagant. Rima atakai, generous hands, generosity, munificence. Te rima atakai o te Atua he avai-mai ki a tâtou i te kai ananake te raá, the generosity of the Lord gives us food every day. Tagata rima atakai, selfless, generous person.
  1. liver; more exactly: ate ánuánu; ate reherehe, lung.
  2. Fig.: son, boy.
  3. a certain song, ate atua, in which are recorded happy, pleasant achievements of the past.
áteáte, ateate
dear, dearly beloved: e nua ateate ê dear mother!
  1. to take revenge;
    • he-ati ki… to take revenge against (someone); he-ati te kopeka o te îka ki te to'a, the avenger of the victim takes revenge against the assassin.
    • he-ati i… to avenge (someone);
  2. to get even, to pay back: te tagata nei ina kai pu'a-mai te rima, e-ati-ró au ana haga kia au mote aga, this man did not give me hand, I'll get even with him when he needs me for some work.
  3. he-ati, he ora, to win someone's gratitude while saving one's life; this was the expression used when speaking of someone who took refuge with afamily of an enemy tribe and served them so wellthat he won their goodwill and so saved his life.
  4. half-fathom (i.e. from end of outstretched arm to centre of chest); (see maroa, kumi, fathom).
to roof, to put a roof on.
particle of meaning opposite to that of "mai"; it refers to the second or third person, expressing movement away: ka-avai-atu, give it to him: he-oho-atu au, I am going there, after you; i-oho-atu-era, when I had gone there.
  1. lord, God: te Atua ko Makemake, lord Makemake. Ki a au te Atua o agapó, I had a dream of good omen last night (lit. to me the Lord last night)
  2. gentleman, respectable person; atua Hiva, foreigner.
  3. atua hiko-rega, (old) go-between, person who asks for a girl on another's behalf.
  4. atua hiko-kura, (old) person who chooses the best when entrusted with finding or fetching something.
atua tapa
orientation point for fishermen, which is not in front of the boat, but on the side.
a small, tasty fish.
  1. me, I. Personal pronoun used in conjunction with verbs; when on its own, the form used is koau.
  2. smoke; au kiokio, thick, pungent smoke (of a fire).
  3. current; he-haro te vaka i te au , the boat is towed off course in the current.
  4. dew.
  5. bile, gall.
  6. au moa, chicken's gall; greenish colour (like that of gall).
  7. au ra'e, the people first served in a feast where food or gifts are distributed.
  1. birthing pains; matu'a a'u, biological mother (not adoptive); vi'e hakaa'u, midwife.
  2. vessel, cup (Tahitian word).
enclosure, ring, circle (Tahitian word).
to rub, to scratch, to scrape; ina ekó au'au i te mata, don't rub your eyes.
to shout (in pain), to howl; e-auau-á te mamae , the sick man is howling with pain.
  1. interjection of pain, of sorrow: ouch, alas. Aûé, aûé, ku-mamae-á au, ouch, ouch, I hurt
  2. interjection of salutation; aûé, e nua é! greetings, mother!
seaweed used for wrapping fish or meat when cooking in the umu.
au hopu
bonito fish.
au moa
chicken's gall; greenish colour (like that of gall).
au ra'e
the people first served in a feast where food or gifts are distributed.
  1. to remain (of dregs, of very small objects in the water or in a place which used to be full of water); he-ava, he-paroparoko, expression, said when small fishes swarm in the water holes along the coast.
  2. furrow, rut, groove, crevice, fissure; he-hahata te ava o te henua, a crevice opened in the ground.
  3. to strike, to hit; to sound like a blow; ku-ava-á te poko (see also hatutiri), thunder sounded.
  1. to lift up.
  2. to strike, to hit repeatedly; he-áva-áva i te koreha a ruga a te ma'ea, he struck the eel several times against a stone (to kill it).
  1. niche, recess in an ahu, where the skeletons of the dead were deposited
  2. small oblong, free-standing monument built for the same purpose.
  1. a fish (pez cofre: coffer fish?)
  2. coffer, chest, case (modern term).
to break, to smash something; to separate, to divide.
  1. to give, to present, to lend (also vaai).
  2. for ever, for good; he oho-ró-avai au ki Hiva, I am going to the Continent to stay.
  3. Ina avai emphatic negation: never ever, in no way.
  1. lobe of fish fin; e tahi ave o te hiku magó potopoto, e tahi ave roaroa, one lobe of the caudal fin of the dogfish is short, the other is long.
  2. hetu'u ave, comet.
kahi aveave, a species of tuna.


disjunct vocative marker.E vovo é! Girl! E te matu'a é! Father!
to rise, to get up. Ka ea ki táû rikiriki tâtou. Let's get up and play a little game of war.
to smell of urine. Ku e'eo á te kahu o te poki. The child's clothing smells of urine.
stout, corpulent. Ai te pú o te hakari o te puaka, ku eepe-ké-ké á. This is the circumference of the animal's body, it is extraordinarily corpulent.
disgusting, ugly; often used jocularly to refer to persons: tou eete era, that fellow. Ku eete á tooku manava. I am revolted by (mo…), I am disgusted at (ki…).
to strip off the bark or hard skin with the teeth.
ego, egoego
slightly soiled. Mata ego eyes showing traces of having wept.
ehu ûa
lampoon, song composed to ridicule or to defame.
to climb, to mount, to mount (a female for copulating), to surface (of fish), and by extension, to bite; he eke te kahi the tuna bites.
to sob.
definitely, certainly (used in conjunction with ina not). Ina koe ekó toke. Thou shalt not steal. Ina au ekó oho. I certainly will not go. Ina ekó tehe te vai. The water definitely can't flow.
to sink, to founder.
pleasant smell, fragrance, perfume. Eo ké! What a nice smell!
ashes. Eoeo reherehe "weak ashes": a coward. Ure eoeo reherehe te Mokomae, he poko'o i te piko. The Mokomae were a cowardly clan, they used to hand over those hiding (from their enemies after a defeat, i.e. war refugees).
to extend horizontally, to jut out.
era á
formerly, long ago. Ku oti era á He has finished it long ago, it has been finished for a long time. (antonym: iho á recently, just).
  1. buttocks; taki eve coccyx; uho eve part between coccyx and anus.
  2. figuratively: protection. Ana oho au, e hoki koe ki raro ki te eve o to'u matu'a When I go, go back under your father's protection.
tattler, gossip. E ata-kahara taau vânaga rakerake, o kî ró koe ki a tou kope era, o oho ró, o haaki ró: tagata eveerua. Be careful with your criticisms, lest you tell that man, and he goes and spreads them: he is a telltale.



preposed plural marker of rare usage
  1. sometimes used with a few nouns denoting human beings, more often omitted. Te ga vî'e, te ga poki, the women and the children. Ga rauhiva twins.
  2. used with some proper names. Ga Vaka, Alpha and Beta Centauri (lit. Canoes)
to burst, to become ruptured, to have a discharge of pus, of blood. Ku gaaha te toto o te ihu. He had a nose-bleed. E û'i koe o gaaha te îpu. Be careful not to break the bottle (lit. look out lest the bottle burst). E tiaki á au mo gaaha mai o te harakea. I shall wait for the abcess to burst.
totora reed.
to sway, to bend. He gaegae te miro i te tokerau. The trees sway in the wind.
to be tired, exhausted. Ku ga'ega'e á au i te haere-haga mai mai te kona roaroa. I am exhausted by the trip to here from that distant place.
gentle, clinking sound, like that of small pebbles in a calabash.
to lug, to move something heavy with great effort.
  1. to lug about (iterative of gae'i)
  2. to roll, to swing, to rock. He gae'ie'i te vaka i te vave. The canoe is rocked by the waves.
(with kae not) unfinished. Kai gaeke te aga. The work is not finished.
exhausted, strengthless, to faint.
to be a virgin. Gagi á te ûka. The girl is still a virgin.
young people, youths. (Always plural. The corresponding singular, io, is unused).
  1. neck.
  2. glans penis (te gao o te kohio), neck of penis.
a shrub (Caes alpinia).
to get wet, to get soaked. Ku garepe á te kahu i te ûa. The clothes got soaked in the rain.
very tender and soft (of food which has cooked long).
  1. to disappear, to become lost. He tere, he garo. He ran away and disappeared. He û'i te Ariki, ku garo á te kaíga i te vai kava. The king saw that the land had disappeared in the sea. I te ahiahi-ata he garo te raá ki raro ki te vai kava. In the evening the sun disappears under the sea. Ku garo á te kupu o te tai i a au. I have forgotten the words of the song (lit. the words of the song have become lost to me). Ina koe ekó garo. Don't disappear (i.e. don't go), or: don't get lost on the way.
  2. hidden. Te mana'u garo, hidden thoughts. Kona garo o te tagata, "people's hidden places": pudenda.
to hear (words, speech, news). Ku garo'a ana e au e tu'u ró mai te miro. I heard that a boat would come.
pillow (headrest?).
muddy, to get mired; oone garuparupa, mud, mire.
to feel dizzy, seasick; to have a sudden headache: he garuru te puoko.
  1. to press, to tighten, to squeeze.
  2. to pack tight.
  3. to pull suddenly, to give a jerk. I ka hakarogo atu, ku eke á te kahi, he gatu mai, as soon as he felt the tuna be, he pulled in [the line] with a sharp jerk.
  4. to kick.
  5. e gatu te hagu, to wait for something impatiently (gatu, breath).
  6. shortly, very soon. He tu'u gatu, he is coming shortly, he is just about to arrive.
to bite, to eat. He gau i te hagu, to eat a snack. Ka gau toou hagu, mai ta'e oho ki Hotu Iti, I ate myself a snack before going to Hotu Iti (lit. I bit my snack…)
to bark. I te pó ki gaugau á te paihega, in the night the dogs barked.
to gnaw (of rats).
to long or yearn for (ki…). He gaukaúha ki te kaíga, to be homesick. Ku gaukaúha á te poki ki te matu'a, the child longs for his father (e.g. when staying away from home).


to emit short repeated sounds. He ge te pere, the voices of the male singers (pere) make ge sounds.
to move with constant creaky noises.
to be satiated, to gorge oneself.
to tarry, to linger. O te aha koe e ge'i nei, e ta'e horou mai nei? why do you tarry so, [why] don't you hurry?
  1. to miss out.Ku geo á koe, ina he kai toe, you've missed out, there is no more food.
  2. to be exhausted, worn out after running.
to tease. He geu au ki te tagata, ku here'u ana toona hare e te tahi kope; he geu tako'a mai i taana, peira tako'a ana hoki toou hare, ku tu'u á te tagata ki taa me'e vî'e era, ku tuta'e á, I teased someone that his home had been invaded by another; he teased me too: "it's the same back at your home, someone has turned up for your wife, and has dishonoured her."
a variety of taro.


to dry up completely. Gi'igi'i te kahu, the clothes are quite dry. Ku gi'igi'i te henua o te raâ, the ground is parched because of the sun.
rag, clothing, blanket (when used, or patched up). Gi'ogi'o uru, patched-up underwear; gi'ogi'o pu'a pó, used or patched-up blanket.
  1. to tie securely, to clasp, to throttle. He hakaúru au i te hau ki roto ki te p´ o te here, he gita i te hau, he hakateretere ki rivariva ai ana gita au i te koreha ka hiohio ró, I insert the string into the opening of the eel-trap, and tie it securely, and make a good running knot for when I throttle the eel hard.
  2. to convulse, to have spasms.


Milky Way.
strong, resistant. Tagata hakari gógó, person of strong constitution; kuhane gógó, ekó higa ki te akuaku, strong soul, that does not fall to the power of evil spirits.
feast. Gogoro moa, chicken-giving feast (in which were made gifts of chickens).
to snore. E gogoro á koe i te haúru-haga, you snore in your sleep.
to get bored, tired, weary.
to eat greedily, to eat without regard for anyone or anything else. E gohu nó i te kai, he aga mo ta'e aga, he just eats, he does not care to work. Tou tagata era he gohu hokotahi nó, ina kai mana'u ki te ga poki, that man just eats on his own, he does not think of his children. E gohu i te me'e rivariva, to help oneself to the good food, without a thought for others.
gorigori, go'igo'i
very small, very little, tiny.
to grunt.
full, abundant, satiated. Ka gau toou hagu ka goto ró Eat until you are quite full.


unidentified fish.
to recite, to chant, to sing. E gu á i te ate, he is singing an ate.
selfish, niggardly.
gúgu-gúgu, gúgu mata
to eat uncooked food (for instance, uncooked sweet potatoes).
to refuse, to reject, reluctant, unwilling, unhelpful to others.
left-overs, refuse, remains, small pieces. Te guhiguhi o te kumara, the smallest of the sweet potatoes. Te tagata era i a îa te me'e rivariva, i matou te guhiguhi, that man takes the lion's share and leaves us the crumbs (lit.: that man, to him the good things, to us the left-overs).
guhu hahatea
a variety of taro.
freckle (as on skin, on eggs, on ripe bananas). Ariga guregure, freckled face.
gullet. Guruhara unu vai, guruhara horo kai, oesophagus; guruhara tokerau, trachea, windpipe.
mouth, lips, snout, muzzle, beak. Gutu ruga, upper lip; gutu raro, lower lip.
talkative. Tagata ta'e gutugutu, a taciturn person.



to breathe.
the leaves of certain plants: ha'a kumara, sweet potato leaves, ha'a taro, taro leaves (both are edible when cooked).
small slab used as a measure when making a net, to ensure its meshes are the same size.
ha'aha'a roroa
vaginal mucosities expelled before parturition.
to inform, to explain, to report.
core, wound, ulcer.
to peel.
fishy smell, smells like that of fish.
sexually promiscuous.
to go, to come.
to want, to love. Ku haga á i te vai, I want water, I am thirsty.
bay, fishing spot. (Figuratively) he haga o te akuaku, it is the [evil] spirit's fishing spot, i.e. a place where they hide waiting for people to fall under their power.
to feed. Poki hâgai, adopted child.
hage, hagehage
to surpass, to outdo, Ekó hage mai koe, you won't beat me at that.
  1. breath, respiration, air. He haro i te hagu a roto, to draw in air, to breathe. He hakaea mai te hagu, to breathe.
  2. Figuratively: sustenance, snack. He gau i te hagu, to eat something. He tuha te kai mo te hagu o te tagata, the food was shared for the men's sustenance.
  3. Figuratively: hagu gatu, a great need, a pressing desire, such as when you hold your breath in expectation. He gatu te hagu, to have a great desire of something (lit. breath is held). He gatu hau o te tagata ki te miro ki te tu'u mai (or: mo te tu'u mai o te miro), the people's great desire for a boat to come. Te matu'a e gatu ró mai te hagu ki taana poki ana oho ki te tahi kaíga, a father feels a great desire to see his son again when he leaves for another country.
  4. Strength. Te hagu o te rima, the strength of the hands.
to pant.
last born; also used as a term of endearment to a young person: e hagupotu ê, ducky.
mouth (oral cavity, as opposed to gutu, lips).
to carry piggy-back. He haha te poki i toona matu'a, the child took his father on his back. Ka haha mai, get onto my back (so I may carry you).
to grope, to touch tentatively, gingerly. He há-haá hai va'e, to probe with the feet.
obsidian spear head (hahae niho magó). Hahae roa, half-moon obsidian.
  1. spine, backbone.
  2. horizontal beam of house, to which were fastened the two posts (toga) and the four slanting poles (oka) which held the roofing.
  3. hahaga-pó, (Obsolete) nickname given to those who stroll about at night (night owls? insomniacs?)
to gather shellfish (of women only).
to store away.
to comb. He hahari i te puoko, to comb one's hair. He hahari i te riha, to comb out the nits.
open, empty, hollow.
  1. to break (see hati).
  2. roughly treated, broken (from physical exertion: ku hahati á te hakari,)
  3. to take to the sea: he hahati te vaka.
to hem; hahatuga, hem.
  1. brieze, draught. Hahau ké! what a pleasant brieze!
  2. uninhabited, abandoned (of houses): ku hahau á te hare.
  3. to escape. Ko roto ke (sic, probably: ko) te karava ku hahau á te ruru, inside the cave the enemy (lit. the ruru bird) escaped.
to tie, to fasten. Haha'u e há e rima, e ono…, to tie with four, five, six… bowknots.
flying fish.
to congregate, to gather (of people, animals, things).
to encircle, to surround. Ku hahei á te tagata i ruga i te umu, he vari, the people have placed themselves around the oven, forming a circle. Ana ká i te umu, he hahei hai rito i raro, when you cook food (lit.: light the oven) you cover it all around with banana leaves at the bottom.
thick tree root.
near; hahine ki te rano, near the volcano.
unidentified insect or arthropod.
  1. with (instrumental)
  2. to, towards. He oho hai kona hare, to go home. He oho hai kona hagu, mo kai, to go where there is food to eat.
  3. give me: hai kumara, give me some sweet potatoes.
  1. to give, to deliver, to hand over.
  2. to carry under the armpit.
  3. to hug, to embrace.
  4. to wrap up; parcel, packet.
to guide, to direct (someone). Ka haîara koe i taaku poki ki te kona rivariva, guide my son to a good spot.


(The entries here are factitives formed by prefixing haka-)

to inform someone of (ki) something, to assure: e hakaagiagi mai kia au toou kona noho, let me know where you live.
to bend before jumping: ka hakaago, ka rere ki te rua paiga! bend, and jump to the other side!
to get late, to wait until the evening, to take a long time.
to burden someone; figuratively: to blame, to put the blame on; he hakaamo te kori kia korua, he blames you for the theft, he accuses you of the theft.
  1. to awaken, to rouse.
  2. figuratively: to awaken, to recall (to memory), to restore, to revive; ina korua ekó hakaara hakaou mai i te me'e tûai i te nohoga nei, do not revive ancient customs again in present times; he hakaara i te vânaga o te mata tûai era á to bring back to memory the language of the ancient tribes.
  3. to beget, to have descendents; descendence
origin, procreator; Te atua ina he hakaaraga oona, God is increate.
to make king, to be made king, to make oneself king.
to hail, to greet with deep respect, viz ki te Atua, God.
to frighten, to scare (of fish, when one approaches the spot where they had congregated, attracted by a bait).
  1. (with preposition mo or ki) to test, to tempt; i hakaatu ai au mo te tagata hai me'e mo kori, ina kai kori, I tested the man with something to steal, he did not steal it; ina ekó hakatari mo hakaatu kia matou, lead us not into temptation.
  2. (with preposition ki) to copy, to imitate someone
  1. test, temptation; ina ekó hakatari mai ia matou ki te hakaatuga, lead us not into temptation.
  2. sure sign, portent; te ragi uriuri he hakaatuga o te ûa, black clouds are a sure sign of rain.
  1. to model, to shape something; to become similar; he hakaau i te oone pehe hakari tagata, he shaped some dirt like a human body; he hakaau ki te matu'a o te poki, the child becomes like his father.
  2. to swear, to make a promise (i te vânaga); kua hakaau á i te vânaga mo te tagata mo tiga'i, he swore to kill a man.
to help a woman in labour; vî'e hakaa'u, midwife.
to give someone else the scraps; me'e rivariva ia îa, he hakaeepe kia au, the good stuff was for himself, he gave me the scraps.
  1. to irritate, to enrage (i te manava)
  2. to reject as repelling; he hakaeete i te kai, to find a dish repelling.
  1. to hide something by covering it up (see also hakanehunehu, romi, hakakehu)
  2. to drizzle: hakaehu te û.
  3. to do a piece of work coarsely, crudely.
  4. to give someone a smaller share (see hakaeepe)
to keep company with someone who was lonely
to lift, to put something on top of something else.
to moan
to cause the downfall of something.
to display something, carrying it on one's open hands for all to see.
  1. to fail, to be unsuccessful; ana ta'e rava'a mai au i te îka, he hî mai koe: "ko koe ó i hakaére", when I don't catch any fish, you say to me: "you failed".
  2. to renege, to fail someone; i hakaére mai ai koe, you reneged on me, you failed me.
to move something continuously from one side to the other.
to make something disappear.
  1. to let someone have a bite, a morsel; ka hakagau mai taaku, let me have a bite.
  2. to fish with a hook at night (during the day:
to be idle, to live a life of idleness, leisure.
to make abundant, full; ka avai mai, ka hakagoto! give me, make it plenty!
to flay, to skin.
hakahaere i te re'o, to modulate, to vary the tone when chanting.
to leave open, to puncture.
to leave cooked food for a later day; kai hakahana, food from the previous day which is starting to rot.
to nauseate, to disgust.
to aggravate, to offend.
to moisten, to dampen.
to form a circle.
  1. to deceive, to trick, to swindle.
  2. to have a nightmare.
  1. to produce a loud sound, for instance by dropping something.
  2. to reveal sensational news, to publicize someone else's name or deeds.
  3. Tagata hakahetu, person who fabricates and reveals news (even though false).
[N.B. This entry, hakahere seems to be a misprint for hakahetu (see hetu]
see N.B. under hakahere.
to weed.
to mix.
to crush (sugarcane to extract the juice); hakahihi i te vai tôa.
to articulate, to pronounce clearly, without swallowing the final syllables (hiku, tail).
to delay (also: hakahinihini).
to strengthen (someone or something).
hakahira te mata
to look askance, to avoid looking at something directly.
to send word to, to give instructions to.

H (continued)

to pinch, to nip. He hakurakura ki te vî'e, to make passes at a woman.
loin cloth.
to begin to appear: ku hamu á te ata, the first lights of dawn have appeared.
to eat leftovers or the discards of a meal (e.g. fruit peels).
heat; to feel hot.
  1. race, ethnic group. Hanau eepe, the thick-set race; hanau momoko, the slender race (these terms were mistranslated as "long-ears" and "short-ears").
  2. to be born. Hanau tama, pregnant woman; vî'e hanau poki, midwive (also: vî'e hakaa'u).
pumice stone.
disgust, loathing, nausea; to feel nauseous, disgusted.
hanuanua mea
  1. to plant (sweet potatoes): he hao i te kumara.
  2. to bury (the paega stones, which served as the foundations for the boat-shaped houses).
to be covered in wounds.
  1. to handle delicately, carefully; he hapai i te poki, to pick up, a baby; ka hapai mai i te kai nei, pass me this food here (wrapped in banana leaves).
  2. to lift (one's feet when running): he hapai te va'e.
to shove, to kick.
  1. misaligned (of roofing, basketware, etc.); e harahara nó te kete, the basket is misaligned (its strips are not parallel).
  2. a sort of taro.
  3. latrine, defecating ground.
to accompany; kia, ki hara'i atu au ki a koe, let's go, I am going with you.
a sort of abscess or boil.
stiff, firm, rigid. Also used figuratively of people: tagata harara, an inflexible man.
house, family, home.
a variety of seaweed.
to look at someone kindly, to hold someone in esteem.
to pull; popohaga o te rua raá, i haro i te aka o te miro, on the morning of the second day, they pulled up the anchor of the boat.
to turn around, to turn back.
  1. to deposit, to set, to place.
  2. to treat someone with respect, with kindness: he hata i te vî'e, to treat one's wife kindly, respectfully.
  3. to honour, to make a display of respect: he hata i te Ariki, to honour the King.
  4. to sing (a riu) in honour of someone: he hata i te riu mo te tagata e tahi.
gizzard (of birds, also of some fishes).
  1. to break (v.t., v.i.); figuratively: he hati te pou oka, to die, of a hopu manu in the exercise of his office (en route from Motu Nui to Orongo)
  2. closing word of certain songs
to watch (somebody departing or fleeing in order to know his destination; probably also to follow someone for the same purpose, hence, to tail).
  1. to die (of waves on the shore): he hatipú te vave.
  2. to break (of a bone)
  1. clod of earth; cultivated land; arable land (oone hatu).
  2. compact mass of other substances: hatu matá, piece of obsidian.
  3. figuratively: manava hatu, said of persons who, in adversity, stay composed and in control of their behaviour and feelings.
  4. to advise, to command. He hatu i te vanaga rivariva ki te kio o poki ki ruga ki te opata, they gave the refugees the good advice not to climb the precipice; he hatu i te vanaga rakerake, to give bad advice.
  5. to collude, to unite for a purpose, to concur. Mo hatu o te tia o te nua, to agree on the price of a nua cape.
  6. result, favourable outcome of an enterprise. He ká i te umu mo te hatu o te aga, to light the earth oven for the successful outcome of an enterprise [translator's note: i.e. to prepare a banquet to celebrate the success of an enterprise].
roof cover made of totora reeds or other leaves, used in ancient times for the hare paega.
to roast something on hot stones (especially chicken entrails). He tóo mai i te uru, he uru mai etahi ma'ea herohero, mai raro mai te umu, he hakaéke ki ruga ki te hoke; he tóo mai i te kokoma o te moa koí ko te hatatú, ko te ate; he hatûi, he ha'î, mo hakaootu; ki ootu, he mataki, he kai; you take the uru stick, you remove a hot stone from the bottom of the umu oven, you put a banana leaf on top; you pull out the guts, the gizzard and the liver of a chicken; you roast them wrapped in the leaf to cook them; once cooked, you open it, you eat it.
to coagulate (of blood): he hatukai te toto.
sea-urchin (the smaller species, with long spines; the larger species are called vana).
woman's breasts (rare, û is the term in general used). [Translator's note: perhaps a derogatory term, see nono.]
turf, grassland.
thread, line, string, ribbon; this is the name of the fibres of the hauhau tree formerly used to make twine, cloth, etc.; hau kahi, fishing line for tuna; hau here, line for eel trap; hau moroki, strong, tough line, thread; hau paka, fibres of the hauhau tree, which were first soaked in water, then dried to produce a strong thread.
hoarse, husky, hoarseness.
  1. worth, pay, gain, profit: moona á te hauha'a, mooku ina he hauha'a, the gain is his, there is no gain for me.
  2. fortune, riches: tagata hauha'a, rich man.
a tree (Triumfetta semitriloba).
  1. to murmur, to whisper, to speak in a low voice to avoid being overheard.
  2. to suggest evil ideas, to influence covertly with bad advice.
  1. to sleep.
  2. a sort of fish.
word used in the 19th century for "house," borrowed from English ("house" > haúti). Large houses built in the European style were then called hare hauti.
to help: he oho mai au, he ha'u'ú ki te Matu'a i te vânaga rapanui, I have come to help the Padre with [study of] the Rapanui language; e ha'u'ú koe ki toou matu'a i te aga, help your father with the work; aîa ku ha'u'ú mai á i taaku maîka ooka, he helped me plant banana trees; i te ha'u'ú o…, with the help of….
twins (only of infants, never of adults).
muddy, grimy, filthy; puoko havahava, scabby, mangy head.
havea, haveavea
stench of decaying corpse.


article, also verbal prefix. (See grammar.)
where? i hé, where; ki hé, whereto; mai hé, wherefrom.
reddish, ruddy.
to speak and act in a manner of systematic contradiction, or hostility; ure heguhegu, hostile, aggressive person.
sweet potato, when cooked (familiar).
to dawn; ki hehega mai te raá, when the sun rises.
humid, moist, wet (on the surface).
to frighten away (birds or other animals).
gooseflesh, the temporary feeling of cold on the skin: he heheu te kiri o te takeo. [Translator's note: the dictionary has ke heheu…; this is very likely a misprint.]
  1. headband made of mahute and embellished with bird feathers.
  2. exclamation: hey! hullo!
to fan oneself; to chase away the flies with a sort of fan.
hei pa'a
sterile woman.
hei para
"ripening," this term refers to the time when such plants as the banana or sweet potato lose their fresh green colour and become yellow, which is taken as a symbol of bad omen or of death in the family.
heka, hekaheka
  1. octopus.
  2. to excel, to surpass, to overcome, to do better than. Like its synonym ha e, it is used in the negative: ekó heke mai ki au, you are not going to get the better of me.
  3. to lose one's maidenhead: ku heke á te poki, the girl has been deflowered.
land, ground, country; te tagata noho i ruga i te henua the people living on the earth. Placenta: henua o te poki.
to have a blister: ku hepi'i á tooku rima i te pureva, I got a blister on my finger from a stone.
to catch eels in a snare of sliding knots; pole used in this manner of fishing, with a perforation for the line.
here, herehere
to tie, to fasten, to lash; herega, cable, tie; figuratively: pact, treatise.
rasp made of a piece of obsidian with one rough side.
sore, ulcer, excoriation, flaying.
stomach upset, indigestion: ku heré-heréke te manava, [Note the discrepancy; it is not possible to tell which is correct, which is a misprint.]
to profane, to desacrate; to hinder, obstruct work; but mostly used in the sense of to obstruct or interfere with someone, by breaking a taboo; ina koe ekó here'u i te hanautama, do not walk over a seated pregnant woman's feet [literaly: do not interfere with a pregnant woman]; ana poreko te poki, ina ekó rivariva mo uru ki roto ki te hare o here'u i te poki; e nanagi te pito o te poki, ai ka rivariva mo uru ki roto ki te hare, when a child is born, one must absolutely not enter the house, lest one interferes with the child; only after the umbilical cord has been cut can one enter the house.
a type of pasture, the cover of which is used as a carpet laid on the ground.
  1. crimson, bright red; he varu i te ki'ea ka herohero ró te hakari, to paint one's body red with ki'ea; ku hú á te huka-huka, ku herohero á i roto i te ahi, burning wood shows red in the fire.
  2. the colour of ripe fruit, the yellow of ripe bananas.
  3. figuratively: angry: ku herohero á te manava = ku ká te manava.
  1. to shake one's hair; he heru i te pukao, he patu, she shook her hair, throwing it back.
  2. shin, calf of the leg.
to scratch the ground (of chickens looking for food).
to roar (of the wind, the sea, thunder).
to mark a string, for instance by tying knots, in order to use it as a measure; ka hatiki taau hau, mark your string; generally, to tie knots on a string.
  1. to (make) sound; figuratively: famous, renowned.
  2. to crumble into embers (of a bonfire)
star, planet; hetu'u popohaga morning star; hetu'u ahiahi evening star; hetu'u viri meteorite.
offspring of parents from two different tribes, person of mixed descent, e.g. father Miru, mother Tupahotu.
body hair (except genitals and armpits).
to get upset, to become temporarily estranged because of a violent internal pain; to be madly keen, passionately fond of. Ga heva te va'e ihi, spread-leg devotee (insulting term for "woman").
heve hoki
perhaps, by any chance, could it be that… (expresses doubt, surprise). Heve hoki he tagata rakerake, koe, i ta'e haaki mai? Could he be a foul fellow, and you didn't tell me? Heve hoki koe, e ta'e hoki mai ki nei? What could be wrong with you, that you won't come back?


  1. to have a headache (subject: roro, brain). Ku hí á tooku roro, I have a headache.
  2. to fish; hí-kau, to fish while swimming.
  3. to blow one's nose.
hia, hiahia
to whisper; murmur.
to shine, to appear (of the rays of the sun just before sunrise). He hiero te raá, dawn breaks.
  1. to fall; also figuratively: he higa ki te hakaatuga, to fall into temptation.
  2. to yield, to give up, to concede defeat. He tatake ararua, he higa tau ûka puoko tea era, the two of them had a row, and that fair-headed girl conceded defeat.
  1. eyelashes. Ku topa te hihi, to be bored or annoyed by someone. Ku topa á te hihi i te poki era e tagi mai era, I am fed up with that child's crying. Ku topa á te hihi ia koe, I've had it with you. Ku topa á te hihi i te vana-vanaga o te tagata era, I have had enough of that man's constant talking.
  2. the upper, rocky part of a hanging escarpment, like that on the inside of Rano Kau: te hihi o te rano. [translator's note: this seems to be "eyelash" taken figuratively: "the eyelashes of the crater"]
tangled, to become entangled, snarled up; figuratively: complex, intricate, tangled, difficult to understand.
to make (a fire) in the old manner (by rubbing a stick against a board): he hika i te ahi.
to flex the knees lightly, as used to do the youths of both sexes when, after having stayed inside for a long period to get a fair complexion, they showed themselves off in dances called te hikiga haúga, parading on a footpath of smooth stones, with their faces painted, lightly flexing their knees with each step.
to boast brazenly, to brag of a mischief.
  1. to ask (for something)
  2. to filch, to pilfer
to snatch by force; robbery by assault.
tail; caudal fin.
"rat's tail": a plant (Cyperus vegetus).
gey or white hair. Korohua hina tea, ruau hina tea, hoary old man, hoary old woman.
hini, hinihini
to delay, to tarry, to linger. Kai hini koe, you were not late [in returning]; hinihini ró te ohoga mai o te tagata, the person's coming was delayed, i.e. he was very late in coming here.
hio, hiohio
strong; firmly, strongly; brave, courageous.
to walk, pass alongside (a house, a path). Ka hipa mai, come along here! ka hipa koe a te tapa, move aside!
  1. to braid, plait, tress (hair, threads).
  2. to rise in coils (of smoke).
  3. to hover (of birds).
a sort of pavement, made of smooth stones, in from of the ancient houses called hare-paega.
  1. a deity invoked when praying for rain (meaning uncertain)
  2. to twine tree fibres (hauhau, mahute) into strings or ropes.
  1. to show itself again, to reappear (of the new moon, of a constellation __ meaning uncertain).
  2. said of thin, tough-fleshed fish of indifferent taste: ika hiti.
  3. said of fish when they come to the stones of the shore for insects among the seaweed: he hiti te ika. [Translator's note: compare with meaning 1.]
  4. to reproach someone for his ingratitude.
red, porous scoria; found in a quarry near Punapau, it was used for the "hats" of the moai ma'ea (stone statues).
larva of the cloth-eating moth, the only moth endemic to the island, which now infests papers, but in ancient times must have damaged the clothes made from mahute (Broussonetia papyrifera).
name of the country from where, according to tradition, came the Polynesian immigration of Hotu Matu'a; nowadays, this name designate any continent or foreign country: tagata Hiva, foreigner, person from the mainland.
to pull, haul; this term seems older than haro: Ka hivo ê, tatou, ka haro, let's pull all together, let's pull (said by a group of people pulling at a rope to move something heavy).


  1. master, owner; tagata hoa papaku, owner or relative of a dead; hoa manu, "bird master," that is, he who received the first egg at the annual festivals in Orongo; he to'o mai e te hoa manu i te mamari ki toona rima, he ma'u, he hoko, the "bird master" receives the egg in his hand and carries it, dancing.
  2. friend, companion: e ga hoa ê!
  3. to cast away, to throw away, to abandon, perhaps also to expel.
  4. to confess a sin; he hoa i te ta'u: term used of a category of rongorongo boards [see ta'u].
nest in which there are eggs = te hakapupa raûa ko te mamari. [Englert gives no translation, but this is literally "the nest with its eggs"]
  1. to smell something; he hogi te eo o te umu, to smell food cooking
  2. to kiss; he hogi te matu'a poreko i taana poki, the mother kisses her little boy.
to peel: he hohoni i te kumara, to peel sweet potatoes.
to spread a nua cover on the ground, or a mat of gaatu (totora reeds).
  1. the outmost parts of rectangular fishing-net, hoke kupega, which are: matu'a and matagi.
  2. the first of the three forward-pointing toes of gallinaceans: hoke-pou-kau-haga.
  3. banana-leaf when it starts drying up (the fresh leaf is called rito).
to return, to go back, to come back; ka hoki ki rá go back there! ana oho koe ki Hiva, e hoki mai ki nei, if you go to the mainland, do come back here again.
  1. to jump; to rock or swing in rhythm with the chants in festivals, as was the ancient custom; an ancient dance.
  2. number prefix: "in a group of…": hokotahi, alone; hokorua, in a group of two (also companion, e hakarere te kai mo toou hokorua, leave some food for my companion); hakatoru, in a group of three, etc.; hokohía, in a group of how many? hokohía ana oho koe ki te rano? With how many people will you go to the volcano?
  1. turtle.
  2. spider (the species found in houses).
  1. person worthy of respect, person of authority
  2. livelihood, heirloom, capital; ka moe koe ki toou hônui, you must marry to ensure your livelihood (said to a little girl); he hônui mo taaku poki, this is the heirloom for my son.
any person towards whom one feels sympathy, or for whom one feels sorry, hooku can be used in the former sense to address a parent or neighbour, but is especially used in the second sense, of an unfortunate person with whom one commiserates: "this poor fellow."
revenge, compensation; to get one's own back, to get even.
  1. new, fresh.
  2. newcomer, recently arrived stranger.
meal offered to persons upon contracting them to carry out some work.
  1. to wash oneself, to bathe.
  2. aid, helper, in the following expressions: hopu kupega, those who help the motuha o te hopu kupega in handling the fishing nets; hopu manu, those who served the tagata manu and, upon finding the first manutara egg, took it to Orongo.
ancient name of summer (toga-hora, winter summer).
small sea crustacean, which seems to be a small prawn or a large shrimp.
to feel a strong imbalance of the mind, either from boiling anger, or overbrimming joy: he hopohopo te manava.
hore, horehore
to cut with a knife or with an obsidian blade (also: horea).
solitary, lonely; kona horeko, solitary place, loneliness.
to tire, become tired (also: rohirohi).
to swallow, to gulp down; horohoro, to swallow repeatedly: he horohoro te aanu, [my] mouth waters, it makes [my] mouth water.
to rinse, to wipe dry: he horo'i te rima, to wipe one's hands dry.
to hurry (also: horohorou).
sea mollusc, black in colour, found sticking to rocks. The small white shells (Melanella) which are usually found adhering to it are called pipi hotake.
shoulder-blade, back of shoulder; generally used for "shoulder" instead of kapuhivi.
to cut a small hole with a toki, like the holes in the paega stones into which fitted the frame of the hare paega houses; to bore, to pierce, to perforate: hou oone, "dirt-borers," i.e. rats.
  1. widow, widower.
  2. exclamation expressing surprise at the unexpected, upon finding that what you had imagined was wrong; for instance, upon seeing ashore someone you thought had gone fishing in the ocean you could say: hove i oho ai koe i ruga i te vaka ki te îka hî, oh, I thought you had gone on your canoe to go fishing!


article: a, the (extremely rare, seems very ancient) a ai hu pahu era? whose box is that?
  1. to catch fire, to burn (of fire); ku hú á te ahi, the fire is burning.
  2. to blow strongly (of wind).
  3. to be furious, in a rage, to be mad (angry); ku hú á tou tagata hoônui era kia au, that important man is mad at me.
  1. testicle.
  2. figuratively: son; hua tahi, only son (no brothers, but may have sisters); fruits of the earth; to grow well (of fruits).
  3. to cause a fight, a quarrel.
generation, as lineage of direct descendents; contemporaries.
coccyx of bird, "parson's nose": huahua moa, huahua uha.
a creeper (Chenopodium ambiguum).
to congregate, to get together; huega, meeting, reunion of persons, heap, pile of things; hue hau, ball of string.
a fish, with a round body, dark back, and light belly.
reduced to a powder, to splinters, to granules.
pauper, destitute (for want of external help, and for being incapable or unwilling to work); dependent (person supported, and living in someone else's home).
salt-encrusted (of skin, after a prolonged bath in the sea): hugaru á tooku hakari i te hopuhaga i te vai kava, my body is covered in salt from having bathed in the sea.
mother-in-law, father-in-law.
to be tired (subject: hakari, body); ku huhata á te hakari. [Note the discrepancy between entry and example __ it is not possible to tell which is a misprint].
  1. to take off one's clothes with a pull, in one go.
  2. to lose weight, to become thin, weak: huhu á te hakari.
garland of bird-feathers; such were used to adorn the boat of the king (ariki henua).
to peel, to shell (fruit, eggs, etc.).
to uproot.
to shine, to glitter.
mirror, looking-glass.
insolent, cheeky (=hakxaariga): ina koe ekó huka mai, don't you be cheeky with me; to resist stubbornly, to oppose: ina koe ekó huka nó, e hakarogo tako'a kia au, you musn't just oppose, you should also pay attention to me.
  1. pole attached to the poop from which the fishing-net is suspended: huki kupega.
  2. digging stick.
  3. to set vertically, to stand (vt.).
  4. huki á te mahina, said of the new moon when both its horns have become visible.
to feel sudden stabbing pains in some part of one's body, an omen of success, or of a visitor; hunch, intuition, foreboding, premonition.
thighs; tattoos on the thigh muscles or on the calf muscles.
to put on a loin-cloth: ka hune toou hami, put on your loin-cloth (hune was not used for the article of clothing, the cape called nua).
son-in-law, daughter-in-law.
dew; i te hupe hoa ena i te pó, he ora te kai, thanks to the dew that fell during the night, the plants were refreshed.
lazy, slack.
  1. to fish with a small funnel-shaped net tied to the end of a pole. This fishing is done from the shore; fishing with the same net, but swimming, is called tukutuku.
  2. to be active, to get moving when working: ka hura, ka aga! come on, get moving! to work!
  3. tagata gutu hura, a flatterer, a flirt, a funny person, a witty person.
to dance, to swing.
see huhure.
  1. to turn (vt.), to overthrow, to knock down: huri moai, the overthrowing of the statues from their ahus during the period of decadence on the island.
  2. to pour a liquid from a container: ka huri mai te vai, pour me some water.
  3. to end a lament, a mourning: he huri i te tagi, ina ekó tagi hakaou, with this the mourning [for the deceased] is over, there shall be no more crying.
  4. new shoot of banana: huri maîka.
to capsize.
custom, tradition, behaviour, manners, situation, circumstances; poki huru hare, child who stays inside (to keep a fair complexion); te huru o te tagata rivariva, a fine person's behaviour; pehé te huru o Hiva? what is the situation on the mainland?
plumage, feathers (the short feathers, not the tail feathers), fleece of sheep.
to manage the handling of the kupega fishing-net; person who directs the handling of the net: maori huti, expert in fishing with the kupega.


  1. preposition denoting the accusative: o te hanau eepe i-hoa i te pureva mai Poike ki tai, the hanau eepe threw the stones of Poike into the sea. Te rua muraki era i a Hotu Matu'a. the grave where they buried Hotu Matu'a.
  2. preposition: for, because of, by action of, for reason of…, ku-rari-á te henua i te ûa the ground is soaked by the rain; i te matu'a-ana te hakaúru i te kai mo taana poki huru hare, the mother herself carries (lit.: by the mother herself the taking…) the food for her son secluded in the house.
  3. preposition: in, on, at (space): i te kaiga nei, on this island.
  4. preposition: in, on (time): i mu'a, before; i agataiahi, yesterday; i agapó, tonight; i te poá, in the morning.
  5. preposition: in the power of: i a îa te ao, the command was in his power.
  6. adverb of place: here. i au nei, I am here (also: i au i , here I am, here).
  1. full; ku-î-á te kete i te kumara, the bag is full of sweet potatoes.
  2. to abound, to be plentiful; ki î te îka i uta, as there are lots of fish on the beach.
  3. to start crying (of a baby): i-ûi-era te ma-tu'a ku-î-á te poki mo tagi, he-ma'u kihaho, when a mother saw that her baby was starting to cry she would take it outside.
personal pronoun: he, she, it; often preceded in the nominative by e: e îa; and in the other cases by a; a îa, ki a îa.
dirty, to get dirty.
igoa [îgoa]
name; igoa nuinui, main name (of a country); he-nape i te igoa, to give a name; igoa hakaponoko, nickname.
a fish.
ihi, ihi-ihi
to break up into small pieces, to crumble, to tear to pieces; he-ihi i te maúku, to separate fibres.
line of singing women at a feast or an êi.
recent, just now, immediately, then: poreko iho, newborn. he-tu'u-iho-mai koe mai rá? have you just arrived from there? he-agiagi-iho. I just learnt it.
to ebb (of tide water); undertow. Ana tai hori, he-ihoiho te vai, when low tide begins, the waters ebb.
  1. nose; ihu more. snub nose, snub-nosed person.
  2. ihuihu cape, reef;ihuihu - many reefs, dangerous for boats.
  3. ihu moko.
    • to die out (a family of which remains only one male without sons); koro hakamao te mate o te mahigo, he-toe e-tahi tagata nó, ina aana hakaara, koîa te me'e e-kî-nei: ku-moko-á te ihu o te mahigo. when the members of family have died and there remains only one man who has no offspring, we say: ku-moko-á te ihu o te mahigo.
    • to disappear (of a tradition, a custom), me'e ihu moko o te tagata o te kaiga nei, he êi, the êi is a custom no longer in use among the people of this island.
  4. eldest child; first-born; term used alone or in conjunction with atariki.
a marine gasteropod which, like the squid, secretes a dark blue ink-like liquid.
  1. fish.
  2. in some cases, animal in general: îka ariga koreha, animal with the face of a koreva fish (name given to horses when they arrived on the island, because of the resemblance of their heads with that of a koreva).
  3. victim (wounded or killed), enemy who must be killed, person cursed by a timo and destined to die; îka reirei, vanquished enemy, who is kicked (rei).
  4. corpse of man fallen in war.
  1. to choose the best; to arrange something in the best possible way; something fine, exquisite, choice: he-îku i te tagata. to select the best men; tagata îku, fine man: he îku i te kahu, to make a fine dress; he-îku i te kaihaga, to choose delicate, light food. I te nohoga tûai, te matu'a he hakama'a ki taana poki me îku i te kai-haga; e-kai i te me'e mo ta'e pagaha'a; te uhi, te tôa, te me'e mokai. Ana tu'u ki-te ta'u o te oge, ina ekó rahi te haga ki te kai. In the old days, a father would teach his son to choose fine, light foods, and not to eat heavy foods: yams and sugarcane was what he had to eat. When later came a famine, he did not need to eat much.
  2. to receive one's due share: ka-tahuga.
ash (ancient word for éoéo).
no, nothing, no-one; ina au kaihaga I don't want to.
to complement some food with (hai) some other food; e-inaki-nei au i te îka hai kumara, I am helping myself to fish with sweet potatoes.
  1. bit of, piece of: ioio hukahuka, a bit of wood; ioio kiko, a piece of meat.
  2. ioio ragi mageo, a poison used in ancient times to poison people.
gourd (as a container): ipu kaha; abdomen of a lobster: ipu ûra.
fellow human-being, neighbour.
  1. to go up; to go in a boat on the sea (the surface of which gives the impression of going up from the coast): he-eke te tagata ki ruga ki te vaka, he-iri ki te Hakakaiga, the men boaded the boat and went up to Hakakainga.
  2. Ka-iri ki puku toiri ka toiri. obscure expression of an ancient curse.
a seaweed.
to know; possibly a Tahitian word, nowadays used more than ma'a or agiagi.
iti, iti-iti
small, little, few. The idea of "all without exceptions" can be expressed by iti-nui (iinstead of ananake) ka-oho tahi, tagata iti, tagata nui, vî'e iti, vî'e nui, poki iti, poki nui. let all go, big and small men, big and small women, big and small children.
bone needle, anciently used for tattooing.
  1. bone; fishbone.
  2. ivi-tia, sewing needle.
  3. ivi tika, spine, vertebra.
  4. ivi atua, being of the other world.
  5. ivi tumu atua, seer, wizard.
  6. ivi heheu swordfish.



particle of the affirmative imperative, of cardinal numerals, of independent ordinal numerals, and of emphatic exclamation, e.g. ka-maitaki! how nice!
particle expressing that something is done repeatedly or in several places: he-rarama ka-ka-ka, checking something in several places or on repeated occasions.
  1. to light a fire in order to cook in the earth oven (see umu): he-ká i te umu, he-ká i te kai.
  2. figuratively: to fire up the soul. To put oneself in a fury (with manava): ku-ká-á toona manava he has become furious.
gourd (was used as a container: ipu kaha).
ata-kahara, to take good care, to do carefully e-ata-kahara koe o oone, take care not to get dirty; e-ata-kahara koe o kori te moa o te tahi pa, take care not to steal the chickens of another place.
tuna; two sorts: kahi aveave, kahi matamata.
dress, clothes, material; kahu vaka, sail.
bunch; kahui maîka, bunch of bananas.
peritoneum; kahukahu mâmari, pelusa del huevo (entre la cáscara y la clara).
  1. ina kai; verbal negation (but not used with the imperative); ina kai kai matou, we have not eaten.
  2. to eat; meal.
  3. fruits or produces of the land, vegetables, edible plants.
  4. figuratively: he-kai ite rogorogo, to recite the inscriptions kohau rogorogo (as spiritual food).
  5. eclipse: ku-kai-á te raá, te mahina, the sun, the moon has been eaten (eclipsed).
  1. action of eating; meal; nourishment (katiga was the ancient word).
  2. ground; country; island.
  3. womb, uterus (also matakao).
cat's cradle, in which patterns are made by moving a thread through the fingers of both hands, and are accompanied by the recitation of verses (one of the main pastimes of yore).
sharp: also "to sharpen" used instead of hakaka'ika'i.
a plant.
to quarrel; altercation, quarrel.
(also kaka ) bark of banana-tree. Cut into strips, and left to dry out, its fibres, hau kakaka, are used to make small baskets, small bags etc.
a sea bird.
  1. sweet-smelling, fragrant, smelly; used for pleasant and unpleasant smells alike.: tagata kakara i te kava, man with smelly armpits.
  2. used with rima, means skill or good luck in work; tagata rima kakara mo te îka mo hi, man skillful or lucky at fishing.
  3. with a negation: to neglect, to fail to look after someone entrusted to your care; kai kakara koe i taaku kurî, i-gau-ro-ai e te paihega, you didn't look after my cat, the dog bit him.
  4. to fail in a business: ku-kakara-á koe ku-geo-á koe.
an insect (a Coleopter with black cephalothorax and yellow stigma).
  1. articulation, bone joint: kakari rima, wrist: kakari va'e, ankle.
  2. to be destitute, in dire poverty, short of food; ku-kakari-á te tagata, the people are destitute.
to carve a hole in a stone, like the paega holes in which were stuck the roof poles of the hare paega. to extract the flesh of a shellfish (to eat it) using a small stick or a pointed bone.
sharp, wide hand weapon made of obsidian in a wooden handle: kakau rima (used in hand-to-hand fighting).
to ask for (also nono'i); he-kakokako uha, to ask for a girl (as bride for a boy); he-kakokako uha e te tagata ki te tahi tagata mo taana moa, a man asks another for a girl for his son (uha and moa are used figuratively for daughter and son).
comfort, solace, happiness. Used only in the expressions he-ora te kami, he-hoki te kami, happiness returns (to the heart), he-hakahoki te kami, to bring solacce, happiness to someone. Ana tu'u-mai te miro, ku-ora-á te kami o te tagata, when the boat comes, people feel happy.
deviation, kink in a line otherwise straight; small hollow on a surface; slight deviation.
to fit tightly (in a hole or an opening.)
said of yams whose tubers form tough, indigest protuberances, badly developed yams.
  1. side, edge, rim; kao gutu (or just kao ), labia minora.
  2. steep, almost perpendicular; thin, skinny. Motu Kaokao, name of one of the islets opposite Orongo, with a steep shape.
fin; kapeu hônu, turtle fin.
  1. mist, fog; ku-puru-á te kapua i ruga i te maúga, there is a thick fog on the mountain.
  2. mould; kapua-á te kahu, the clothes are covered in mould.
moss (no the large type in Rano Kau, but the small, short type that grows on rocks).
wing of bird.
uproar, row: he-tagi te karaga.
to remain upright (said of a spinning top).
low cave; hiding place under rocks in the sea (where lobsters hide).
  1. properties, possessions: tagata karega, rich man; tagata karega kore, poor man.
  2. importance, worth: ku-karega-á, it is important; me'e karega kore, worthless, unimportant thing; ina he karega o taa po, those dreams are worthless.
ka-reka-avai koe
ancient expression of thanks for a gift
to shine momentarily, to flash; ku-karera-á te uira, lightning flashed.
hollow, incision, nick, dent. This word is used especially for the opening of Rano Kau crater.
to give the string of a trap a tug to entrap the catch.
to train at parrying, dodging. karoga, the art or action of parrying, dodging.
te karoga o te mata, both eyelids; perhaps also: eye socket.
to congregate in circles around something, for instance at a festival: karu tagata, groups of people; to arrive on the beach following one another (of waves): karu vave .
  1. to wrinkle; to get wrinkled.
  2. to get tangled up (of a line, a string - hau).
  3. to swing, to rock, to roll (of a boat).
kata, katakata
to laugh; laughter.
  1. to rehearse (songs).
  2. to fabricate false news: he-katikati i te vânaga reoreo.
  3. to waste something by neglecting it.
halo (of sun, of moon).
  1. landing place (such as a wharf).
  2. to parry, to dodge (also: karo).
  3. to cut sweet potato branches or leaves (in order to plant them); to harvest.
ancient term which seems to mean "indigest, of slow, difficult digestion", judging from the expression: taro noho katu, ka-topa ki te magugu, taro of slow digestion until it comes down to the anus.
  1. to move one's feet (walking or swimming); ana oho koe, ana kau i te va'e, ka rava a me'e mo kai, if you go and move your feet, you'll get something to eat; kakau (or also kaukau), move yourself swimming.
  2. to spread (of plants): ku-kau-áte kumara, the sweet potatoes have spread, have grown a lot.
  3. to swarm, to mill around (of people): ku-kau-á te gagata i mu'a i tou hare, there's a crowd of people milling about in front of your house.
  4. to flood (of water after the rain): ku-kau-á te vai haho, the water has flooded out (of a container such as a taheta).
  5. to increase, to multiply: ku-kau-á te moa, the chickens have multiplied.
  6. wide, large: Rano Kau, "Wide Crater" (name of the volcano in the southwest corner of the island).
  7. expression of admiration: kau-ké-ké! how big! hare kau-kéké! what a big house! tagata hakari kau-kéké! what a stout man!
ten, group of ten; e-tahi te kauatu, e rua te kauatu… 10, 20; kauatu-kauatu, many, many.
to line up; to march in a procession.
  1. bottom, rear, behind; generic word for the hindparts of animals and human beings; rear end of a thing, such as the poop of a boat: kaúha vaka.
  2. (familiar) kaúha tótó, clumsy, phlegmatic man.
  1. space between the thighs; groin; perhaps also the action of kau, that is, of moving one's feet (as substantive derived from the verb kau). Kauhaga mâmari, skin eruption accompanying the formation of a bubo.
  2. kauhaga moa, first toe of a chicken.
kauhaga more
tumor of the inguinal glands. In ancient times those who suffered from such tumours, because of war injuries, were useless for rejoining the fight, for fear of being wounded again. A wider meaning has been given to this word: fear caused by a guilty conscience, viz tagata kauhaga more, e-ma'e-no, e-aga-aga tahaga-nó; is an expression which refers to a man who has a guilty conscience and, imagining (e-ma'a-nó) that others talk about him, behaves accordingly (e-aga-aga tahaga-nó), for instance, blaming others or constantly asking about rumours.
  1. horizontal poles of a frame (of a hare paega, or a paina statue): he-hakatu'u te tama o te paina, he-kaukau, they erect the vertical poles of the paina then they lay upon them the horizontal ones.
  2. group of people: e-tahi tuitui reipá i Te Pei, ekó rava'a e-varu kaukau; i-garo ai i Hiva, i te kaiga, a necklace of mother-of-pearl is on te Pei, few will find it (lit: eight groups of people); it has remained in Hiva, in our homeland.
  3. to go through, to pass through in unison; he-hogi-mai te ûka i te e'eo o te pua kaukau-á i roto ite hare, the girl smelt the fragrance of the pua wafting inside the house.
  4. newborn baby's first hand and feet movements (kaukau or kau).
sort of adze made of obsidian, or of a very sharp toki and of a wooden handle (the original pronunciation may have been kautoki ); he-to'o-mai ite kauteki (kautoki?) he-to'o-mai i te toromiro, he-tarai i te puoko, i te mata, i te ihu… he took a kauteki and toromiro wood, and he shaped the head, the eyes, the nose…
jaw: kauvaha ruga, kauvaha raro, upper jaw, lower jaw.
conductor, the man who directs the songs executed by the pere and the ihi singers at a feast.
  1. sour; salty: vai kava, saltwater, sea; te kava o te haíga, acrid underarm smell; tagata kava - tagata kakara i te kava, man with smelly armpits.
  2. he-kava te haha, to be thirsty.
  3. to turn sour, to become embittered, bad-tempered, exasperated (used with manava): tagata manava kava, bad-tempered, angry man.
belch; to belch.
rib; chop; moai kava-kava, wooden statuette with projecting ribs.
fibres, thread; he-to'o-mai te hau, he-hakapakapaka, he-ihi-ihi te kave mo hiro i ruga i te papakona, he removes the fibres, dries them well, divides them into threads to twist them on his thigh.
  1. short handle.
  2. peduncle.
  3. loop (of a rope, when tying it).


  1. other; different; different being; hare ké, a different house; e-ké-ro-á… e-ké-ro-á… there are some who… and others who…; me'e ké. something distinct, different: te puaka ina oona kuhane; me'e ké te tagata, he hakari oona, he kuhane, an animal has no soul; man is different, he has a body, and a soul; matu'a ké, the other relatives.
  2. ké te kairua, person who turns up for meals at other people's homes.
  3. used in exclamations: hahau ké! what a cool breeze!; hana ké! how hot! takeo ké! how cold!
swollen (of a woman's belly after a few months of pregnancy): ku-keakea-á te manava o te hanau tama, the pregnant woman's belly is swollen.
flag-stone (which is plentiful in Rano Kau and was used to build Orongo); stone disc, used as a thrown weapon in wars.
hidden; what cannot be seen because it is covered; he-kehu te raá, said of the sun when it has sunk below the horizon.
ability, skill, aptitude for a particular work: tagata ke'i mo keukeu o te henua. man good at working on the land and maintaining his family; ke'i kore inability: he ke'i kore o te tagata mo aga, mo hâgai i toona mahigo, man's inability to wordk and feed his family; ina he ke'i me aga, no aptitude for work.
to go down after after reached its zenith (of the sun): he-keke te raá.
to be lying on the ground, partly above it, to stick out: ma'ea ke'e ke'e, stones sticking out of the ground.
to rustle, to creak: ku-kekekeke-áte hare i te to kerau, the house creaked in the wind.
animal mentioned in ancient traditions, the flesh of which was eaten in Hiva (also kepukepu).
to feel an indisposition of the stomach or the bowels: he-kekeri te manava.
shoulder (according to others, shoulder-blade); used also for "arm".
a sea bird, with a white breast and black wings, considered a symbol of good luck and noble attitudes.
in human beings, upper part of the sternum, shaped like a fork; in birds, wish-bone.
ke'o, ke'oke'o
fast, quick; to hurry; ka-ke'o-mai, come quickly, hurry up.
sargasso, floating seaweeds.
used in the expression: he-kere i te ahi, to keep a fire going from one day to the next, by leaving embers in a hole in the ground, throwing some firewood on top, and covering it with ashes and some stones so that it does not burn out later.
  1. to be able (to do something): e-kerega-ró koe mo aga i te aga nei? will you be able to do this work? Used more often in a negative meaning; for instance, of a barren marriage: ina he kerega mo te poki.
  2. to produce results, to succeed: ina kai kerega te ara, e-hoki-no-mai, the expedition did not succeed, he came back (empty-handed); ina he kerega, said of fishermen who return empty-handed.
dark; black.
lead-coloured tufa.
hiccup, to have the hiccups.
  1. to dig the ground to open a hole: he-keri i te rua; to pull sweet potatoes, yams, etc. out of the ground: he-keri i te kumara, ite uhi.
  2. quick, repeated movements: he-keri te tokerau, the wind whips, blowing strongly; he-keri te vave, the waves break continuously and strongly: ka-keri koe, ka-rere te va'e, hurry up, get running.
to complete, to finish a work; he-kero te maîka, to complete a banana plantation.
purse, basket (made of sugarcane leaves or of totora) kete hakaraka, gift of regalo formerly made to a newborn baby's mother.(See, in the traditions, the text entitled "Hens for a Baby's Good Luck"). The exact meaning of this word is unclear.
book of cigarette papers; omasum, psalterium (ruminant's stomach).
  1. to raise, to lift. Figuratively: to praise, to exalt, he-ketu, he-hakaávaáva i te igoa o te Atua, to praise and glorify the name of God.
  2. to open an abcess, a pus formation (transitive and intransitive).
  3. to speak again of someone else's past failure which had been buried and forgotten.
communal enterprise, work done in common: mo te keu. for the work done in common (for instance: collecting food mo te keu, to give to the helpers).
  1. to work; to work long and steadily: he-keukeu te aga; tagata keukeu henua, farmer.
  2. to get ready, e.g. for a trip: ka-keukeu koe , ki oho tâtou. get ready, we are going; ka-keukeu ki turu ki tai, ki hî, get ready for going down to the sea, to fish.
  3. to approach (of rain): he-keukeu te ûa.
blind (mata keva); blind in one eye; very short-sighted.


(preposition) to, towards (a place, a person); after (time); for, in order to…
to say, to speak; word, language; will, wish (verbally expressed): e-hakarogo koe ki te kî o toou matu'a, obey you father's will.
  1. let's go! (also: matu).
  2. interjection encouraging someone to say more: kia koe ka vânaga-mai, tell me more; kia ki te kî ki a koe, we'll talk another time.
  3. Kia kiva, careful, do keep it secret!
  1. suffixed to a verb, expresses an action of long duration : he-ruku ki roto ki te vai, he-hopuhopu kiakia, she dives into the water and bathes at length.
  2. a bird (sea dove, Gigis alba).
colored earth once used for painting one's body (ochre?).
the horizontal poles connecting the canoe ( vaka ama) to the outrigger (ama).
red earth rich in hematite (ferrous oxide). It was obtained from a mine on the slope of Poike, and was used to paint one's face.
lichen; also: grey, greenish grey, ashen.
stiff, to stiffen; kíkikíki: convulsions.
see kino.
pebbles; also kirikiri.
  1. said of food insufficiently cooked and therefore tough: kai kikiu.
  2. to tie securely; to tighten the knots of a snare: ku-kikiu-á te hereíga, the knot has been tightened.
  3. figuratively: mean, tight, stingy; puoko kikiu. a miser; also: eve kikiu.
  4. to squeak (of rats, chickens).
  1. meat, flesh: kiko moa, kiko manu, kiko îka, kiko kio'e, flesh of chicken, bird, fish, rat.
  2. (human) body, used in the ancient expression hare kiko pako'o, when speaking of a household (hare) who did not give shelter to a refugee or else surrendered his body to his pursuers.
  3. sterile, barren, unproductive; ku-kiko á te henua nei, this land is barren.
  4. internal fibres of the banana tree or of the totora reed, stuck to the bark, which are use to make braided ropes: kiko maîka, kiko gaatu, mo hiro o te taúra mo te akavega banana and totora fibres for twisting strings for akavega baskets.
to seek; to investigate.
  1. bad; kikino, very bad, cursed; kona kino, dangerous place.
  2. blemish (on body).
badness, evil, wickedness; penis.
badly made, crude: ahu kinokino, badly made ahu, with coarse, ill-fitting stones.
  1. defeated; one who has taken refuge in a house or in a cave.
  2. to come out a winner, to win, to be victorious in war, in a quarrel, in a race: ku-kio-á te taûa i a Miru, the war was won by the Miru; ku-kio-á te toru vaka, the third boat won.
cave used as hiding place by a party of refugees (possibly a misprint for kioga -- translator's note).
to smell of smoke, to smell smoky (of food).
skin; bark; husk; kiri heuheu, downy skin; kiri mohimohi (also kiri magó), smooth hairless skin.
kirikiri miro
kiroké, kiroke'a
a seaweed (fleshy, tender, edible).
toilet, latrine, defecating ground.
to chirp (of chicks and birds); to make short noises. The first bells brought by the missionaries were given this name.
  1. to keep a secret (see kia); silent, quiet; e-kiva koe i a au, keep my secret (i.e. do not denounce me, do not divulge what you know about me).
  2. smooth, regular (of things with a smooth surface without wrinkles or asperities).
to be dumbstruck; silent, taciturn, absorbed in thought; he-kivakiva toona re'o. he became silent.


  1. article (ko te); preposition: with (see grammar); prefix of personal pronouns: koau, I; kokoe, you (singular); koîa, he, she, it; kokorua, you (plural); ko tagi, koîa, he with his weeping.
  2. article which precedes proper nouns, often also used with place names: Ko Tori, Ko Hotu Matu'a, Ko Pú.
  1. happiness, pleasure; to be happy; koakoa, to be very happy, very pleased.
  2. to rock a baby to quieten him. Also: hakakoa.
koau, kokoe
see ko.
lines (hau) drawn on the tablets for inscribing hieroglyphs; the full name is: kohau motu mo rogorogo, lines of inscriptions for reciting. The article ko, prefixed to the noun, expresses that it is something well-known, representative, something "by excellence", as in: kovare, kohío, and probably also kora'e. In ancient times different type of kohau were distinguished: kohau ta'u annals; kohau îka, lists of people fallen in wars or in fights; koahu raga, records of fugitives, expelled from their homes; kohau hiri taku ki te Atua, religious hymns.
a plant (genus Filicinea) that grows on the coast.
  1. phallus, penis (erect, i.e. hio by excellence); kohio-haga, copulation, sexual intercourse.
  2. hard human excrement.
stick; any piece of wood longer than wide and easily handled.
  1. shade: he-oho kiroto ki te ana, kite kona kohu, he-hakaora, he goes into the cave, into the shade, and rests.
  2. Kohu raá, solar eclipse.
exact: tita'a koîa, exact demarcation. Seems to be the personal pronoun koîa - applied in the meaning of: thus it is, here it is precisely.
to clean one's hands; i te tûaihaga-era-á he-to'o-mai i te toro maîka, he-tahitahi, mo ko'iko'i o te oone o te rima, in ancient times they took a banana stem and scraped it to clean the dirt off their hands (rubbing their hands with the watery fibres).
a fish (according to some Jimnoto gymnothorax).
  1. cockroach.
  2. Koka uru iho, exclamation of surprise uttered by someone upon receiving something new or unexpected for instance, food not tasted since a long time.
to limp; lame.
forgetful: korohua koko'e-pó, forgetful old man.
cold; bronchitis.
  1. container, vessel.
  2. to put one's hands together, forming a scoop to hold something: ka-kokohu hai rima mo avai-atu te kai, put your hands like this, so I can give you some food; ka-kokohu rivariva o marere, hold your hands together well, so that (the food) does not spill.
  3. figuratively: mother (matu'a poreko) because she is the vessel in which the baby's body is formed.
to crow, to cackle (of rooster or hen).
intestines, guts.
the moon during the first six nights after the new moon and the five nights after the full moon: kokore tahi, kokore rua, kokore toru, kokore há, kokore rima, kokore ono.
width, expanse; wide, spacious. Te kokoro o te hare. the expanse of a wide house.
little finger, auricular.
vulva; name of the pictures of vulvas carved on many rocks and stones.
  1. to insert a wedge into something.
  2. figuratively: to stuff oneself with food; he-komo, he-hakahiohio i te manava.
  1. place, terrain, part, surface of the body.
  2. tá kona to tattoo; the parts of the body which were entirely covered in tattoos, such as the thighs and the wrists, are called kona.
tasteless, bland (of food): ta'e konakona, tasty.
far, distant; kaiga konakumi. distant land.
lad, lass, youth, young man or woman; He-oho te kope ra'e Ko Ira The first youth, Ko Ira, went; PehÈ korua ga kope? How are you, lads? Koho-mai korua ko ga kope, ka-maitaki korua ga kope! Welcome to you, lasses, what beautiful lasses you are!
  1. avenger; te kopeka o te îka, avenger of an assassination victim; îka kopeka also means cannibal avenger.
  2. according to the report of the Spanish visitors to the island in l770, the paina statues were also called kopeka; if this is correct, the word kopeka would have been used in two senses, to avenge an offence and to distribute payments, as was done in the paina festivals.
to ferment, to start rotting; maîka kopiro. rotting bananas; kopiro-á te rimu, a pile of miru seaweeds is rotting (and the insects on it are easily caught for using as bait).
belly; tagata kopú, slave (who belongs to another, body and soul); kopú tó, lazy, inactive, indolent.
to be blown away by the wind: he-kopuhia i te tokerau. Also said of someone who does not stay home, goes out and disappears, instead of dedicating himself to his work.
a fish.
holes cut in the paega hare stones to hold the frame poles of the roof.
to lack, to be missing; without (something normally expected), -less; ana kore te úa, ina he vai when rain lacks there is no water: vî'e kenu kore, woman without a husband, i.e. widowed or abandoned by her husband.
  1. sea eel; several sorts are distinguished: koreha puhi. haoko, migo, tapatea.
  2. Koreha o raro o te oone, earthworm; koreha henua, snake.
a fish.
  1. to play (also: kokori).
  2. to steal, to pilfer.
to harm.
  1. father (seems to be an older word than matu'a tamâroa).
  2. feast, festival; this is the generic term for feasts featuring songs and banquetting; koro hakaopo, feast where men and women danced.
  3. when (also: ana koro); ana koro oho au ki Anakena. when I go to Anakena; in case. koro haga e îa, in case he wants it.
korohu'a, korohua
old man; also used jokingly or affectionately of any adult man.
to be lonely, to be aggrieved because one's love is not returned, to miss (someone).
a species of banana grown in ancient times.
you (plural).
west, west wind.
string or ribbon used to tie the loincloth (hami).
huge (tetunui).
to cut with scissors (since this is an old word and scissors do not seem to have existed, it must mean something of the kind).
flea; any small insect in general. Koúra tere henua, human being (ancient expression, lit. insect which runs on the ground).
mucous plug; he-poreko te kovare, the mucous plug comes out (before the birth).
newborn rat; familiarly: very young baby.


verbal prefix, used for past events the effects of which are still lasting. The verb then takes the suffix -ana which is very often contracted to . In familiar conversation the prefix -ku is often omitted and only the suffix is used.
used preceding persons' names, or inserted between the article and the person's name, to mean "and others, and companions" e.g. A kua Ira, Ira and his companions.
to clear one's throat.
soul, spirit, ghost; person or object seen in a dream and taken as an omen; see also: hakakuhanehane.
  1. to disturb, to inconvenience, to feel uncomfortable, said for instance of a thief who has hidden the things stolen under his clothes: he-ku'iku'i i roto i a îa te me'e toke, the stolen things inconvenience him; he-ku'iku'i te vânaga-haga, his manner of talking betrays embarrassment.
  2. to crowd together; he-ku'iku'i te gagata i te uruga mai ki te hare, the people are crowding to get into the house.
to cover oneself, to wrap oneself up in the nua cape; ka-kuki toou nua, wrap yourself up well in your cape.
to swathe, to swaddle: he-kuku i te tôa, to swathe the sugarcanes (with their large leaves, so they grow better and taller).
  1. cheekbone, knuckle, also finger joint; kukumu manege, finger joint; kukumu iti, falangina; kukumu ata iti, falangeta.
  2. sugarcane knots: kukumu tôa.
a snail (very small, conical, found inland on rocks).
sweet potato. The main varieties are: kumara pita, kumara rega moe tahi uriuri, kumara rega moe-tahi teatea, kumara rega vî'e, kumara aro piro, kumara paka taero, kumara ariga rikiriki, kumara uriuri, kumara ûka teatea, kumara ure omo, kumara ha'u pú, kumara ure omo uriuri.
to extract, to pull out (e.g. a tooth, a thread from a fabric); to come out (of the sun's rays) ku-kume-á te tuke o te raá.
  1. long, far; to grow long; maikuku kumi, long fingernails; larger share; he kumi maana, he iti maaku, the larger share (he keeps) for himself, the small one is for me.
  2. fathom (also: maroa).
fishing net; kupega hônu, cobweb. The various types of fishing nets are: for fishing in the open sea kupega huti ature, described in the tradition about catching ature in preparation for tuna-fishing; for fishing near the coast and in the bays: kupega hura, a small, round net in the shape of a basket, used on the shore, handled by a single man; kupegaviri, net several metres long handled by its extremities by two men called hopu kupega stretched vertically down to the shore; kupega tuku rua trawling net, its lower end is dragged by two men, stretched horizontally on the sea bottom towards the coast (see also the explanation of the word tuku).
lyrics (of a song).
  1. also: poukura, the short, thin, multicoloured feathers of chickens and other birds.
  2. the best of something, choice.
foam; teatea te kutakuta o te vai kava i te vave, the sea foam is white when there are big waves. ana vera te vai, he-kutakuta i ruga when water is boiling, foam appears on top.
apparently a synonym of kutakuta, at least in the meaning of foam produced by rinsing. (see hakakutokuto).
  1. louse.
  2. Kutu ivi heheu, remora, attached to the swordfish.
to call one's young (of hens).



(prep.) for (found in some cases instead of mo)
to know, to understand. ma'a tahaga, to know something through one's own knowledge, without having been taught by someone else.
  1. chick.
  2. maaga hâgai (or simply maaga) adoptive child.
  3. fishing bait (this is the general term; see moroki, maúnu o mamama. )
  1. steam, vapour, evaporation (but especially the steam that rises upon opening the earth oven).
  2. older brother, older brother's childen (those of a younger brother are called potu or hagupotu )
  1. stupid, demented, drunk; ma'ama'a-á te puoko o tou tagata era, that man is not right in the head
  2. light (of weight); huhuru ma'ama'a, light feathers
flat coastal area usable as landing stage.
rope, thick string. Pu maari, holes where ropes were kept at Rano Raraku.
stone, rock.
brightness, bright, to lighten, to brighten up; ku ma'eha-á, it has already lightened up.
pale (of face, from fright, illness, etc.); insufficiently cooked.
branch (of tree).
fishhook (made of stone or of bone, much more curved inward than the type of hook called rou).
part of the arm near the armpit, armpit.
  1. finger ( rima matu'a neanea, thumb; tuhi henua, index finger; roaroa tahaga, middle finger; tuhia háûa, ring finger; komaniri-komanara, little finger).
  2. a seaweed (shaped like small fingers).
gentle, mild; tagata magaro, mild-tempered person; vai magaro, fresh water.
bitter, sour, acid; ava mageo, strong liquor; (fig.) oone mageo, unhealthy land; ko te mageo, te tokerau, the cold winds of the winter season (arch.)
to feel an itch, to feel itchy.
spotted dogfish, samll shark.
tough, half raw, not well cooked.
niggardly, stingy, miserly.
baby (when able to stand by itself; the five stages of a baby's development are: kaukau, puepe. tahuri. totoro. mahaga).
  1. companion, colleague; mo hatu o mahaki, for our companions' success (or happiness) (arch.)
  2. a fish (of small size).
  1. tepid, lukewarm, warm; vai mahana, warm water.
  2. to stop raining; he-mahana te ûa, the rain has stopped.
to get used to something, to get on with someone, to follow a custom (good or bad); mahani-á au ki te ga me'e nei, I am used to living with these people.
to admire something, to be astonished, to watch something with delight, interest, or amazement. maharoga, object of admiration.
to cheat (of children playing).
transfer of a gift (when at a party someone is offered gifts and passes them on to others).
light sea breeze.
hangnail (skin).
family (in the widest meaning), vassals, group of friends.
a fish.
moon; mahina omotohi, full moon; mahina ohiro, new moon.
flat area.
a fish (small, silver-coloured).
to begin to heal (of an injury).
decent, proper, self-controlled, chaste; tagata mahú, ina ekó oho i tu'a i te vî'e he is a decent man who does not chase women.
small skin tumours, pimples.
a tree (Boussonetia papyrifera) formerly more abundant on the island, the fibres of which were used for clothing (see nua and hami).
  1. (prep.) from, since; mai aganirá pemu'a from now on.
  2. before, prior to (referring to a future event certain to occur); mai ta'e oho au ki-Hiva, prior to my leaving for the continent (note the use of the negative, lit. "before I do not go…").
  3. short for ka-avai-mai, mai te kahu, give me the dress.
  4. hither (movement towards the speaker); ka-ho-mai ( = ka-oho-mai). come here! welcome! hoki-mai-á e îa, he has come back; ina kai garo'a-mai, he cannot understand it; ka-to'o-mai, come and get it;
empty-handed (said jokingly to someone who comes back from a fishing trip empty-handed).
banana (Musa sapientum). Ancient varieties were called ri'o, hihi, korotea, pia, pukapuka, naho'o.
nail, hoof.
clean, neat, pure, pretty, nice, beautiful, handsome. tagata rima maitaki, clean-handed man, correct man.
Makemake (the main god and creator).
to beat (of pulse). he makenukenu te ûaûa (o te kakari rima), the pulse (of the wrist) beats.
an insect.
lymphatic ganglion.
to be covered in tiny things such as seeds or similar minuscule objects (of things).
a bird (dark, white-breaster, long-winged sea bird).
a tree (Thespesia populnea), the fruit of this tree, any tough inedible fruit, sandalwood fruit: mako'i nau opata.
to eat one's fill, to be satisfied.
physiognomy, physical appearance, face, visage. te makua o te poki era pehe makua o toona matu'a, that child resembles his father. ko te repa maitaki, te makua pe Tagaroa what a fine lad, he is the spit and image of Tagaroa.
grandson, granddaughter, grandchild.
  1. to chew.
  2. to mouth-feed (arch.) he-mama i te vai tôa koia ko te tiapito kiroto ki te haha o te poki, she mouth-feeds the child with sugarcane juice together with tiapito juice.
  3. a sea mollusc (with an eight-horned shell).
illness, pain, to be ill or in pain, afflicted. tagata mamae, the sick.
to argue, to quarrel, dispute, quarrel (see tatake ).
to make a mistake; ku-mamaiá-koe you are wrong.
gentle, meek (also mahú); ta'e he mamahu ko koe e-ta'e me'e tako'a ena i taau, how very gentle you are, you do not do to others as they do to you.
  1. bait (finely minced, it is deposited on top of the fishhook, wrapped in the line itself). hau mamama, fishing line in which the bait is tied.
  2. mamama niuhi shark.
  1. ill fame, bad reputation. kope mamara, suspicious youngster.
  2. way of living, habits.
  3. bad-tempered; e-û i koe, ko te korohua ena, korohua mamara; raá mo rivariva, raá mo riri. be careful with that old fellow, for he is bad-tempered; some days he is fine, some days he is cranky.
  4. sling stone.
egg, fish roe. mâmari ata rauhau, last small egg laid by a hen before she turns broody.
ewe, lamb (Tahitian term).
  1. spiritual force, magical creative power, attributed to divine beings, kings and some other persons.
  2. to turn up at an opportune time, to come unexpected, all of a sudden, as if by magic.
to come out on an impulse, or spontaneously (of things); he-manana-mai ki haho te vânaga, words slip out (which should not be said, or are secret); he manana te tagi, to burst into tears.
to exist or to manifest oneself without external intervention. Te Atua me'e manaraga, ina oona hakaaraga; me'e ta'e manaraga te hetu'u, te henua; me'e aga o te Atua. God exists of his own, He has no procreator; the stars and the earth do not exist by themselves, they are the work of God. Kahu manaraga, clothing out of nowhere (said when you find strange clothes in your house, stolen by someone without your knowledge).
abdomen, belly, (fig.) affection, sensitivity, feelings; manava more, grief; manava mate, infatuated, in love (with something); ku-ká-á te manava, flared up, infuriated, irate; he-kava te manava, offended, to turn sour, embittered (see also hatu (manava hatu ).
hollow where rainwater accumulates; anciently, small, round gardens, preferably situated in low shady spots, where the mahute tree was grown.
to think, to remember, thought, memory; ana noho au i Hiva, he topa-hakaou-mai te mana'u mo toou, when I am on the Continent, I will remember you; he-uru te mana'u rake rake, to be full of negative thoughts (v.g. despair); ku uru-á te mana'u rakerake, ina ekó mana'u hakaou i te me'e rivariva; e-ohonó, he-hakamate atu i a îa, he has become full negative thoughts, he no longer remembers the good things, he just goes and is killing himself.
cliff, dangerous pass, difficult climb.
biggish, largish (between itiiti and nuinui); kumara manege, a large sweet potato.
to feel acidity on one's teeth: maniga-á te niho.
  1. to become numb with cold, to grow cold; he-maniri te hakari, the corpse grows cold; ku-maniri-á te kai, the food has grown cold.
  2. to go to sleep (of a limb), to become numb; ku-maniri-á tooku va'e, my foot has gone to sleep, has become numb.
  3. to feel dizzy; ku-maniri-á te puoko, I feel dizzy (lit.: [my] head has become dizzy).
  1. bird; manu uru, bird figure (like the drawings or wooden figures once found in caves and houses); manu va'e e-há, four-legged bird (name given to the first sheep introduced to the island).
  2. insect. manupatia, wasp.
  3. bird's egg: mâmari manu.
  4. wild, untamed.
  5. song in which is expressed the desire to kill someone, or in which a crime is confessed: he-tapa i te manu (see tapa ).
to be terrified, to feel overwhelmed with terror.
a verb only used in ku-mao-á, fine, I agree; mao, let him be; mao, ina ekó hakatagi, let him be, don't make him cry.
to open up the earth oven and uncover the food once Sit is cooked (arch.) ina ekó maoa i te umu a Ama Anakio, you mustn't open Ama Anakio's oven, i.e. do not talk of past mistakes, don't dig up old quarrels.
name of the country of origin of Hotu Matu'a which he fled with his people following a cataclysm in a land called Hiva.
wise teacher; tagata maori rogorogo, person who can recite the signs of the tablets; maori hare, house builder; maori îka, healer expert in treating fight injuries.
to start rotting, going bad (e.g. a lobster, a fish). See also mamara.
mara, maramara
lump, bruise from a blow.
month, light. The ancient names of the month were: Tua haro, Tehetu'upú, Tarahao, Vaitu nui, Vaitu poru, He Maro, He Anakena, Hora iti, Hora nui, Tagaroa uri, Ko Ruti, Ko Koró.
name of an ancient tribe.
barren, sterile, fruitless; henua ma raría, barren, unproductive land; aga mararía, useless, unproductive work, to fail (of an attempt): he-aga i te aga, kai rivariva, he-mararía.
asthma; ku-mare-á au, I have a bout of asthma.
bald; marego paka, completely bald.
water melon; mareni papaa, melon (both are modern words).
to fall to pieces, to get spilled; ku marere-á te hare, the house has fallen to pieces (can also mean: it has been abandoned).
calm, fair weather at sea; marîa-á a haho a te tai, the sea is calm; marîa raparapa, sea as calm as a millpond.
  1. a white, clayey earth.
  2. a tree (Sapindus saponaria) of which very few specimens are left.
a sort of small banner or pennant of bird feathers tied to a stick.
  1. to stand up, to stand.
  2. fathom (measure). See kumi.
a tall, conica hat made of mahúte material and covered with small feathers.
to feel hungry, to be starving, hunger; he-topa te maruaki, to feel hungry.
a paralytic.
shady; ka-oho ki te kona marumaru, go in the shade.
  1. tribe, people; te mata tûai-era-á, the ancient tribes.
  2. eye; mata ite, eyewitness.
  3. mesh: mata kupega.
  4. raw, uncooked, unripe, green, matamata, half-cooked, half-ripe.
  1. extremity of the net where the weaving ends, left side or left corner of a house.
  2. wind. Matagi tarupa last strong, cold winds after winter, after which people started their plantations (arch.)
  1. oar.
  2. matakao uterus, womb.
one-eyed, cross-eyed; (fam.) scatterbrain, absent-minded person who cannot find things.
to open.
to ge afraid.
kahi matamata, a tuna fish.
Mars, a planet held to be of bad portent.
to wink, to signal with the eyelids.
name of a tattoo beneath the eyes.
bleariness of the eyes.
to bud (of trees and vegetables).
to come undone(of knots), to be free of obligations; ana mate te kenu, ku-matara-á taana ví'e. when the husband dies the wife is free.
Pleiades (group of stars in the constellation of Taurus).
tribal chieftain, chief, important person.
  1. right side.
  2. brave man or commander of a group of warriors.
tears; he-rei i te matavai, to shed tears; he-monomono te matavai, tears come in the eyes.
  1. to die; he-mamate te gagata, many people die.
  2. to faint, to lose consciousness; he-tutu ka mate ró to beat someone senseless (often used hyperbole).
  3. to feel an overwhelming desire, to be dying for; he mate ki te vai, to be dying for a drink of water.
  4. manava mate, see manava.
  5. to be overwhelmed with pain: mate-á i te mamae.
a creeping graminaceous (Cynodon dactylon).
a fish.
we, us (see grammar).
(exclam.) let's go!
  1. father (also matu'a tamâroa); matu'a hâgai, adoptive father or mother; matu'a ké, uncle, aunt, close relative.
  2. part of a net from which the weaving started: te matu'a o te kupega.
a fish, of a rosy colour.
  1. very, highly; ûka keukeu mau, very hard-working girl.
  2. to be plentiful; he-mau to te kaiga, the island abounds in food.
  3. properly.
  1. to carry, to transport; he-ma'u-mai, to bring; he-ma'u-atu, to remove, ma'u tako'a, to take away with oneself; te tagata hau-ha'a i raro, ina ekó ma'u-tako'a i te hauha'a o te kaiga nei ana mate; bienes terrenales cuando muere. --> a rich man in this world world cannot take his earthly belongings with him when he dies.
  2. to fasten, to hold something fast, to be firm; ku ma'u-á te veo, the nail holds fast.
  3. to contain, to hold back; kai ma'u te tagi i roto, he could not hold his tears back.
the two of us (oneself and a third person, second person excluded. See grammar) ka-noho koe he-oho máûa ki uta, you stay here, I am going up with him.
  1. last; aga mauga o te Ariki o Hotu Matu'a, King Hotu Matua's last work.
  2. hill, mountain.
left side.
pasture, grass.
ma'uma'u vânaga
to tell tales, to spread gossip.
part of a fish used directly as a bait, and which is stuck on the hook without having been ground.



  1. tonsil, gill (of fish).
  2. red (probably because it is the colour of gills); light red, rose; also meamea.
  3. to grow or to exist in abundance in a place or around a place: ku-mea-á te ma ka, bananas grow in abundance (in this place); ku-mea-á te ka, there is plenty of fish (in a stretch of the coast or the sea); ku-mea-á te tai, the tide is low and the sea completely calm (good for fishing); mau mea, abundance.
  1. something; thing; a being; me'e hanohano, disgusting thing; me'e gutu, a being with a beak; me'e kai magó koe? do you eat magó (dogfish)?
  2. this, that; the one that, etc.: te ga me'e era, those ones (over there); koai te me'e i-o'o-ai kiroto ki te hare? who is it who entered the house?
  3. to do something, to do in this manner: ina ekó me'e, don't do this, don't do like this.
to wither (of plants).
meme, mémeméme
to grow poorly (of plants), to be retarded in its growth; to fail (of a business, a contract, a piece of work).
(also meremere) to leave things in good order, matched or aligned: he-vevete-mai te kupega, he-hakaúru ki te vai memere. he removes the net (which was secured) and drops it into the water leaving it well spread out. ka-memere-mai te huruhuru moa mo te hei (mo te ha'u vaero, mo te maroke) leave me the hens' feathers arranged in proper order [by colour, by size] (for the hei garland, the vaero hat, and the maroke).
meneheke, menehune
these two words, almost completely unknown today, seem to have been used to shout at someone not to go somewhere or to take something, but to wait first: kokoe he menehe ke, kokoe he menehune , or just: meneheke. Menehue also seems to mean "to arrive late". The meaning of these archaic terms is far from clear, but they also seem to refer to socially inferior persons.


an eel, see also koreha puhi, haoko, tapatea.
  1. to swarm, to teem, to pullulate; mainly said of poultry: he-migoigoi te moa i mu'a i te hare, there are lots and lots of chickens in front of the house.
  2. Commonly used in conjunction with hiri and toka for emphasis: e tamahine a Kaka e, ka-hiri, ka-toka, ka-migoigoi! O, chickens of Kaka, (a man who had much poultry), grow and multiply in great numbers! ; he-hiri, he-toka, he-migoigoi te mana'u, to worry about or yearn for something or someone with burning desire; he-hiri, he-toka, he-migogioi tooku mana'u ki te matu'a, I think of my mother without respite; he-hiri, he-toka, he-migoigoi te mana'u ki te ka, I am dying for some fish (to eat).
  1. wrinkle, crease; wrinkled, creased: ariga migomigo, wrinkled face.
  2. damaged, spoilt, bad-tasting (of vegetables), e.g. kumara migomigo.
fortunate, happy, lucky; ekó mihaore koe , ana moe ki te kenu ga poki rikiriki, you will not be happy if you marry a man who is still like a small child.
urine; to urinate.
to move around something in circles; he-mimiro te henua , to feel dizzy as if the ground under you was moving in circles.
to blink.
to dodge back (to avoid being attacked); to withdraw quickly; also minimini.
mess of things.
a family of seaweeds, with eight members: miritonu meamea, miritonu karu viviri, miritonu karu tiare, miritonu parapara-raha uri, miritonu parapara-raha mea, miritonu harepepe meamea, miritonu harepepe uri-uri, miritonu reherehe. See also: aúke , karakama, kiroké, magamaga, pa'a, parai, takapú, verevere.
  1. wood, stick; also (probably improperly) used for "tree": miro tahiti, a tree from Tahiti (Melia azedarach); miro huru iti, shrub.
  2. wooden vessel (canoe, boat); today pahú (a Tahitian word) in more used, especially when speaking of modern boats.
  3. name of the tribe, of royal blood, descended from Ariki Hotu Matu'a.
model boat made of earth in which the "boat festivals" used to be celebrated.
salt; to be soaked up (a liquid); to dry (a puddle of water): he-miti te puna.
to click one's tongue in sign of disagreement or of annoyance ("tsk, tsk").


for (prep.): mo te aha, what for? (also: mo he); moira, because of this; mo aha-mai-á, ana oho au, what use is it to me, if I go?
poultry (general term); moa to'a, rooster; moa taga, chicken, moa rikiriki, chick; moa tarapiko, old rooster (with much twisted spurs - tara ); moa gao verapaka, chicken with bald neck; moa va'e verevere, with feathers on its legs; moa pipipipi with multicoloured spots; moa garahurahu, colour of dark ashes; moa tea, white; moa totara, frizzy; moa tu'a ivi raá, with bright yellow back.
  1. name of an ákuáku.
  2. archaic term, may have meant "to protect, to save" but it is completely unknown today.
statue, figurine, likeness of a person or of an animal; moai ma'ea, stone statue; moai miro, wooden statue, moai toromiro, toromiro figurine (the toromiro is a tree now extinct).
  1. a shellfish, vulgarly called "pico" (beak, spout), found sticking to the rocks of the coast.
  2. to look after, to care for (a sick person): e-moamoa koe i te tagata mamae, look after this sick man well.
the clouds that rise on the horizon, especially in the evenings, and look a bit like moai.
blue; name of a rock in the sea, opposite Tahai: motu haúre moana; a tribe of the island was called: Hau Moana.
  1. to go to bed.
  2. to dream: he-moe i te pó.
  3. to wed, to cohabit with (ki).
  4. familiar expression: ka-moe-ata. leave it, don't pay attention to it.
  5. expression used upon seeing an object which brings the memory of someone: ka-moe-mai (here lies): ka-moe-mai te niho kai hônu o Hotu Matu'a…
to stay in expectation of discovering something, of seeing something, whether a promise is fulfilled, etc.
to dream, to see in a dream ( - moe i tepó).
mat formerly used as a bed.
to live promiscuously, to sleep around.
smooth, hairless: kiri mohimohi - kiri magó, smooth hairless skin, like that of the dogfish (without scales).
mo ko, mo ko ko
to get dark; (also mokirokiro); ekó hini ana-mo ko ko-ró it will be dark soon (there already being thick clouds).
to get dark.
  1. lizard; moko manu uru, figurine of a lizard (made of wood).
  2. to throw oneself on something, to take quickly, to snatch; to flee into the depths (of fish); tagata moko, interloper, intruder, someone who seizes something quickly and swiflty, or cleverly intrudes somewhere; ka-moko ki te kai, ka-moko, ka-aaru, quickly grab some food, grab and catch.
  3. to throw oneself upon someone, to attack:: he-moko, he-reirei, to attack and kick.
  4. moko roa: to make a long line (of plantation); moko poto, to make a short line.
  5. see: ihu moko.
name of an ancient tribe of the island.
  1. (reduplicative of moko) to flock onto something: ku-momoko-á te manu ki te ka, the birds threw themselves on the fish (on the surface of the sea).
  2. pointed; (seems to mean, in general, anything with a slim or pointed shape, like the shape of a lizard - moko), e.g. hanau momoko, slim people, slim race.
- more, to hack, to cut off; archaic expression: momore he-gava'e he-kakava - to split a hen in half before cooking it for two persons, so that one gets the lower half with the legs, the other the upper half with the breast.
term used, according to old Eva Hey, for kete, bag, purse, small basket (made of vegetable fibres). It may have its origin in the term momotu. for islet, basket or purse needed to carry food when one went to Motu nui or some other motu.
moth-eaten, worm-eaten, of plants or clothing such as nua, often eaten by hiu (a moth endemic on the island).
a fish, called "pez-vaca" (cowfish).
to offer or to ask for something in exchange for something else, to barter, to exchange: he-mono-atu au ki a koe i te uha, I offer you a hen (in exchange for something else).
in the meaning of taking revenge, expresses the idea of killing someone in retaliation for someone else having been assassinated: Heto'o-maia Kaiga i a Makita, he-ta'o mo mono o tau poki era aana ko Maaga. Kainga caught Makita and cooked him in revenge of his son Maanga (whom he had killed because of Makita).
to cut, to tear; cut or wound inflicted by sharp instrument like obsidian; manava more, sadness (lit: torn soul). Tu'a ivi more, lumbago.
slice, piece, bit, cutting.
  1. a fish (of tasty flesh).
  2. modern term for grease, candle, lamp, light.
  1. chrysalis, pupa.
  2. any small fish used as bait on the fishhook, when fishing in the open sea; hau moroki, strong line used for fishing in deep waters with moroki bait.
  3. to make an excellent job of something; ahu moroki; ahu made of well-dressed stones, smooth and fitted together (like that of Vinapú); ka-moroki toou hare , build you house well! (today moroti, is also used instead of moroki).
bastard, illegitimate child.
to sprinkle, to mottle, to marble something, e.g. a nua cape, sprinkling it with the juice of the púa plant.
a fish.
to become cloudy, overcast: raá motiho, cloudy day; motiho-á te raá , the sky is overcast, dark (see mo ko).
  1. to cut; to snap off: motu-á te hau, the fishing line snapped off; to engrave, to inscribe letters or pictures in stone or in wood, like the motu mo rogorogo, inscriptions for recitation in lines called kohau.
  2. islet; some names of islets: Motu Motiro Hiva, Sala y Gómez; and around the island: Motu Nui, Motu Iti, Motu Kaokao, Motu Tapu, Motu Marotiri, Motu Kau, Motu Tavake, Motu Tautara, Motu Ko Hepa Ko Maihori, Motu Hava.
  1. distributor, the host who has the honour of distributing food or other gifts at a feast.
  2. the person who directs and allocates the various tasks in a communal enterprise (like a foreman): motuha kupega, the man who manages the handling of the nets in a fishing expedition.
motu rau uri
southeast wind.
motu takarua
west wind.
  1. to keep quiet, to be silent.
  2. to die: ku-mou-á te tagata era, that man has died.
mouga, moúga
last: vânaga moúga o te Ariki O Hotu Matu'a, the last words of King Hotu Matu'a.
to take to pieces, to undo, to pull down (a house, a building), to destroy.


front, before; used with prepositions a, i, o, ki, mai; i mu'a i.., in front of…, etc.
mu a
to turn up (of swarms of flies); to swarm over a body (of flies).
joint father-in-law or mother-in-law.
  1. to present the Ariki in Anakena with the first fruits.
  2. upper part of a sugarcane used as a signal, stuck on top of a pipi horeko (stone mound); also any small stick on top of a stone mound, as a signal.
taciturn, silent; mute.
short (see potopoto; teketeke).
to bury; to deposit a corpse in the niche of an ahu or in a grave.
muti, mutimuti
  1. to wither for lack of moisture; to be destroyed (of plantations) by robbery or drought.
  2. to gnaw and suck: he-mutimuti te ivi o te moa, to gnaw and suck at the bones of a chicken.



here; ná ku-tomo-á te miro, the boat has arrived here.
to hide, to guard secretly: e-na'a te me'e rakerake, ina ekó hakatikera, ki te mata o te ga poki, hide evil, don't show it to children.
to squat, without resting the buttocks on the heels: ka-noho naganaga-mai koe, ina he pepe, sit on the ground, there is no seat.
  1. to gnaw (of rats).
  2. to give a stabbing pain (of a tumour or an abscess about to burst).
comfortable, convenient: ku-nahonaho-á te nohoga o tou hare era, this house is comfortable; nahonaho-á te kona era mo tunu i te kai, that is a convenient place for cooking.
  1. also: gorigori, o'i o'i small, a tiny little bit; to give someone a small share of something; ka-na'ina'i-atu, give him a little bit.
  2. the thread or the angling line with which the bait is tied to the hook; ka-to'o te na'ina'i, ka-here te maúnu mo te îka, take a thread and tie the bait for the fish.
ancient expression; some people remember that the oldsters used to say he nakinaki in the sense of: don't hurry, wait for me.
  1. marrow.
  2. fat; nako-á te tagata era, that man is fat.
ancient word, nowadays unknown. It was probably used in the meaming of forgiving or erasing a misdeed; some native remember having heard very old people say in a tone of prayer: nakunaku tooku rakerake, and nakunaku tooku Atua, which seems to have meant: "forgive my misdeeds," and "forgive, oh my God."
to chew; he-namunamu rivariva i te kai, to chew one's food thoroughly.
  1. to chop something with the teeth, to bite off: tagata nanagi pito, the man in charge of cutting the newborn's umbilical cord with his teeth.
  2. to mark a chicken as one's property by biting one of its toes. See also reke.
to be frightened to death; to frighten; he-nanahua-mai koe, you frightened me.
spider (open-field spider, not a house spider or a spider found in nooks).
the straight line followed when making a mat of plaited totora reeds.
  1. intruder, suspicious person; ku-tu'u-mai-á te nanai-á i agapó, an intruder came in here last night.
  2. to eavesdrop; e-ûi koe, he-nanai-á te me'e era, look out, that fellow is listening.
to break (of waves). Hoa Hakanana'ia Master Wave-Breaker, name of a moai from Orongo, now in the British Museum in London.
to take out (nanao-mai); to take something out of a bag, a net, a basket, e.g. fish; to put something somewhere, e.g. fish into a boat: he-nanao ki te vaka.
tattoo. tagata hakari nana'o, man with tattoos.
a fish (plentiful on the coast all around the island); nanue para, a yellow variety of this fish.
to give a name to a person or to a thing: he-nape te igoa.
shiny; shine, brilliance.
mask anciently used in some feasts. I te nohoga tûai era-á e-uru-ró te tagata o te kaiga nei i te narinari mo te ate atua, in ancient times the men of this island put on masks for the ate atua festival.
nau, naunau
sandalwood which used to grow on the steep slopes of the coast: nau opata.
  1. chin-strap; he-nave hai hau i te ha'u, to secure one's hat with a thong (in way of a chin-strap).
  2. to communicate something secretly to another person; to agree with one another before making a statement, in order not to contradict one another.


shrivelled, jump-backed, deformed. Figuratively: ina e-tahi neganega mo toe. there isn't anybody (anything) left; ina e-tahi neganega mo toe, ka-oho-tahi, tagata iti, tagata nui, vî'e iti, vî'e nui, poki iti, poki nui, no-one must stay behind, everybody must go, men, women, and children.
  1. to increase in number; he-nego te mahigo, the family has grown.
  2. to be much: nego-á, it's a lot.
  3. to suffice, to be enough; ku-nego-á taaku, e-toe taau, this is enough for me, the rest is for you.
abundance, plenty: ai te negonego o te kai, there is plenty of food; tagata negonego means "rich man who lives surrounded by plenty", as well as "man of great learning" (maori negonego).
pleasant smell, fragance.
fern. (As an adjective, nehenehe pretty, is a Tahitian word).
to be dazzled; he-nehunehu te mata i te raá, dazzled by the sun.
this, here; oira ka-tomo mai Hotu Matu'a ki te kaiga nei, he tagata o nei, before Hotu Matu'a came to this island, there were people here.
ne'i, nene'i
  1. to defecate.
  2. to lay (eggs): he-nene'i i te mâmari.
frequentative of nene'i.
to move out, to withdraw; he-neke eve, to move back, to retreat; ka-neke-atu koe, move out over there.
to limp.
to roam, to wander; tagata nemonemo, restless person, someone who keep moving house constantly.
nemunemu te kaúha
"(his) buttocks are restless". Said of people worried by a bad conscience, who fear that their misdeeds may become public. [Perhaps a misprint for nemonemo].
  1. sweet; kai nene, good food.
  2. to shake, to tremble, to shiver; e-nene-á te rima o te tagata korohua. the old man's hands are shaking.
to pinch someone.
sleepy (used with eyes, mata, as subject): nenera-á te mata.
children of both sexes who in ancient times lived isolated in two caves of Poike gully. Ana More Mata Puku was the boys' cave, Ana o Keke the girls' cave.


to mew (of cat).
to feel like eating something.
nihi, nihinihi, ninihi
arch, vault, arch-like, bow-shaped thing; te nihi o te ragi, celestial vault; the word is more often than not reduplicated: nihinihi, except when referring to a specific place; ka-iri ki te kona nihinihi era, go up that hillock (lit.: arch-shaped place); tua ivi nihinihi, hump; also used to describe the continual undulating movements of waves: ku-ninihi-á te vave; for persons bent over their work, one uses ninihi when referring to several, but nihinihi when referring to one; ku-ninihi-á te tagata e-aga-á, e-oka era, with their shoulders bent, these people work, making plantations; ai nihinihi era te vî'e i ruga i te umu, here is a woman bent over the oven; ku-ninihi-á te tagata era i ruga i te umu mo maoa mo to'o-mai i te kai, those men bend over the oven to open it and take out the food.
tooth; niho tara, eye tooth, canine.
also: nokinoki, to wind, to meander.
to be disgusted, put off by (food); ku-nina'a-á au i te kai ena, that food puts me off.
to spin rapidly, for instance a top around its axle.
to suffer from diarrhea.
to keep a fire going by throwing firewood onto it; he-ni'o ahi, to put something on the fire to roast it; he-ni'o au, to smoke; mo taki o te kiko oru, moíra ana-ni'o au, to preserve pork, they smoke it.
virgin girl.
coiled, tangled; nironiro kokoma, guts, intestines.
palm tree, coconut tree; hua niu, coconut.
niuhi tapaka'i
hammerhead shark (symbol of fierceness).
madman, idiot;


just, only, merely, still; ka-oho-nô, just go! e-tahi nó i-ora-ai, only one survived; e-haúru-nó-á, he is still sleeping; e-aga nó, he just works (i.e. he always works).
no matter, never mind that…, although, even though; noatu te hoa-mai o te ûa, e-oho-nó tatou, even though it is raining, we'll still going.
  1. to sit, to stay, to remain, to live (somewhere), to wait; ka-noho, you stay! (i.e. "good-bye", said by the person leaving).
  2. figuratively: he noho te eve, to be calm, at peace; he noho te mana'u, to concentrate on something, to fix one's attention on; ku-noho á te mana'u o te tagata ki ruga ki te aga, the man thinks constantly of his work.
stay, sojourn; lifetime; times, ages, epoch: i te nohoga tûai era-á, in ancient times.
a fish (small, pink); poki rima nohu, nickname of those who catch only small fish like the nohu, and are incapable of catching big fish.
to lean.
to wind, to meander, e.g. of a path.
to shine suddenly, like a flash of lightning.
  1. any fish thrown onto the beach by the waves; lobster come out of the sea to die on the beach; any fish which jumps out of the water into a boat (except flying fish). They are seen as bad omens and are not eaten.
  2. exclamation: ko te nono! how awful, how horrible!
to ask, to request.
to wind, to meander in wider undulations than nokinoki above.
very shiny, sparkling.
to weep: he-nónonóno te matavai.


  1. mother; this seems a more ancient word than matu'a poreko.
  2. blanket, clothing, cape formerly made from fibres of the mahute tree.
  1. old woman.
  2. Ko te Nuahine ká umu a ragi kotekote , ancient name of "the woman in the moon" inspired by the resemblance of its landscape with the likeness of a woman sitting, lighting the fire of her oven.
nui, nuinui
big, long, important, numerous; great size, greatness.
nukura mean
northwest wind.


  1. prepositon marking the genitive.
  2. preposition expressing the cause, the reason: because of (also i): e-tahataha-á te vaka o te tokerau. the boat rocks from side to side because of the wind.
  3. lest, in order not to… e-ûi koe o higa, be careful not to fall.
  4. sometimes used as conditional: if, whether; ina kai agiagi au o tu'u-mai te Matu'a, I don't know if the Padre has arrived.
  5. article sometimes used preceding proper names; ó Hotu Matu'a, ó Santiago.
  6. to answer saying "oh"; ana ragi te tagata ki te rua tagata, "hé koe?", he-ó-mai, he-kî: "ó, î au", when a man calls another, asking "where are you?" [the other] answers saying "oh, I am here."
to celebrate a festival: he-o i te gogoro.
  1. interjection abbreviated from oaha to'u veveveve - why your hurry, wait a bit; oaha, anirá, wait a bit, I'll do it (what you request).
  2. Oaha hía - why could it be that … (not) .. : oaha hia i a koe - o te aha koe i-ta'e haga-ai, why could it be that you don't want (to do something, or to accept an invitation); oaha hía te miro i-ta'e oho-mai-ai? why could it be that the boat has not arrived?
to lean out; to go have a look: ka-oho, ka-oga te miro o te Ariki ó Hotu Matu'a. go and see (if) the boat of King Hotu Matu'a (has arrived).
since when? how long? agahé te maîka nei? since when, how long have this bananas been here?
food shortage; he ta'u o te oge, famine year; kaiga oge nuinui, land of great food shortage.
stench of rotting corpse.
stalk of some plants.
iron; modern word used for any metal and also for iron axes and coins.
waterspout (more exactly pú ohirohiro), a column of water which rises spinning on itself.
stone enclosure.
  1. to go: ka-oho! go! go away! (i.e. "goodbye" said by the person staying behind); ka-oho-mai (very often contracted to: koho-mai), welcome! (lit.: come here); ku-oho-á te tagata, the man has gone;
  2. also rauoho, hair.
travel, direction of a journey; ohoga-mai, return.
  1. to cry, to bawl: e-ohu-á te poki i uta, there is a baby bawling up here.
  2. circle; circular, round; hakaohu, to form a circle, to sit in a circle.
selfish, stingy, niggardly: tagata ohumualso: tagata gu.
to move away, to withdraw (usually with atu): ka-oi-atu, move out ot the way; oi-mai, to approach, to draw near.
to stir something; iterative; ôiôi.
to pull out plants which have grown too close together in order to leave more space between them: to thin out.
adverb: because of that.
oira … ká-, before (preceding past actions, not future): oira au ka-tu'u-mai, before I came here; oira ka-tomo mai Hotu Matu'a ki te kaiga nei, he tagata o nei, before Hotu Matu'a came to this island, there were people here.
  1. lever, pole; to dig holes in the ground with a sharpened stick, as was done in ancient times to plant vegetables; used generally in the meaning of making plantations.
  2. the four sideways poles supporting a hare paega.
to jab, to pierce, to prick repeatedly.
to buzz, to ring (ears); buzzing; e-okioki-á te naonao, the mosquitoes are buzzing; ku-okioki-á te me'e i roto i tooku tariga, something is buzzing in my ear, my ear is ringing.
oko, okooko
to take all, leaving nothing behind; te ga ipoki ku-okooko-á i te hoga'a mámari, the children took the nest with the eggs.
to grow well and be about to ripen; ku-oko-á te maîka, te kumara the bananas and the sweet potatoes have grown well and are just about ready.
to suck.
bulky cloud, cumulus: ragi omoaga.
to suck repeatedly, to suckle.
to win everything at a game (lit: to suck whole): omotahi-mai-á e au, he has cleaned me out.
full (of the moon); ku-omotohiá te mahina,the moon is full.
(reduplication of oone which see below) dirty, covered in soil, in mud.
to enter; he-o'o kiroto ki te hare, to enter a house.
to crow (of rooster).
to perforate, to stab, to prick: ku-ooka-á te îka hai patía. the fish is transpierced by the harpoon.
possessive pronoun: mine (see also aaku).
possessive pronoun: his, hers, its. (see also aana).
ground, soil; mud; dirty, to get dirty.
  1. to be cooked, cooking; ku-ootu-á te kai, the food is cooked; ina kai ootu rivariva te umu, (the food in) the oven is not well cooked.
  2. to cook something (also haka-ootu).
possessive pronoun: yours. (see also aau).
steep; precipice, cliff; steep coastal slope.
to curl (of the sea): tai opeope.
to flee, to run away.
to eat greedily, smacking one's lip; ópoópo i te mâmari, to gobble down an egg.
  1. alive; healthy; to recover, to be saved (from an illness or a danger): ku-ora-á, ina kai mate, he recovered, he did not die; ku-ora-á te haoa, the wound has healed; e-ora-no-á, he is still alive; ora-hakaou mai, to come back to life; ora ké, what a pleasant breeze! (lit: how healthy!)
  2. stick for spinning top (made from the shell of a sandalwood nut) with which children make the top spin.
life (in the meaning of existence, or as the present or future state of the soul); salvation, rescue from death; resurrection: te oraga-hakaou-mai.
  1. to flit in the air (of a bird), turning and flying up and down.
  2. to file, to scratch, to scrub, to grind, to sharpen; ka-oro te kumara, grind the sweet potatoes; ka-oro te hoe, sharpen the knife.
to rub, to polish, to shine.
dawn, morning; daytime from dawn to dusk; ka-otea-ró (work all night) until dawn.
to come to and end; to suffice, to be enough: ku-oti-á, it is finished; ina kai oti mo kai, there is not enough to eat; he-oti á, there isn't anymore left, it's the last one; it's enough with that.
according to old Eva Hey (who died in 1946) this was a greeting (today unknown). It seems to be the same as that which, according to Karl Friedrich Behrens (1722), a native directed at Roggeveen's ships, the first native to board the ensign ship and who, upon going back, "raised both hands and with his eyes turned to the island, shouted: 'Odorroga, Odorroga'"
according to ancient beliefs, the home of the spirits called ákuáku: i Hiva, i Ovakevake. Some natives remember that old people told them that when the first missionaries arrived several ákuáku took their leave, saying that they were returning to Hiva, to Ovakevake. Another place where ákuáku supposedly lived before coming here was, according to the ancient belief, Maru a Pó, in Tahiti.



  1. to surround; enclosed field; private property; i agapó ku-rere-mai-á te kori kiroto ki tooku pa, last night a thief entered my property.
  2. sometimes found instead of pe: pahé = pehé.
  1. sterile, barren (of people); vî'e paa, sterile woman.
  2. a seaweed (fleshy leaves, round shape)
  3. pork crackling (so called because of its resemblance with paa seaweed above).
sweat, perspiration; hana ké, ku-topa-á te paahia, how hot, I'm drenched in sweat! (lit.: sweat runs).
to save, to put aside, to reserve; mostly used of food: kai paake , in a distribution, food reserved for some priviledged persons; e-kai-paake koe. keep some food aside (for me). The word paake is also used in conjunction with ai (to copulate) or hua-ai (procreation): ai paake is said of married persons with illegitimate children (-poki ai paake) besides their legitimate ones.
  1. to end, to come to an end; ku-pae-á taaku kai, I have no more food; pae-atu, to leave en masse; ku-pae-atu-á tagata ki Hangaroa tai. everybody has left for Hangaroa Bay.
  2. to start, to break out (of wars, fights: taûa); ku-pae-á te taûa, the fight, the war, has started.
  3. dressed, edged stones anciently used to enclose a permanent umu; paepae wall of undressed stones built as protection against the wind; also any other protection.
of a boat, to deviate, to drift, to stray under the effects of currents or winds; ku-pa'e-á te vaka i te tokerau, the wind has made the boat deviate from its course.
  1. dressed stones forming the foundations of the ancient houses or of the walls of the monumental ahus; hare paega, house with stone foundations; paega-ahu, ahu wall.
  2. household, people who live in a hare paega.
  3. to lay stones on the bottom and against the sides of a hole: he-paega i te rua.
poor; needy persons, without protection, such as orphans (poki matu'a kore).
  1. heavy; kai pagaha'a, heavy food, hard to digest.
  2. name of the design that used to be tattooed on the cheeks.
person unlucky at fishing: tagata pahaká.
lower part of gourd; pahera ipu kaha, shell of gourd (pakahera).
piece, bit, chunk: pahoa kahi. a chunk of tuna.
to answer rebelliously (upon receiving an order), to contradict.
pahu uma
coffin; in modern usage, any sort of jar.
to dig a hole.
to peel off (of skin), injury or bruise.
side, party, faction; part or portion of somehing.
to be torn: ku-paihi-á te kahu o te poki, the child's dress is torn.
human likeness, large doll (made in ancient times).
  1. dry; to become dry (of things); pakapaka, to dry out. Te paka is also the name of the moss-covered areas, between the small lakes of volcano Rano Kau, through which one can pass without getting one's feet wet..
  2. to go, to depart; he-paka-mai, to come; he-oho, he-paka, they go away.
  3. to become calm (of the sea): ku-paka-á te tai.
skull, shell, cranium; pakahera puoko tagata, human skull; pakahera pikea, shell of crab or crayfish.
  1. to crash into, to collide with, to explode; explosion.
  2. to flow, to run (of a liquid): he-pakakina te ranu, her waters broke.
  3. to lash (one's face, of the wind).
to cluck (of hen when laying eggs)..
mean, stingy ( also kaikino).
to explode repeatedly (see pakakina).
  1. clink, noise of stones colliding, any similar sound; to tinkle, to chink.
  2. kind, kindly, good-natured; tagata pakeke ki te iramuta, persons well-disposed towards towards their fellow human beings.
name of a particular stone moai, which had signs carved on its back (three rona and two ua). It is no longer on the island. Some authors wrongly claimed that this was a generic word for statues or the name of a certain type of statues, as, nowadays, the term pakeopá is commonly used of statuettes of stone or of wood with carved decorations on their backs.
seal (zool.). Haga pakía, a small cove near Hangaroa.
  1. area at the sides of the entrance to a house.
  2. to take (food) from a feast, or out of the oven, to someone else's house: he-pakipaki i te kai.
  1. in war times, person who comes for help or for protection to avoid getting killed; to seek asylum, refuge; refugee.
  2. pauper who comes to someone else's house, hoping to be invited to eat.
  3. persona who lives in extreme poverty, pauper, destitute; also said of famished animals in poor condition.
verb which seems to have been used only in negative connotation, referring to selfish people who refuse to help, or to cooperate: ekó paki'u-atu au ki a koe. I will not help you, or: I won't give you anything.
lower part, deep place: i raro i te pakoga, below.
  1. to become dislocated (of bone).
  2. to break loose, to become undone (of something that was linked, connected); to release, to let go of, also used figuratively: ka-pako'o-mai i te kî out with it, say frankly what you wanted to tell me.
  3. to lose (money gambling): ana pako'o te ohio e-tahi kope, ku-geo-á, ina ekó mihaore, when one loses money and is cleaned out, he has no luck at all.
to move things about when searching for something: he-aha te me'e aau e-pakú-mai ena? what are you looking for here?
to thrash about, like a chicken or a lobster just caught.
to come down in a straigth line, like the rays of the sun; this word occurs in the text of a kaikai; "hiro ragi pakupaku" , which seems to mean: "sun rays coming straight down"; to be stiff like a corpse (pâpaku).
  1. war club.
  2. man armed with a war club; the guardians of the tribe holding the term of office (ao).
  3. to splint a broken limb.
back of the knee.
a fish. Paohu poreko so is called a person who is wont to slip away from home or work, being slippery like the paohu fish.
  1. underground rock; motionless; rocky sea bottom; large flat stone; figuratively: tagata papa important man, author of great works.
  2. wooden plank currently used much like a surf-board in the sport called garu ; it was formerly called papa gaatu mo te garu, because it was made dry totora leaves woven into the shape of a plank.
  3. to line up things side by side on a flat surface, for instance, to line up fish on top of a flat stone.
to crack: i te raá he-pá-pá te gaatu, the totora (which has dried) has cracked in the sun; to weaken, to become frail: pá-pá-á te turi , his knees are weak (of old people).
shield: te papae mo puru te hakari o horea-mai hai matá, the shield is for protecting the body, to prevent being wounded by obsidian [weapons].
order (in which things or persons are arranged); substantive form of the verb papa.
to feel sleepy, to have a feeling of heaviness, to start dozing (reduplication of pagaha'a).
to tie the leaves of a plant and cover them with soil: he-papaki i te kumara, i te uhi.
he papaki i te vânaga, to blame someone falsely, and by exaggerations (literally: to heap words like soil when covering a plant); to make up parts of a tale, to add some details out of other tales.
a marine mollusc (Physalia).
name of the north wind which usually blows very strongly.
lap: ku-noho-á te poki i ruga i te papakona o toona matu'a, the child is sitting on its mother's lap.
  1. corpse.
  2. emaciated, very thin.
tai pápaku, lowest tide.
the small door of the ancient hare paega; it was made of totora reeds in the shape of a curtain, and was opened by rolling it up; it was left hanging down to close the entrance: he-viri te papare .
sugarcane plantation.
  1. spleen.
  2. ripe; to ripen: maîka para, ripe bananas; para rautí said of ripe bananas the peel of which has stay green.
  3. to start rotting (of wood and other materials): ku-para-á te miro, the wood has rotted.
  4. a moss found in abundance in the watery bottom of Rano Kau, which has very long roots laden with water. Fishermen used to take quantities of them, wrapped in banana leaves, to alleviate their thirst.
a seaweed which grows on the rocks of the coast.
plane, flat surface; ko te pararaha o te rima, palm of the hand; ko te pararaha o te va'e, sole of the feet.
  1. language error or mistake, lapsus: —O te aha e-kata-mai ena koe ki a au? —O te parare o to'ou vânaga. —Why are you laughing at me? —Because of the mistakes you make when speaking.
  2. a wooden figurine representing a human head with arms.
(see also re'ere'e) half raw, badly cooked.
food prepared in the earth oven (umu parehaoga) for a feast or for people whose help is needed for some work or for organizing a feast.
piece, bit; to fall, break into pieces.
dirty, to have a dirty face and eyes, someone who gets up without washing.
sea bottom.
rough (of the sea); waves of a rough sea.
to leak (out of a container); to bleed from a wound: he parigi te toto.
very small, dark fish found in the small pools of water between the rocks of the coast; he-paroparoko, to appear in great numbers.
  1. to crush: he-paru i te kumara, he-hoa ki te vai, to crush sweet potatoes and throw them in water to cook them.
  2. to cover with paint or powder: he-paru te ariga, to powder one's face with coloured earth (ki'ea) .
  3. to recommend, to praise someone: ku-paru-a au i a koe ki te tagata hônui, I recommended you to the authorities (lit.: the important people).
to untie, to undo.
to recite the verses of a poem, of a song, like the text of a kaikai; recitation.
to prune; to castrate: he-patehe i te hua.
thunder: he-hetu te patiri, thunder is striking.
  1. to remove, to take off (a garment): he patu i te kahu.
  2. to leave (a place) behind (when moving on): He-oho e rua tagata, he-turu ki Akahaga; he-tu'u ki a Hei Para, he-patu-mai, he-tu'u ki a Pe'i, he-patu-mai Pe'i. . Two men went down to Akahanga; they arrived at Hei Para and left it behind; having arrives at Pe'i they left it behind.
  3. to round up people in a place; to dismiss people from a place: ka-patu-atu i te mahigo hakaneku-atu, dismiss these people from here so the withdraw over there. (N.B. there is no entry for hakaneku; perhaps a misprint for hakaneke).
  4. to push with the feet: he patu hai va'e.
small fish, a little bigger than the paroko. They abound in the small pools of the coast and are used as bait for eel-fishing.
  1. to run out (food, water): ekó pau te kai, te vai, is said when there is an abundance of food or water, and there is no fear of running out. Puna pau, a small natural well near the quarry where the "hats" (pukao) were made; it was so called because only a little water could be drawn from it every day and it ran dry very soon.
  2. va'e pau, clubfoot.
  1. curved; also pau in the expression va'e pau, clubfoot.
  2. to feel satiated, to have eaten one's fill; ekó ana-pava-mai, is said of someone who shows himself offended, angry, and withdraws resentfully.
tranquillity, peace, quiet; peaceful, serene; ku-pava-á te kuhane, the soul is in peace; te pava mo korua ka-noho nei, peace be with you; kona pava, peaceful place.


  1. (also: pa) like, as, similar to; he-mana'u Makemake mo aga i te tagata mo tu'u pe îa, Makemake thought about creating man in his own image (lit.: similar to him); requires the use of the article he when not followed by a pronoun: pehe me'e ena, for instance, suppose for instance that…; pehe me'e ena, he-moe ki te tagata e-tahi, suppose for instance that you get married. Pehé? how? Pehé koe? how are you? Pehé rá? how is that, how can it be? Pehé-peira, likewise, in the same manner; penei, pená, peira, thus; pemu'a, henceforth, in future;
  2. towards, in the direction of: pe Vaihú, towards Vaihu.
pea, peapea
to go away with bits of food or mud sticking to one's face or garments.
to feel exhausted, worn out, ill-treated.
thick (of garments); to wrap oneself up in thick clothing; kahu pegopego, thick clothing.
to leave the coast, out at sea: ku-pehivá, it is already way from the coast.
interjection: if only, would to God, I wish that…: pehivá-á koe ana-oho-ró ki Tahiti, if only you could go to Tahiti!
grooves, still visible on the steep slopes of some hills, anciently used as toboggans. People used to slide down them seated on banana-tree barks. This pastime, very popular, was called pei-âmo.
a fish.
  1. to bite (of fish or lobster pecking at fishhook).
  2. to repeat an action: he-peke te rua; ina ekó peke-hakaou te rua don't you do it a second time; ina ekó peke hakaou-mai te rua ara, don't come back here again.
to arrange the firewood for the fire to catch when preparing to cook in the earth oven.
pene, peneharatua
pepa, peparere
  1. to be chilled to the bone; he-pepeke i te takeo; to catch a cold.
  2. to grow stunted (of plants), to wither because of cold weather: he-pepeke te kumara i te toga, [the leaves of] the sweet potato wither in winter.
  3. person unworthy of trust, for being a liar and a petty thief: he-pepeke, me'e reoreo; he-pepeke me'e ra'ura'u.
cemetary, taboo precinct.
in singing festivals such as the êi, the line formed by the male singers, behind the seated women.


  1. a plant, resembling pua, but with white tubers (pua is yellow).
  2. a banana, also formerly called maîka pia.
thousand; ka-piere, ka-piere, thousands and thousands (meaning: many, lots and lots).
chicken tail feathers; the longer ones are called vaero, the shorter pige'i.
small cave, rat hole: pigoa kio'e.
time period (10 years according to some informants); to expire, to end (of a period of time); ku-pihi-á te ta'u, the year has ended.
crab; some varieties are tutu au, tura moa, vitiviti, paki-maroa.
  1. to climb a steep slope.
  2. to contaminate, to infect, to pass on (a disease); e-ûi koe o piki-mai. be careful not to get infected.
frizzy, curly; puoko pikipiki (more correctly: rauoho pikipiki), curly, frizzy hair.
  1. to twist (vi); twisted, bent. haga piko, bend formed by part of the coast.
  2. to hide (vi); hidden; kahi piko, tuna fish meant as a gift for someone, and which is kept hidden away from others. See na'a to hide (vt).
  3. slip knot (used with fishing lines).
hiding place (possibly a misprint for pikoga).
traitor; person who hands over (poko'o) to the enemy someone who has gone in hiding (piko), taking asylum in his house or in his cave.
nook, corner of a house, of a cave, etc.
pinipini, pipini
to become crumpled, wrinkled (of garments).
sweet juice of banana flowers.
  1. bud, sprout; to bud, to sprout; ku-pipi-á te tumu miro tahiti, the trunk of the miro tahiti has sprouted.
  2. a small shellfish, common on the coast.
cairn, milestone.
mix of dark and white spots; moa pípipípi, chicken with multicoloured spots.
pipi vare
a slug.
  1. to join (vi, vt); to meet someone on the road; piriga, meeting, gathering.
  2. to choke: he-piri te gao.
  3. ka-piri, ka piri, exclamation: "So many!" Ka-piri, kapiri te pipi, so many shellfish! Also used to welcome visitors: ka-piri, ka-piri!
  4. ai-ka-piri ta'a me'e ma'a, expression used to someone from whom one hopes to receive some news, like saying "let's hear what news you bring."
  5. kai piri, kai piri, exclamation expressing: "such a thing had never happened to me before". Kai piri, kai piri, ia anirá i-piri-mai-ai te me'e rakerake, such a bad thing had never happened to me before!
a slug found on the coast, blackish, which secretes a sticky liquid.
a tattoo made on the back of the hand.
  1. stench, smell of putrefaction.
  2. pus; to suppurate: he-piro te harakea, the boil is suppurating.
weak (of knees): ku-pitipiti-á te turi o te korohua.
  1. umbilical cord; navel; centre of something: te pito o te henua, centre of the world. Ana poreko te poki, ina ekó rivariva mo uru ki roto ki te hare o here'u i te poki; e-nanagi te pito o te poki, ai ka-rivariva mo uru ki roto ki te hare, when a child is born one must not enter the house immediately, for fear of injuring the child (that is, by breaking the taboo on a house where birth takes place); only after the umbilical cord has been severed can one enter the house.
  2. also something used for doing one's buttons up (buttonhole?).


  1. night; to get dark, to fall (of night): he-po, it is getting dark. Formerly used, with or without raá, in the meaning of a whole day: po tahi, one day; katahi te kauatu marima po, fifteen days; po tahi raá, first day of the week; po rua raá, po toru raá, second, third day, etc.
  2. alone or aspo nui , used to express the idea of good luck, happiness. He-avai-atu au to'ou po, I wish you good luck (when taking leave of someone). Very common was this parting formula: aná po noho ki a koe! good luck to you!
morning; i te po-á, in the morning; i te po-era-á, very early in the morning.
  1. to touch (hai rima, hai va'e, with the hands, with the feet).
  2. to tie a boat.
quickly, rapidly, swiftly: he-iri po-ará, go up quick; he-ta'o itau umu era po-ará, he cooked it quickly.
formerly used of sleep-walkers (haha a po).
flat-bottomed boat; poepoe hiku reoreo, boat with flat (snub-nosed) poop and prow.
nose (also: ihu).
noise, racket, hubbub; to make a noise, a racket. ina koe ekó pogeha-mai, don't break my ears; tariga pogeha, deaf person (also tariga po).
the four feathers which chickens and other birds have in the extremity of the forearm of their wings (pinions?).
  1. dark; dark night; figuratively: forgotten; ka-hakarere te me'e nei a te kona pohahá. forget this, do not mention it again (lit: abandon this in a forgotten place).
  2. te pohahá o te mata, shortsightedness, myopia.
to shout, to challenge, to threaten; ka-pohi ki te ga poki, ina ekó pogeha, tell the children not to make a noise.
  1. dirty, filthy: pohutu-á te kahu o te poki rava kori i te oone, the clothes of a child who always plays on the ground are dirty.
  2. larva of dragonfly, also called pohutu tere vai magaro (because it swims in freshwater). Certain small stone figurines were also called pohutu.
prow of boat.
son, daughter; in wider sense: nephew, niece, child in general. Poki atariki, eldest child, first-born; poki hagupotu, youngest child; poki hâgai, adopted child.
place of squalor, of extreme poverty, of darkness.
  1. fragrant; to smell, to give off a smell: he-poko te eo, it gives off a pleasant smell.
  2. to hunt, to catch with a trap, to snare. He-kî e Tori: maaku-á e-ea ki te manu, e-poko i te po i ruga i te opata. Tori said: I shall go and catch birds at night, up on the cliff.
  3. thunder (also hatutiri).
poko, pokopoko
hollow, hole, depression, any deep, concave object; to leave in a hole, in a depression.
chasm; summit.
female rat: kio'e pokohata.
to hand over (in war times) a refugee to the enemy (also pako'o).
woman bent under the weight of her years: vî'e pokopoko.
to tie fishing nets in a circle (called tutu kupega).
to raise chickens; vî'e po'oi. woman dedicated to chicken-raising.
a fish (according to some: Trachurus symmetricus).
snack eaten at night (sometimes during the day) outside normal eating hours.
  1. to put something into something else, for instance, stones in a boat before going fishing.
  2. to enter, to go in; he-popo-mai kiroto ki te hare, he enters the house.
  3. bundle, bag made of leaves; to make a bundle, a parcel, to leave something in a bundle, a parcel.
ball; to make small balls: kete pôpó ki'ea, small basket with balls of coloured earth.
to dawn; he-popohaga, dawn breaks (one does not say: i te popohaga, but: i te po-á).
a plant (Solanum forsteri); poporo haha, a sort of golden thistle.
  1. buoy made of totora reeds formerly used to swim to Motu nui.
  2. large basket for keeping things: he-to'o i te pora kai kiroto ki te ana, he took a basket of food to the cave.
to be born; to give birth;
birth, parturition.
  1. to rub out, to erase; to become erased, to be rubbed out; poremo-á te ki'ea i te úa, the ki'ea powder has been rubbed out by the rain.
  2. to be hungry; poremo-á te tagata hai kai mo kai, the man feels hungry for food.
liar, cheat; to trick, to deceive.
poro, poroporo
to chip (vt), to nick, to notch; chips, nicks, dents, splits, gaps, breaks; hoe poro, broken knife, with nicks; poroporo, blunt; poroporo hata, nicks or notches on the edge of something.
to slip; slippery.
special gift. According to ancient custom, a gift of very special meaning made by grandchildren to their grandparents, by nephews and nieces to their aunts and uncles, by sons and daughters-in-law to their parents-in-law, sometimes when they are still living, sometimes on the day of their death, in which case the gift is deposited on the corpse. This gift is always accompanied by the express declaration that it is meant as a "porou," and not a mere gift, and is a sign of gratitude, of union between giver and recipient, and a token of perpetual memory. Those who receive a "porou" do not keep it for themselves, but give it to close relatives, parents, spouses, sibling; a woman gives it to her husband or his close relatives, a man to his wife or her close relatives.
to get erased, rubbed out, to run off, said of the coloured earth (ki'ea) anciently used to powder or paint oneself: ku-potahi-á te ki'ea i te rima (i te ûa, i te paahia). the ki'ea was rubbed off by hand (ran off in the rain, in perspiration).
poto, potopoto
short; ara poto, shortcut; he-poto te hagu, short breath, to have difficulty breathing.
small stick (toothpick?); extremity or remainder of something.
  1. post, vertical stake of wood or stone, coastal landmark, for instance a high rock used for orientation (in front; one by the side is called tapa atua).
  2. Te pou, Sirius (in the constellation of Canis Major).
  3. chickens' middle toe.
chickens' short, multicoloured feathers.
anciently, a hat made of totora reeds.
see pohahá.


  1. to come forward to greet someone met on the road; to walk in front, to go in front: ka-pú a mu'a, let them go first.
  2. pú a mu'a, to intervene, to come to someone's rescue; he-pú-mai a mu'a, he-moaha, he came to my rescue and saved my life.
  3. ancient expression: ai ka-pú, ai ka-pú, tell us frankly what you think.
  4. hole, opening, orifice; well; circumference, rotundity; swirling water; pú-haga, vaginal orifice; pú-henua (also just henua), placenta. He pú henua nó te me'e aau, he-oti-á; ina-á me'e ma'u o te rima i-topa-ai koe, a placenta was all you had, it is a past thing now; you held nothing in your hands when you were born (stern words said to children to make them realize that they must not be demanding, since they were born naked and without possessions).
  5. to dig out (tubers): he-pú i te uhi, to dig out yams.
  1. a zingiberacea (plant of which few specimens are left on the island).
  2. flower: pua ti, ti flower pua taro, taro flower pua maúku pasture flower; pua nakonako, a plant which grows on steep slopes and produce red, edible berries.
  3. pua tariga (or perhaps pu'a tariga), anciently, hoops put in earlobes.
  4. the nanue fish when young and tender.
  1. (modern form of pu'o), to cover up something or oneself, to put on; ka-pu'a te ha'u, put on your hat; ka-pu'a-mai te nua, cover me up with a blanket.
  2. to respond to the song of the first group of singers; to sing the antistrophe; he-pu'a te tai.
  3. to help; ka-pu'a toou rima ki a Timo ite aga, help Timothy with the work.
  4. pu'a-hare, to help a relative in war or in any need; ka-oho, ka-pu'a-hare korua, ko ga kope, go, give you relative a hand, lads.
  5. to speak out in someone's favour; e pu'a-mai toou re'o kia au, speak in my favour, intercede for me.
summit, top, upper part; te puapua o te maúga, the top of the mountain; te puapua kupega, the upper part of a fishing net.
to hit, to beat.
cow, bull, bovine (modern word).
said of a newborn baby when, a few weeks old, it begins to distinguish people and objects: ku-puepue-á te poki.
a coral.
puga, pugapuga
grown, mature but not yet ripe; fat, full, chubby; ariga pugapuga. full, chubby face; maîka puga, fully developed banana, but not yet ripe (ku-oko-á te maîka); ragi pugapuga, bulky clouds, cumulus.
covered in dust; dust in the air.
  1. to rise (of the sea, flooding the land).
  2. to grow fat (of animals).
  1. to blow; to light a fire; to extinguish, to blow out; he-puhi te umu, to light the fire for the earth oven.
  2. to fish for lobsters at night using a bait (but during the day one calls it ); puhiga, night fishing spot.
(also kopuhia), to fly about, like ashes in the wind.
puhiga Orogo
southeast wind which blows from Orongo.
bun, topknot, the hair itself done in a bun.
  1. to earth or bank up: puke i te oone; he puke i te uhi , to earth up the yams.
  2. to pile up, heap up stones or other objects
  3. anciently an artificial hillock for children to race around: te puke mimiro.
  1. to rise up (of a smell).
  2. to escape (of a fugitive); he-pukou, he-tere, he escapes, he runs away.
  1. to feel an urge to defecate or to urinate, etc.: ku-puku-á te mimi: to need to urinate.
  2. rock, boulder: puku ma'ea; puku oone, hillock, earth mound;
  3. puku tagata, pubis.
to get stuck in the oesophagus (of food).
joints, bones of a joint; pukupuku rima, wrist bones; pukupuku va'e, ankle.
followers, disciples, students.
water hole, well (natural or artificial).
  1. running knot, slipknot.
  2. to escape, to slip out of (said of a chicken out of the the coop, of a prisoner out of his prison).
  3. to break out (of boils): he-puneki te harakea.
  4. to form, to break out (of bruises from blows) he-puneki te uri o te hakari (body bruises), te uri o te mata (black eye).
full to the brim.
puni, punipuni
to become blunt; toki puni, blunt axe.
of hens, to peck at the eggs to help the chicks break free; manu punua, newly hatched bird.
(also pu'a); pu'o nua, one who covers himself with a nua (blanket), that is to say, a human being.
  1. head; tagata puoko hiohio, hard-headed, opinionated person.
  2. skull (also: pakahera puoko).
  1. nest.
  2. to be chilled to the marrow: he-pupa i te takeo.
line from which hangs the kupega ature, a round or oval fishing net.
the part of the sugarcane or of the ti plant which is cut off and planted again: pupura tôa, pupura ti.
pupura rautoa
saltwater millipede.
freckle; freckles (also: guregure).
to turn white; glow, brilliance; he-pura te mata, the eyes twinkle (said of someone who looks at something with great interest).
pura pura
descendent; koau he purapura o Miru, I am a descendent of the Miru tribe.
cowrie (Cypraea caput draconis); pure vaka , another type of cowrie, which can float on the sea like a diminutive boat (vaka).
to touch one's penis with intention to masturbate.
rock, stone (small enough to be thrown by hand).
a plant (verbenacea).
to lock up (a person or an animal); to protect oneself with a shield: he-puru hai papae; to protect one's eyes with a sort of goggles: puru mata (when diving for fish).
  1. to blister (of the skin, from burns) ku-putití-á te kiri i te ahi.
  2. wind, flatulence; he-putiti te eve , to fart.
putu, putuputu
of plants, to grow thickly, very close together, with hardly any space in between.



  1. there. Is used with prepositions: i rá, mai ra, ki rá.
  2. particle expressing doubt: koia rá who could that be?
sun; day; i te raá nei. today; raá îka, good day for fishing.
very rough and rugged. Ko te Ra'ara'a name of part of the coast near Hanga Piko where it is difficult to walk through because of the many sharp rocks in the water.
medicine, remedy, drug.
scratch on the skin.
first (always follows the noun): te tagata ra'e, the first man; (the other ordinal numerals, second, third, etc., precede the noun. Translator's note: ra'e is likely the noun which means forehead, face, in other Polynesian language, e.g. Tahitian rae).
  1. to run together, forming small lakes (of rainwater) ku-raga-á te vai.
  2. fugitive (in times of war or persecution); to take refuge elsewhere; to move house; homeless; poki poreko raga, child born while its parents were fugitives.
  3. said of fish swarming on the surface of the sea: he-raga te îka, ku-mea-á te moté, te nanue para…, you can see many fish, fish are swarming, mote, nanue para, etc….
  1. to float on the surface of the sea: miro ragaraga i ruga i te vai kava, driftwood floating on the sea.
  2. to move ceaselessly (of people), to pace back and forth ( te eve o te tagata); to be restless: e-ragaraga-nó-á te eve o te tagata, the man is nervious, worried, he paces back and forth
  3. e-ragaraga-nó-á te mana'u is said of inconstant, fickle people, who cannot concentrate on one thing: e-ragaraga-nó-á te mana'u o te ga poki; ta'e pahé tagata hônui, ku-noho-á te mana'u ki ruga ki te aga, children are fickle; they are not like serious adults who concentrate their work.
  1. sky, heaven, firmament; ragi moana, blue sky.
  2. cloud
    • ragipuga, cumulus;
    • ragitea, white, light clouds;
    • ragi poporo, nimbus;
    • ragi hoe ka'i cirrus (literally: like sharp knives);
    • ragi viri, overcast sky;
    • ragi kerekere, nimbus stratus;
    • ragi kirikiri miro, clouds of various colours.
  3. to call, to shout, to exclaim.
  1. stretcher.
  2. of two people, to lock arms together in order to carry a child or a sick person seated.
  3. to put poles at a certain height, so they can be used for holding things like garments or sweet potatoes to dry in the sun.
  1. dandruff.
  2. to bend over, to bow.
a fish, flat and roundish like a sole.
to come just at the right time, unexpectedly. This word is little known today; it seems to be synonymous with the verb mana. Me'e nei he-hakarere au mo te matu'a, mo hakama'u. He-tu'u-mai te matu'a, he kî au; Ka-riva koe, i-rahau-mai-ena koe. I put this aside for the Padre, to send it to him later. And then here comes the Padre and I say to him: "Good! you are just in time."
much, many: tagata rahi, many people; me'e rahi te ma'ea, there are many stones. This expression, me'e rahi , in often used in the meaning of "a great number or quantity".
leftovers from a meal, a feast: he-ma'u mai au te rahuga mo tooku matu'a, I'm taking the leftovers for my mother. (These are always small quantities).
term equivalent to tapu , but very likely borrowed from Tahitian: to declare a place, or an object as taboo or sacred (rahui pera = tapu pera); to reserve a place or an object for the Ariki , making it forbidden to other people.
thin, slim.
a fish, with white, tasty flesh.
smooth, level, polished, without asperities, without roughness; ka raka te aga, let it be a perfect piece of work, with a smooth shape and surface.
a plant.
goods, property.
rake, rakerake
  1. bad, ugly, unjust; to turn nasty (of a situation); ku rakerake-á a haho a te tai, the sea has turned rough.
  2. to be abudant: ku rakerake-á te îka, there are lots of fish.
  1. to adorn, to embellish, to dress, to tidy up; to season (food); e-râkei rivariva toou kahu, ana uru, tidy up your clothes well when you enter (someone else's house).
  2. to exercise diligence in getting, in obtaining: e-râkei koe e-tahi kiri va'e mooku, do get me a pair of shoes.
  1. to make prayers, supplications for something: tagata rako ûa, those who, in ancient times, made supplications to Hiro (a divine being), asking for rain.
  2. to curse, to make curses to cause someone's death.
  3. group of experts, of master craftsmen involved in a work.
particle used with the negation ta'e, in the meaning of rascal, rogue, scoundrel: ta'e raku.
to scratch, to scrape off: e rakuraku-á te uha, the hen is scratching the ground.
Rakutia Maikuku Meamea
name of an ákuáku.
bunch of dry leaves used as a torch when lit (probably a Tahitian word).
sharp, pointed piece of obsidian used as a weapon.
volcano; crater and lake of a volcano; i-agataiahi i-hopu-ai i te rano, yesterday I bathed in the lake of the volcano.
amniotic fluid, waters; he-pakakina te ranu, the waters break.
verb expressing rapid movement of the feet or of the hands; he-rao-mai te va'e, va'e ruga, va'e raro, he came running (literally: the feet move swiftly hither, feet up, feet down); he-rao te rima mo to'o mai, to snatch (lit.: the hands move swiftly to take hither).
footstep, step; e-tahi raohaga, e rua raohaga…, one step, two steps….
to take too much, to grab avidly; kope raorao, unruly youngster who helps himself to anything he sees, or who comes to feasts uninvited.
  1. to shine; shiny, polished; he-rapa te moai miro, the wooden figurine is shiny, polished.
  2. emblem, badge of timo îka (person entrusted with putting a death spell on an assassin).
a fish.
name of a spirit (akuaku), anciently considered as benevolent.
to dazzle; dazzled: he-raparapa te mata. Marîa raparapa, calm, smooth shiny sea.
a large shrimp the size of a lobster.
coloured clay: oone rapo.
  1. to weed a pasture; to prune bananas, sweet potatoes, etc., cutting off their superfluous leaves.
  2. to signal to someone with the hand; he-rapu ki te tagata mo oho mai, to signal to someone to come over. Tagata rapu rima o te vaka (o te miro), signaller of a boat. Ko Tuki te igoa o te rapu rima o te miro o Hotu Matu'a, Tuki was the name of the signaller of Hotu Matu'a's fleet.
to give continual hand signals; to fan oneself; to swing, to flutter (of clothes in the wind): he-rapurapu te kahu i te tokerau.
  1. side; rara mata'u, rara maûi , right side, left side.
  2. to scorch, to singe.
  3. to warm (clothing) near a fire so as to dry it: he-rara i te nua ki ruga ki te ahi mo hakapakapaka.
  4. to treat a wound: he rara ite haoa.
  5. Timo rara koreha, man in charge of drying a corpse (literally: eel) before burying it in the niche of an ahu.
  6. to investigate; he rara i te toke, to investigate a theft.
  7. of a judge, to deliver a sentence in a litigation, to make an arrangement between litigants: he rara, he hakarivariva i te taûa.
  1. scorched part of something.
  2. iterative of raga, to float.
  3. to weave mats or baskets (using totora reeds or fibres of other plants).
  4. to report a crime; raraga i te toke, to report a theft.
  1. to scratch the ground, to score the ground (like hens do looking for food for their chicks); to dig for yams, sweet potatoes: he-raraku i te uhi, i te kumara.
  2. to score, to scratch; to carve a moai: he-raraku i te moai. The name of Rano Raraku (according to some: Rano a raruku) might possibly mean "Sculptor's Volcano", or "Raraku's Volcano" (Raraku would then be the name of a sculptor).
to check, to examine, to inspect; e-rarama a au tooku hare, I am checking my house.
shining, sparkling; to shine, to sparkle.
lobster's tail.
muddy (of ground): rarerare-á te oone.
wet, to get wet.
bottom, bottom end, lower part; when used as a locative adverb, it is preceded by a preposition: a raro, down (lit.: along down); ki raro. downwards; mai raro, upwards (lit.: from down); o raro, lower (lit.: of down). When used with a noun the same preposition is repeated: ki ea-mai mai raro mai te rano, when coming up from the bottom of the crater.
  1. (also: raupá) leaf of a plant, stem and leaves.
  2. hundred: e tahi te rau, e rua te rau, etc., 100, 200… Also seems to have been used in the meaning of "many". Tu'u henua rau, someone who has travelled to many countries (such were called in the 19th century natives who had travelled abroad, employed as sailors). Compare with: tai raurau-á riki.
  1. to take something without the owner's permission; to seize something forcibly.
  2. ra'u maahu, ancient expression, literally: to appropriate the steam (maahu) of the food just taken out of an earth oven. It refers to intruders coming to help themselves uninvited. Warriors off to a battle used to be told: E ra'u maahu no koe, o pagaha'a! meaning: "Eat little, lest you be heavy (and lose your agility)."
sickly. See also: ga rauhiva.
hair: rauoho puoko.
leaf; raupá tôa, sugarcane leaves.
to steal things of little value; to pilfer.
barren (of soil): kaiga rautú, barren land, barren place.
  1. enough, sufficient; ku-rava-á, that's enough, it is sufficient.
  2. to be satiated, to be satisfied; ku rava-á te tagata i te kai, the man has eaten his fill.
  3. used very commonly before verbs to express someone much inclined towards this action: tagata rava taûa, quarrelsome person; rava kai, glutton; rava haúru, sleepy-head; rava kî, chatterbox; rava tagi, cry-baby; rava keukeu, hard-working; vara is often used insteaf of rava.
  1. to take, to get, to obtain, to pillage; ina kai rava'a, I didn't get anything.
  2. to pass, to go by (of time); ina ekó rava'a te ta'u ana-mate-ró, a year won't pass befor he dies; he rava'a e rua marama, two months went by.
  3. to pass, to happen; ekó rava'a (te me'e rake rake), let nothing bad happen to you (an expression of good wishes to someone).


not properly cooked, half-cooked; i-re'e-nó te uhi, the yams are only half-cooked.
blue with cold; re'ere'e-á te gutu, te ariga o te poki, the child's face and lips are blue with cold.
ancient word, apparently meaning "pretty, beautiful." It seems to have been used also to mean "girl" judging from the nicknames given young women: rega hopu-hopu. girl fond of bathing; rega maruaki, hungry girl; rega úraúra, crimson-faced girl.
smooth, hairless; ma'ea regorego, smooth stone.
to fade away, to lose strength, to weaken; used of illnesses, winds, waves, etc.; viento, de las olas, etc.: ku-rehe-á te mamae, the illness is weakening, i.e. he is getting better; ku-rehe-á te tokerau, te vave, the wind, the waves have calmed down.
weak; slim; flexible, fickle; ku-reherehe-á te hakari, the body is weak.
  1. to forget; ku-rehu-á koe i a au, kai hakarere i toou o te hagu mo au, you forgot me, you didn't leave anything for me to eat.
  2. to be left behind, forgotten; ku-rehu á taaku hoe i Anakena, I left my knife in Anakena.
  3. to lose consciousness for a short while; also: rerehu.
  1. to tread, to trample on: rei kiraro ki te va'e.
  2. (used figuratively) away with you! ka-rei kiraro koe, e mageo ê, go away, you disgusting man.
  3. to shed tears: he rei i te mata vai.
  4. crescent-shaped breast ornament, necklace; reimiro, wooden, crescent-shaped breast ornament; rei matapuku, necklace made of coral or of mother-of-pearl; rei pipipipi, necklace made of shells; rei pureva, necklace made of stones.
  5. clavicle.
pleasant. nice, pretty; used in exclamations: a-reka ké, ka-reka, how nice! also meant ironically.
  1. heel, heel-bone.
  2. the fowls' toe pointing backwards; fowl owners used to mark their birds' toes with their teeth. Since the words moa and uha were also used for "son" and "daughter" the expression reke managi was also used to designate a girl betrothed to someone else's son. Just like a man put his mark on a bird (reke nanagi) he kept custody of the girl entrusted him as future daughter-in-law, he took her home, and looked after her until the wedding: he-oho te atua hiko rega, he-nanagi i te reke o te poki o te tahi tagata, the matchmaker who asks for a girl's hand goes and "marks" the child for the other man.
  3. heel of matá (obsidian), the part which was tied to a shaft or was inserted into the extremity of a shaft to be used as a spear: he reke te kona o te matá mo haha'u ki te kohou.
tickles, ticklish.
  1. the softer, juicier part of the sugarcane; puku rekoreko is the juicy part between two knots (puku).
  2. straight, directly, as used in the expression ka-oho rekoreko-nó koe, go straight home (without a detour, without taking anything on the way).
see rakuraku.
to tremble, to vibrate, referring to the air when heated by the sun, but used with the sun as subject: e-remereme-á te raá.
a large fish, with tasty flesh.
re'o, reo
  1. voice; re'o maeha, clear voice; tagata re'o tavake, person with a good, clear voice; tagata re'o ú-ú, person who speaks like a baby, mispronouncing the words; re'o pohahá, hoarse, low voice.
  2. tune, melody; the different voices of a melody: re'o a ruga, soprano; re'o vaega, contralto, re'o vaega o raro, baritone, re'o a raro, bass.
  3. hakahaere te reo, to stretch, to vary, to modulate certain parts in a song.
  4. hakahoki te re'o, to talk to someone again, to reconcile oneself with someone.
to speak a lot, without cause or reason; to lie; to slander; calumny, slander; ina ekó vânaga reoreo, do not tell lies; ku-reoreo-mai-á i a matou o te kahu, he slandered us about the clothes (as if we had stolen them).
youngster; also used instead of repahoa.
  1. to hang down, to dangle; gutu reperepe, drooping lips. I te nohoga tûai era-á he reperepe te epe roaroa o te hanau eepe ka topa-ró ki te kapuhivi, in ancient times the earlobes of the hanau eepe hung down to their shoulders.
  2. marine mollusc, probably a cuttlefish.
  3. labia majora.
  1. a creeper,
  2. coitus, copulation.
to jump; to run; to fly.
cock's comb.
to carry a child astride on one's shoulder: ku rere-taúra-á i te poki e te matu'a ki te gao, the mother carries her child astride her neck.
  1. to write, to draw; rerorero i te igoa, to sign.
  2. to rape.
bright red, flaming red (herohero); ku retoreto-á te haoa, the wound is flaming red.
tattoo made on the forehead.
to hang down; flag, banner.
  1. to be hanging vertically; to detach oneself from the background of the landscape, such a person standing on top of a hill: ku-revareva-á te tagata i ruga i te maúga.
  2. to cast itself, to project itself (of shadows); revareva-á te kohu o te miro i te maeha o te mahina, the shadow of the tree casts itself in the light of the moon.
  3. uvula.


small piece, small share; rîa matá, small piece of obsidian.
rîa moúga
youngest child.
rigariga pea
sea sponge.
riki, rikiriki
to grow in abundance; he-riku te rokia, the grass grows thickly.
  1. hand, also, but improperly, fingers, forearm; te ko mu'a o te rima, palm of the hand; te ko tu'a o te rima, back of the hand; rima hakaturu, generous, liberal, munificent; tagata rima pu'a, helper; rima hakakau, generous hands, open-handed person; rima matu'a neanea, thumb.
  2. fifth; e-rima, ka-rima, five.
some seaweeds; koúra rimu, or just rimu, insects abounding in those seaweeds.
a variety of banana.
well made, carefully made; kai ripoi tau aga, your work is not well done.
  1. angry, to get angry.
  2. figuratively, to show determination in one's work, to be thorough in work; e-riri koe ana aga, ana keukeu, be thorough when working, when farming.
green banana leaves; rito mata, light green.
light (of colour), whitish, white.
song which may be good and decent (rîu rivariva), or bad and indecent (rîu rakerake); the term rîu is often used for serious, sad songs: rîu tagi mo te matu'a ana mate, sad song for the death of a father.
riva, rivariva
  1. good (in general);
  2. to be well, healthy: e-rivariva koe, keep well;
  3. to treat someone well; to put something in order: aana-á peaha e-rivariva nei, perhaps that's him himself who keeps it in good order like this.
  4. kindness: te rivariva o te Atua mo tatou, God's kindness for us.
  5. usefulness, advantage, good; mo ai te rivariva? ta'e mooku, moona-á for whose good is it? not mine, but his.
  6. possible; ana rivariva, if possible; ekó rivariva, impossible.
  7. ironically: ku-rivariva-ana ó? is that good? (of course not).
good thing, good luck; ana ta'e hakarogo-mai korua ki taaku kî, ina ekó rava'a te rivarivaga e korua, if you do not listen to my words you will not have good luck.
good, benefit; to turn out well (a song, a piece of work, etc.).


long: haga roa, long bay, wide beach; ara roa râkei, wide, neat path.
long, tall, far, distant: tagata roaroa, tall man; kaiga roaroa, distant land.
roaroa tahaga
middle finger.
errand, order, message, notice; tagata rogo, messenger.
to recite, to declaim, to read out while singing; tagata rogorogo, men who could read the text of the kohau rogorogo, the tablets bearing signs to be recited.
tired; this word is much used instead of ga'ega'e; kaiga rohirohi, land where one has worked hard, getting much tired.
to dribble; ka ro'iro'i i te koreha, dribble on the eel, that is, let fall your spittle, mixed with chewed bait, to attract the eel. to let fall drops of juice onto something, for instance, the juice of the plant called pua, onto the garment called nua to dye it.
grass, pasture, weeds; this seems to be an older word than maúku, used nowadays; ku-riku-hakaou mai-á te rokia, the weeds have grown again.
  1. to hide something; ka-romi te me'e nei, hide this. to cover with soil, to earth up, to heap up with soil, for instance, sweet potatoes: he-romi te kumara. to cover the body with clothing: he-romi te kahu.
  2. used bye women in an ancient expression referring to one's poverty: ekó romi-á te puhaga, I cannot cover up my nakedness. A man would say: ekó hami-á, I have not even got a loincloth.
figure made of wood, or stone, or painted, representing a bird, a birdman, a lizard, etc.
to look after, to care for; mo te matu'a e-ro'ou i taana ga poki, it is for the father (mother) to care for his (her) children.
to turn around; he-rori te ariga ki te hanau momoko o tu'a, faces turned around towards the hanau momoko behind.
brain; tagata roro piro, idiot, literally: man of rotten brain.
fat, grease; to coat something with grease to varnish it.
elongated; ariga roroa, elongated face.
a variety of turtle.
  1. inside.
  2. lagoon (off the coast, in the sea).
  3. to press the juice out of a plant; taheta roto pua. stone vessel used for pressing the juice out of the pua plant, this vessel is also just called roto.
roto o niu
east wind.
to throng, to flock, to crowd, used of people gathering in great numbers for a feast, for mourning, for working, etc. he-rotu, he-tatagi, the mourners are flocking together; he-rotu i te umu, they are crowding around the earth oven; he-rotu, he aga, they come to work in throngs.
to clap hand, to applaud.
fishhook, distinct from the magai for being more open.


  1. two; second; other (precedes the noun); te rua paiga, the other side.
  2. hole, grave; holes in the rocks or between the rocks of the coastal lagoons; he keri i te rua, to dig a hole.
  3. to vomit.
old woman, crone; ruau hina tea, white-haired old woman.
upper part, higher part; when used as a locative adverb, it is preceded by a preposition: i ruga, above, on; ki ruga, upwards, mai ruga, from above. When used with a noun the same preposition is repeated: he-ea te vî'e Vakai, he-iri ki ruga ki te Ahu ruga, the woman Vakai went, she climbed Ahu Runga.
ruga nui
high, elevated, lofty: kona ruga nui, high place, elevated position, high office; mana'u ruga nui, elevated thoughts.
  1. a large, tasty, dark-coloured fish.
  2. west-southwest wind.
ruku, rukuruku
to dive; to fish underwater; diving; i-turu-era au ki tai, he-ûi koai te tagata era, e-ruku-mai-era i te îka, i te ura, as I went down to the sea, I saw who those people were, who were fishing underwater for fish and lobsters.
soft, loose (of soil): he-rumaruma te oone.
to take, to grab with the hand; to receive, to welcome someone in one's home. Ko Timoteo Pakarati ku-runu-rivariva-á ki a au i toona hare, Timoteo Pakarati received me well in his house.
iterative of runu: to take continuously, to collect.
abundant (of the produce of the ground); he-ruperupe te kumara, the sweet potatoes are growing in abundance; to produce an abundance of: ku-ruperupe-ana te kaiga i te kai, the land produced an abundance of staples. Also figuratively, of someone's descendence: ku-ruperupe-á te hua-ai o te tagata era, this man's descendence multiplied.
a sea bird, black feathers, white wings.
to shake, to jolt; to spray (water).
any sharp, pointed instrument used for prising snails or shellfish off the rocks; of women, to harvest seafood with such instruments.
  1. to read, to recite, to pronounce words solemnly; he-rutu i te kohau motu, to read the rongorongo tablets; hare rutu rogorogo mo hakama'a ki te ga poki ite kai, i te rogorogo, rongorongo school, house in which children were taught reading and writing the rongorongo signs.
  2. to pelt with stones.
  3. to gather in great numbers (of people).



  1. to tattoo ( = tatú), to tattoo pictures on the skin, also: he-tá ite kona, tá-kona.
  2. to weave (a net): he-tá i te kupega.
  3. to shake something, moving it violently up and down and from one side to the other; he-tá e te tokerau i te maga miro, the wind shakes the branches of the trees; also in the iterative form: e-tá-tá-ana e te tokerau i te tôa, the wind continuously shakes the leaves of the sugarcane.
  4. to pull something up suddently, for instance, an eel just caught, dropping it at once on a stone and killing it: he-tá i te koreha.
my, mine. See the grammar for how to use this possessive pronoun and the difference with tooku.
this, precisely this; apparently, it used to be a very common demonstrative in ancient times; he reoreo taau, this is not sure, it is a lie; o te aha koe i-ta'e-too-tako'a mai i taau? why haven't you taken this too for me?
  1. negation used in conditional and temporal clauses: ana ta'e hoa te ûa, ina he vai, when it does not rain, there is no water. Also used with some verbal forms such as: o te aha koe i-ta'e-oho mai-ai? why didn't you come? Otherwise its use is limited to adjectives or verbal adjectives: tagata ta'e hupehupe, person who is not weak, hard worker; nohoga ta'e oti, endless existence, eternity.
  2. Interjection expressing admiration, always used with he: ta'e he tagata! what a man! Ta'e he aga! what a great job! Ta'e he tagata koe mo keukeu i te henua! what a good farmer you are!
to lace, to trim, to tie with bows [Spanish is lacear, perhaps a misprint for lacerar "to lacerate"].
adolescent, youngster; moa taga, young chicken.
  1. to annoy someone with demands; ina koe ekó tagapoki-mai i a au, don't bother me with your demands.
  2. apprentice: ta'e au he tagapoki aau, I am not your apprentice (meaning: mind your own business).
man; human being in general; the plural is gagata.
to be loose; niho tagataga, loose tooth. Ku-tagataga-á te manava, to feel hungry (familiar).
to cry, to weep, to moan; tatagi, to cry much; to cry loudly: he-tagi te karaga; tagata rava, tagi karaga, bawling, vociferous person.
to lean; to go down (of the sun in the evening).
adverb: without any particular reason, just like that.
  1. side, edge; shore: taha-taha tai.
  2. to move from side to side (of a boat), to swing.
fish sperm.
name of the concave stones used as water tanks in many of the ancient hare paega houses.
other; te tahi tagata someone else; te tahi hoki… and others again…; te tahi… te tahi…, some… others; te tahi atu, the rest of them.
to scrape with a sharpened stone.
  1. part of a tree or a plant level with the ground or below it;
  2. hidden or almost invisible part of something; te tahito o te ragi, the horizon.
  3. tahito kará quill; he-haha'u i te tahito kar† moa te kohou mo te tapani hahari, they used to tie chicken quills to sticks to make combs. combs.
figurine made of wood or of stone, in the shape of a heart, which used to be worn on the chest.
to serve food to work helpers; to cook for work helpers on a daily basis; umu tahu , food taken home by a work helper he tahu mo te maori aga kupega, to cook for the fishnet-making experts.
sloping stone surface of ahu.
to share out, to distribute (food, gifts); distribution; ka-tahuga i te kai, go distribute the food.
of a new-born baby, to move from side to side: ku-tahuri-á te poki. This is one of the five words anciently used to describe a child's progress during the first months of its life. See also: mahaga, kaukau, puepue, tororo.
to run, to hurry; e-tahuti-á te ragi, the clouds are hurrying by; ka-tahuti koe, ka rere te va'e, va'e ruga, va'e raro, hurry, let your feet fly, foot up, foot down.
  1. ocean, sea (often used without an article); he-turu au ki tai hopu, I am going down to the sea to bathe.
  2. to be calm, good for fishing: he tai. There exists a surprisingly developed terminology for distinguishing the phases of the tides:
    • tai pâpaku, low tide;
    • ku-gúgú-á te tai, tide at his lowest, literally "the sea has dried up";
    • he-ranu te tai, when the water starts rising again; this is a strange expression, since ranu means "amniotic liquid," the breaking of the waters which precedes birth; in this phase of the tides the fish start coming out of their hiding places and swim to the coast in search of food;
    • tai hahati, rising tide
    • tai hini hahati, tide as it continues rising.
    • tai u'a, tai u'a parera, when the tide has reached its high.
    • tai hini u'a, tide all throughout its full phase.
    • tai hori, tide as it starts receding.
    • tai ma'u, tide during its decreasing phase, right until it becomes tai pâpaku again.
    • tai raurau a riki. the slight swell, or effervescence of the sea at a change or the moon.
  3. good spot for raising chickens; the stone chicken coops called hare moa, were built in places "tai moa". Ahé te tai o taau moa? whereabouts are the raising grounds of your chickens?
  4. song in general; song executed by a group of singers; ku-garo-ana i a au te kupu o te tai, I have forgotten the words of the song.
to clap hands, to applaud; taía eve, a euphemism for sexual intercourse.
to fertilize; henua taîko mo oka o te kai, land fertilized for the sowing of staples.
brother, sister; taína ké, cousin, or, more generally, close relative.
tasteless; said especially of sweet potatoes and other produces of the soil which do not taste good for being too watery; kumara taitai, watery, tasteless sweet potato.
taka, takataka
circle; to form circles, to gather, to get together (of people).
  1. to go to sleep (of a limb).
  2. shroud; he-viri te pâpaku hai takapau to wrap a corpse in a shroud. Such shrouds were made of woven totora or of nua mahute.
umu takapú, earth oven made for certain persons, such as the family of the deceased, or as an omen of good luck for certain people.
sea mollusc (Actinea), black, found sticking to the rocks of the coast; it is edible when cooked in water or in the earth oven.
fly; horse-fly.
  1. to tie, in the ancient manner, the two upper extremities of the nua cape over a shoulder, or over the chest, using a slip-knot: he-take i te nua;
  2. to tie the ribbon or the cord (kotaki) of a loincloth (hami) in the same manner: he-take i te kotaki;
  3. to tie one's topknot (pukao) in the same manner, either with a ribbon or with a strand of one's hair: he-take i te pukao.
  4. large root of the taro plant;
  5. in general, the uppermost part of trees and plants.
cold, to feel cold, to grow cold.
  1. to economize, to use sparingly; e-taki-ró-ana i taana kai o horou te pae, he uses his supplies sparingly so that they last longer.
  2. to spread a fishing net: taki kupega; anciently the expression he taki-ó te kupega (i.e. o te ákuáku) referred to places where spirits from the other world were believed to pass through (he ara o te ákuáku) and to spread nets, like on their beaches (he haga o te ákuáku) to catch their victims.
  3. bolt-rope, rope sewn into the edges of fishing nets.
taki eve
taki tu'uhaho
name which used to be applied to people who would wander far from their homes.
  1. shoot (of plant), tama miro, tree shoot; tama tôa, shoot of sugarcane;
  2. poles, sticks, rods of a frame;
  3. sun rays;
  4. group of people travelling in formation.
  5. to listen attentively (with ear, tariga, as subject, e.g. he tama te tariga); e-tama rivariva tokorua tariga ki taaku kî, listen carefully to my words.
tamahine ( = tamahahine)
female, when speaking of chickens: moa tamahine, hen.
a creeper (Ipomea pescaprae).
to cover something in the ground with stones or soil; to bury a corpse; tanu kopú, to bury completely; this expression is mostly used figuratively: ka-tanu kopú te vânaga tuai era, ina ekó mana'u hakaou, forget those old stories, don't think of them again.
  1. to cook food in the earth oven.
  2. to denounce, to accuse someone.
brother-in-law, sister-in-law.
to roast something, sweet potatoes for instance, on the stones being heated for the earth oven, so as to give the children something to eat in advance.
  1. side, corner, edge; he-hakarere a te tapa, to leave aside, to abandon; a te tapa mata'u o te haga, on the right-hand side of the bay.
  2. tapa mahute, piece of mahute material; this term is very common nowadays, but it seems probable that it was borrowed from the Tahitian in replacement of parehe mahute.
  3. to recount the years, the months; to recount happenings of many years ago, in verses called manu,in which a murderer confided his crime to his victim's relatives; the murderer himself asked a brother or a friend to compose those verses: e tapa koe itooku manu, compose my manu. The expression tapa ite manu was also used of a group of people expressing the desire to kill someone.
  4. tagata tapa ta'u, according to traditions, this term referred to the scribes who recorded births on the tablets.
comb: he-haha'u i te tahito kará moa te kohou mo te tapani hahari, they used to tie chicken quills to sticks to make combs. combs.
a variety of eel. See also koreha puhi, haoko, migo.
  1. lead weight used in fishing; in ancient time this was a smooth, ball-shaped stone, with a groove around its circumference to tie a string.
  2. liquid from the bark of banana trees.
shoulder blade.
holy, sacred, forbidden, taboo, off-limits; to declare holy, forbidden, taboo, off-limits. he-tapu te pera, to declare a burial ground taboo.
to pace up and down.
  1. thorn: tara miro.
  2. spur: tara moa.
  3. corner; te tara o te hare, corner of house; tara o te ahu, corner of ahu;
to carve, to sculpt (wood).
maize (modern word).
a fish.
a spirit from the other world, considered benevolent and whose name was associated with that of Rapahango: ko Tare Rapahago, Tare and Rapahango. According to the beliefs of the ancients, he would appear in houses to chat, to bring gifts of food, to help etc.
  1. to take from one place to another; he-tari-mai, to bring.
  2. upper end of the sugarcane, which was used in military training as a harmless weapon.
ear; tariga pogeha, tariga pó, sordo; tariga maîka, bunch of bananas.
taro (Colocasia esculenta). Some varieties are: taro harahara hiva, taro teatea, taro vai ho iti, taro pia, taro tui ko vero, taro ketu aga mea, taro gaatu apó, taro guhu haha tea, taro magó, taro ketu takarua, taro ketu tuvítuví, taro vaihí, taro harahara rapanui, taro horehore tapatea, taro kape.
basket, larger than the one called kete.
to curse.
to restrain something or someone firmly, for instance, to restrain a child from leaving; to make firm, to give strength to something.
to swing, to move from side to side.
  1. to wash something.
  2. to go; he-tata-mai, to come, to appear, to show up.
see tá.
ancient witching formula.
to argue, to quarrel, to have a dispute.
to count, to calculate, to bear someone in mind.
of hens, to go about with their chicks: he-tatari i te maaga. (also: hakatari, hakatatari).
to squeeze, to wring wet clothing.
we (inclusive, i.e. you and us; we, excluding you, is matou).
to tattoo (also: ).
pretty, lovely; ka-tau! how pretty!
tau, tautau
  1. to hang;
  2. to perch (said of chickens on tree branches at night);
  3. tau kupega, rope from which is hung the oval net used in ature fishing.
  4. rock on the coast, taller than others so that something can be deposited on it without fear of seeing washed it away by the waves; hakarere i ruga i te tau, to place something on such a rock.
  1. year.
  2. he-hoa ite ta'u,, to confess to a crime committed long ago, by publishing it in the form of a kohau motu mo rogorogo (rongorongo tablet).
to carry out military exercises, wargames; he-táû i te taû'a to do military maneuvres; taûtaga, militia of young men training for war.
you and me.
war, battle, combat; enemy, warrior, group of combatants, army; taû'a taútaga, battle between youngsters training for war; te îka o te rua taû'a. the enemy of the other army.
to leave something in the sun to let it dry; he-taúaki te ivi, to dry the skeleton in the sun before burying it.
tau a mimi
elder son (also: poki atariki).
lid made of leaves or grass, put on top the earth oven to retain the heat and the steam and ensure proper cooking.
  1. string, rope;
  2. taúra noke, man's belt.
  3. taúra rega, woman's belt, also: string hung from the neck used to carry something on the shoulder;
  4. to become entangled; he-tapu te ara roa o te hanau tama o taúra te poki they forbid pregnant women to take long walks, lest the baby gets entangled [in the umbilical cord].
to knead, to massage.
sea bird, white, with rosy tail; its feathers were used to decorate hats and belts.
to turn around.


name of the part of the Poike promontory which extends from the coast to opposite Hotu iti.
  1. light, fair, whitish.
  2. to rise (of the moon, the stars); ku-tea-á te hetu'u ahiahi, the evening star has risen.
white (also: ritorito).
  1. to flow, to run (of liquids), to be spilt: he tehe te vai.
  2. to spread (of light); he-tehe te ata, the first lights of dawn spread.
  3. to mark something with lines or scratches.
  4. to melt, to dissolve.
to sneeze.
short (not tall); also: teke.
  1. to intervene in a fight; ki kakai te taû'a, he-teki te tagata, he-hakamou i te taû'a, as the enemies were fighting, a man intervened and appeased them.
  2. to jump ashore: he-teki ki uta.
  3. to jump, to leap; e-toru hanau eepe i-teki a ruga a te hanau momoko, i-ora, three hanau eepe leapt over the hanau momoko and saved their lives.
  4. to rape [but see translator's note in tekiteki below].
  5. to tread carefully and noiselessly to avoid waking up someone.
  1. to intrude.
  2. to rape frequently; tagata tekiteki, womanizer; vî'e tekiteki, wanton woman [Translator's note: the word seems to mean sexual promiscuity rather than rape proper].
  3. to walk by hops and leaps; to limp: he-tekiteki hai va'e.
giant (noun).
  1. to run, to flee, to escape from a prison.
  2. to sail a boat (also: hakatere); tere vaka, owner of a fishing boat.
  3. (deap-sea) fisherman; tere kahi, tuna fisherman; tere ho'ou, novice fisherman, one who goes deap-sea fishing for the first time. Penei te huru tûai; he-oho te tere ho'ou ki ruga ki te hakanonoga; ana ta'e rava'a, he-avai e te tahi tagata tere vaka i te îka ki a îa mo hakakoa, mo iri-hakaou ki te hakanonoga i te tahi raá. The ancient custom was like this: the novice fisherman would go to a hakanonoga; if he didn't catch anything, another fisherman would give him fishes to make him happy so he'd go again one day to the hakanonoga (more distant fishing zones where larger fishes are found).
to have many descendents.
a fish.
iterative of tere.
very large, very wide, huge (also: kotetu, nuinui tetu).


  1. liliacea (Cordyline fruticosa); its long, thick root, cooked in the earth oven, is deliciously sweet.
  2. to bend down to allow someone to climb on one's back to be carried (haha); he-ti-atu a Kaiga i te tua ivi, he-haha-mai Huri Avai, Kaiga bent his back and Huri Avai climbed on his shoulders.
to sew; ivi tagata tia nua, needle of human bone used for sewing nua capes.
tia hakaroaroa
(sewing) to tack, to baste.
to kill, to hit, to beat, to mistreat (also: tiga'i).
  1. to watch, to observe, to spy on someone, to guard.
  2. to wait for (ki) someone; e-tiaki nei ki a koe. I was waiting for you here.
to dig a hole (rua) in the ground.
a plant formerly used to treat wounds (Ophioglossum reticulatum).
  1. to kill, to hit, to beat, to mistreat (also: tiagi).
  2. to extinguish, to put out (a fire) he-tiga'i te ahi.
to hit, to beat, to crush (see its iterative forms: titigi, tigitigi, the latter is also used in the sense of punishment).
to hit, to beat, to crush; to punish.
to wrap oneself up, to tuck oneself up; ki nuinui te poki ko Rega hopu-hopu. he-kore te nua mo tihere, when she was already a big girl, Renga Hopuhopu did not have a cape to wear.
dark; darkness; ku-tiho-á te pó, the night is dark.
  1. flat part of a piece of land.
  2. signpost, sign giving the orientation or marking a path: he-tika mo te ara.
  3. young man, boy, lad (also: kope).
action of directing or managing a maneuvre.
to see, to perceive, to examine, to find; (also: tikera).
see tikea.
  1. chief, boss, director, coordinator; expert, master in a craft, a science, or an art; tiki rerorero kohau rogorogo, rongorongo scribe; tiki moai, sculptor; tiki ahu, master builder who directs and coordinates the construction of ahu; tiki îka. master fisherman, professional fisherman.
  2. ancient title, probably meaning "grandmaster", used before the names of gods and semigods. Only vague memories remain today of Tiki Makemake, Tiki Te Hatu, Tiki Hati. It is said that the main one was Tiki Makemake and that Tiki Hati was the chief of a band of ákuáku.
menstruation, period.
smelly; wet, humid (of wood); hukahuka tikoî, wet wood that does not burn well.
title of those entrusted with ritual duties. The timo îka were entrusted with putting death spells on murderers to avenge the victims. The timo to'a blessed and cast victory spells on warriors. The timo rara koreha were entrusted with drying corpses.
to be at the zenith: ku-tini-á te raá; middle of a journey, of a period of time; te tini o te raá, the middle of the day.
  1. belly (as reported by a Spaniard in 1770).
  2. genitalia (modern usage).
  3. trunk (of a tree), keel (of a boat); tino maîka, banana trunk; tino vaka, keel.
tipitipi hoe
a fish (Spanish pez mariposa "butterfly-fish").
Chile. Vanaga Tire, Spanish language.
demarcation; land boundary (tita'a henua).
a fish.
a fish (Spanish pez erizo "hedgehog fish"). Three sorts are distinguished:
to stack, to pile up; he-titi i te pipihoreko, to build a cairn; ku-titi-á te kai, he piled up food (onto his plate).
iterative of tigi, to hit, to beat, to crush repetatedly; (figuratively) to rehearse, to repeat many times; he-titigi i te rîu to rehearse, to repeat a song many times to memorize it.
straight, right, orderly; titika-á , that's OK, that's fine.
  1. to grab something; to hold fast; e-titiri-ana i te taûra, they hold the rope firmly.
  2. to carry a large, heavy basket on one's back or shoulder; he-titiri i te taropa.
  3. to roast (for instance, sweet potatoes on the embers of an earth oven); kumara titiri, roasted sweet potatoes.
to flock together in great numbers (for instance, people around an earth oven).
to fight (of two roosters).
dirty, lewd; to get dirty.
more; also used as a verb: tiua-á koe, [give me] more, [tell me] more.


  1. particle sometimes used with the article in ancient legends; i uto to te hau, the ribbon was in the float.
  2. to rise (of the sun) during the morning hours up to the zenith: he-to te raá.
sugarcane; tôa tahito, lower part of the sugarcane, near the ground; tôa taúru, higher, tenderer part of the sugarcane, given to children; tôa paka, sugarcane cut for storing, their leaves are removed so that the canes keep their juice for days and even weeks.
enemy, killer, murderer, assassin; he to'a o te îka, killer (lit.: murderer of the victim).
  1. to be left over; leftovers, surplus; ku-toe-á te kai, there is food left; ina he vai toe, there is no more water; ina e-tahi taína mo toe, none of the brothers must be left over, meaning: none must be left without his share.
  2. long hair, mane; he-patu i te toe, to toss one's long hair back.
  1. winter season. Two seasons used to be distinguished in ancient times: hora, summer, and toga, winter.
  2. to lean against somehing; to hold something fast; support, post supporting the roof.
  3. to throw something with a sudden movement.
  4. to feed oneself, to eat enough; e-toga koe ana oho ki te aga, eat well first when you go to work.
to grow well, to develop well, to grow to a good height (e.g. of a plant or a child).
to bless or to curse: he-tohu rivariva, to bless; he-tohu rakerake, to curse. The reduplicated form is more common: totohu.
  1. any large, smooth rock in the sea not covered by seaweeds (eels are often found between such rocks).
  2. to be left (of a small residue of something, of sediments of a liquid, of dregs); to settle (of sediments); ku-toka-ana te vai i raro i te puna, there is little water left at the bottom of the lake; ku-toka-á te oone, the sediments have settled.
residue, remainder; firm, stable remainder or part of somthing.
toke, tokea
to steal; thief; toketoke, to repeatedly steal things of little value; vî'e toke kenu, adulterous woman (lit.: woman who steals husbands).
wind; air. Various winds: puhiga Orogo, southwest wind (which blows from Orongo); ruhi, west-southwest wind; te papakino, north wind [perhaps a misprint for papakino; roto o niu, east wind; nukura mea, northwest wind; veki, northeast wind; motu rau uri, southeast wind; motu takarua, west wind.
small basalt axe.
your (plural).
walking stick.
our (exclusive, i.e. ours only, not yours).
our (dual exclusive, i.e. belonging to me and him, but not to you).
to berth (a boat); to reach the anchoring-ground; to disembark; to land; garu mo tomo ki Riorio, garu mo ta'e tomo, e-hatipú-nó te vave , some surfers reach Riorio (a small beach near Hangaroa), some do not, because the wave dies before.
disembarkment, landing-place, key, wharf.
to push; he-tono i te vaka kiroto ki te vai, to launch a canoe into the water.
corn, callous.
to take; to receive; to accept; ka to'o te kai, take your food; he-to'o mai, to bring.
his, her.
to take repeatedly, without the owner's permission.
thy, your (singular).
  1. to bend down, to drop to the ground; to fall on a certain date.
  2. to stop doing something, to drop; ina ekó topa taau aga, do not stop, keep doing your work.
  3. to remain, to be left over, to be unfinished; he topa te kai, the food is not finished, there is some left.
  4. to come to one's memory; i te aamu he topa te vânaga tûai, in the legends old words come to memory.
  5. to remember, to reflect (with mana'u as subject); e-topa rivariva tokorua mana'u ki te me'e nei, let the two of you think carefully about this thing.
to remember with sorrow, to miss, to pine for (mo); ananake te raá he topatagi te ûka riva ko Uho mo toona ga matu'a, Ko Uho the good girl missed her parents every day.
a high-sea fish.
tore muri
illegitimate (of children born out of wedlock after a woman's legitimate children)
  1. cooked in parts, only half-cooked in others (of food).
  2. multicoloured, motley, striped.
toretore kao
crevice; iraro i te vai kava me'e rahi te toretore kao, there are many crevices at the bottom of the sea.
to walk or move painfully and laboriously for want of strength (of old or sick people)
to touch something (ki) with the hand (i te rima), intending to take it; to reach out for (ki); ka-toro toou rima ki te kumara era, ka-too-mai, reach out for those sweet potatoes and take them.
toro maîka
banana grove.
tree (Sophora tetraptera) anciently used for sculpting the statuettes called moai toromiro.
  1. three (when preceded by the particle e and following a noun); he-˚'i-atu ko te ˚ka etoru he saw that they were three young women.
  2. third (when between the article te and a noun); te toru tagata Ku'uku'u A'Huatava the third man was Ku'uku'u A'Huatava.
frizzy: uha totara, frizzy-feathered hen.
our (inclusive, i.e. yours and ours).
our (dual inclusive, i.e. belonging to you and me only).
  1. blood; he-gaaha te toto mai roto mai te haoa, blood gushes from inside the wound; toto hatukai, coagulated blood.
  2. rust; to rust.
  1. to get wider.
  2. lazy, slothful; to enjoy comfort and idleness: tagata tótó, vî'e tótó. Extremely vulgar is the expression kaúha tótó, lazybones, slack-arse.
see tohu.
to kidnap.
to prune; to trim (nails).
to crawl; ki totoro te poki, when the baby crawls (one of the first stages of its development, after puepue).
in ancient times, a tou was someone who had recovered from an epidemic, but whose illness meant that someone else in the family had to die. The tou were regarded as portents of evil.
egg yolk; the colour yellow; soft, fibrous part of tree bark; toûa mahute, mahute fibres.
lush; fertile (land).


to crush into puree, like women of old did, crushing sweet potatoes and mixing them with cooked egg to give the children.
  1. back, shoulder, tu'a ivi, shoulder blade; tu'a ivi more, lumbago; moa tu'a ivi raá, "sun-back chicken": chicken with a yellow back which shines in the sun.
  2. behind (a locative adverb, used with i, ki, a, o, etc).
Tu'a Hotu Iti
Ancient name of the area extending from the north-east to the south-east of the island.
brother (also: taína tamâroa).
sister (also: taina tamahahine).
ancient, of ancient times; i te nohoga tûai-era-á, in ancient times; tagata tûai, ancient people, the people of yore.
a fish (women catch them in the sea at night, never during the day).
pelvis; hips.
tuere heu
a grass: Agrestis avenacea.
cough; to cough.
young man, boy; bachelor.
to distribute the food or the gift given out during a party or an umu papaku. (This is the official role of the motuha).
to reserve a share of the food or the gifts for someone (see tuha above).
to point with the forefinger (which is called tuhi henua); to offer something to someone by pointing at it; to denounce someone, to put the blame on someone. tuhi henua. forefinger, index finger.
tuhia háûa
ring finger;
  1. to sew mats, to make strings.
  2. the three stars of Orion's Belt.
to string together; to tie together the chickens to be given away at a gogoro moa; tuitui koviro to join hands, forming a circle.
stem, stalk; vein of dry banana leaf; whole, dry banana leaf with its kaka;
  1. tuke niu, palm leaves.
  2. tuke raá, sun rays, sun beams.
  3. tuke gao, nape of the neck; top of the spine.
  1. to fecundate with sperm. He-tuki Makemake ki te oone rapo, he-poreko-mai te tagata, Makemake ejaculated into the clay, and man was born.
  2. to fertilize the ground by tilling, ploughing: e-tuki-á au i te henua, I am tilling the ground.
  3. to be shocked, grieved, distressed; used in expressions like e-mamae-nó-á au i te vânaga, he-tuki-no-mai-á i te vânaga i-kî-mai era koe, I am hurt by these words, shocked by what you told me.
to paint, to decorate with colored spots or dots; he-tukituki te nua hai pua. to decorate a cape with yellow dots (using the yellow dye extracted from the pua plant).
  1. to leave something lying spread on the ground; to spread, unfurl, unroll something on the ground; tukuga, mat spread on the ground; tukuga tagata, mat on which have been put pieces of cooked human flesh.
  2. tuku kupega, a fishing technique: two men drag along the top of a fishing net doubled up, spread out on the bottom of a small cove, trapping the fish into the net; tukutuku, to fish while swimming, holding a basket-shaped net.
  3. tuku huri, to sit with one's buttocks resting on one's heels, soles flat on the ground (also: tuku-turi). Figuratively: ka tuku! pay attention! (literally: sit still!).
  4. tuku rîu, to sit in the posture typical of choir singers in rîu festivals or singing festivals in general, which was sitting on one's heels.
mat spread on the ground; tukuga tagata, mat on which have been put pieces of cooked human flesh.
to fish while swimming, holding a basket-shaped net (see tuku).
to sit with one's buttocks resting on one's heels, soles flat on the ground (see tuku).
  1. tree trunk.
  2. ancestors: tumu matu'á, parents; tumu tupuna, grandparents. By extension: tumu taína, members of friendly families.
  3. como término muy especial se usa tumu para se§alar a familias o personas que no son parientes, de modo que sus hijos podían, según antigua usanza, casarse entre ellos y formar un nuevo tronco.
  4. origin of something; initiator of an idea; person who is the cause of a fight: tumu taûa.
  5. He-kore te tumu, to be so weakened that you cannot stand (lit.: the trunk is lacking).
rolling stone.
dislocation, luxation (of the elbow, the ankle, the wrist).
to heat, to cook; he-tunu i te kai, to cook food; tunu ahi, to roast on a fire.
ancient buildings found scattered along the coast; made of stone, and almost all of them round, they served as shelters for fishermen.
to carry (someone) on a stretcher; to carry (a load) with the help of several people.
  1. shoot, sprout, bud; to sprout, to bud.
  2. pregnant: vî'e tupu (o te poki); to be conceived (of fetus in its mother's womb): he-tupu te poki i roto i te kopú o toona matu'a.
near, to draw near. He-tupuaki ki te hare o Hagapoukura, he drew near Hangapoukura's house.
grandparent; ancestors.
a sort of aliment [Spanish: cierta clase de pasto, which may mean pasture or food; the word does not occur in the legends].
knuckle; turi-rima, elbow; turi-va'e ankle (also just turi).
to come down, to go down, to descend; ka-turu-age koe ki tai, go down to the sea now; turuga, coming down, descent.
  1. to drip (of water or other liquids).
  2. stick, cane, baton (also: tokotoko).
  1. excrement, dung, filth; kai tuta'e, hens (lit.: filth-eaters).
  2. to disgrace, to seduce (a woman): he-tuta'e i te vî'e.
to chase away; he-tute koe au, I chase you away, i.e. go away! Shortened to: tute-atu!
  1. circle of fishing nets arranged in the shape of a funnels or baskets.
  2. to light a fire; he-tutu i te ahi: to burn something.
  3. to hit, to strike, to beat.
to shake (something) clean of dust or dirt; he-tûtú te oone o te nua, to shake the dirt off a nua cape.
to reject the responsibility for a mistake onto one another, to blame one another for a mistake (see tuhi).
to stumble, to trip. O tutuki te va'e, in order not to trip.
firebrand, partly burnt stick.
to kneel.
  1. to arrive: tu'u-mai.
  2. upright pole; to stand upright (also: tutu'u).
  3. to guess correctly, to work out (the meaning of a word) correctly: ku-tu'u-á koe ki te vânaga, you have guessed correctly [the meaning of] the word.
  4. to hit the mark, to connect (a blow).
  5. Ku-tu'u pehé, is considered as…; te poki to'o i te me'e hakarere i roto i te hare, ku-tu'u-á pehé poki ra'ura'u, a child who takes things that have been left in the house is considered as a petty thief.
Tu'u aro
northwest and west side of the island.
tu'u haígoígo
back tattoo.
tu'u haviki
easily angered person.
servant of an ariki (king).
outer shell of crustaceans and mollusks: tuuria pipi, tuuria mama, tuuria hatuke, tuuria ura.
eel-fishing using a line weighted with stones and a hook with bait, so that the line reaches vertically straight to the bottom of the sea.
to hit the mark time and again (see tu'u).
tu'utu'u îka
fish fin (except the tail fin, called hiku).
mark on fishing line to indicate a number of fathoms, made with mahute fibre.


to make a loud, thundering noise, like surf breaking: he-u te vave.
milk; also used for woman's breast instead of hatunono.
  1. cause, reason why something happens or is done; he ûa te ua, au i-ta'e-iri-ai ki tooku hare, because of the rain, I did not go home; ua kore, without cause, without reason.
  2. ceremononial stave with a human face carved at one extremity (see Thomson,Plate 52 [opens new window]).
  1. ûa hakamito, persistente, but not strong, rain;
  2. ûa kura, fine rain, drizzle;
  3. ûa matavaravara, strong rain;
  4. ûa parera, torrential rain;
  5. ûa tai, rain followed by fair weather at sea.
of the tide, to reach its maximum; tai u'a, high tide.
to reside; resident; noho uáuá to settle somewhere; ina koe ekó noho uáuá, do not establish yourself there.
tendons, muscles;
  1. hau ûaûa kio'e, line made from rats' tendons.
  2. ûaûa toto, vein, artery.
  3. ûaûa piki, spasm.
to move about, to flutter; he-uéué te kahu i te tokerau, the clothes flutter in the wind; poki oho ta'e uéué, obedient child.
to lead, to take (someone); e uga koe i tooku repahoa ki Hotu iti, take me to my friend in Hotu iti (also used instead of hakaúga).
hen; female (familiar): taaku uha = taaku vî'e, my wife, or my daughter (i.e. taaku poki).
yam (Dioscorea alata); a large tuber, one of the main staple foods in ancient times, of which some 40 varieties were grown.
to sew (also: tía); ka-uhiuhi toou nua, sew yourself a cape.
uho eve
part of the body between coccyx and anus.
to ask.
û 'i
to look, to look at (ki); e-û'i koe! look out!
seeing, action of seeing. There is an old saying: i ruga i te ahu te û'iga, the seeing is on the ahu (i.e. time will tell).
flash of lightning.
young woman; ûka hoa, girlfriend.
to work assiduously at learning or ascertaining something. Matu'a rava ukiuki ki te vânaga tuai, the Padre works hard at learning the ancient language.
word used in spell-casting: e manu koe, uku, you will turn into a bird.
a plant.
breast, chest, bosom; ûma kupega, central part of a fishing net.
team, crew, called to do a work.
rebellious, riotous; riot, tumult, turmoil, disturbance.
cooking pit, a.k.a. Polynesian oven (shallow pit dug in the ground, in which food is cooked over heated stones); the food cooked in such a pit for a meal, dinner, or banquet.
  1. umu pae, permanent cooking pit, in a stone enclosure;
  2. umu paepae, permanent cooking pit with straw cover for protection from rain and wind;
  3. umu keri okaoka, temporary cooking pit without stone enclosure;
  4. umu ava, very large temporary cooking pit, made for feasts;
  5. umu takapú, exclusive banquet, reserved for certain groups of persons, for instance, the relatives of a deceased family member;
  6. umu tahu, daily meals for hired workers;
  7. umu parehaoga, inaugural banquet (made on occasion of a communal enterprise or feastival).
  8. umu ra'e, banquet for fifth or sixth month of pregnancy.
  9. umu pâpaku, banquet on occasion the death of a family member.
  1. to drink; unuga, the act of drinking.
  2. to pull weeds, grasses.
  3. to pluck; ka-unu te huruhuru o te moa! pluck the chicken's feathers!
to bask in the sun (ki te raá), to warm oneself by the fire (ki te ahi ).
name of an ancient character famous for his boasting, swaggering, obnoxious manners.
craving: ka-avai-mai taa îka e-tahi o te upa-ea, give me one of these fish, I so crave for one (seemingly only used in the form o upa-ea [Translator's note: perhaps literally "lest Upa rises, lest I become like Upa"]).
flame, blaze (ûra ahi), to become furious (with manava as subject: ku-ûra-á te manava).
bright red.
  1. generation; ure matá, warlike, bellicose generation (matá, obsidian, used in making weapons).
  2. offspring; brother; colleague i toou ure ka tata-mai, your colleague has turned up.
  3. friendship, friendly relationship; ku-ké-á te ure, they have become enemies (lit.: friendship has changed).
  4. penis (this definition is found in Englert's 1938 dictionary, but not in La Tierra de Hotu Matu'a).
ure tahiri
to gush, to spurt, to flow; e-ure tahiri-á te toto, blood is flowing in gushes.
ure tiatia moana
whirlwind which descend quickly and violently onto the ocean; whirlpool, eddy.
a fish.
  1. dark; black-and-blue.
  2. green; ki oti te toga. he-uri te maúku o te kaiga, te kumara, te taro, te tahi hoki me'e, once winter is over, the grasses grow green, and the sweet potatoes, and the taro, and the other plants.
black; very dark.
  1. to lavish food on those who have contributed to to the funerary banquet (umu pâpaku) for a family member (said of the host, hoa pâpaku).
  2. to remove the stones which have been heated in the umu, put meat, sweet potatoes, etc., on top of the embers, and cover it with those same stones while red-hot.
  3. the wooden tongs used for handling the red-hot stones of the umu.
  4. to enter into (kiroto ki or just ki), e.g. he-uru kiroto ki te hare, he-uru ki te hare.
  5. to get dressed: kahu uru.
prophetic vision. It is said that, not long before the first missionaries' coming a certain Rega Varevare a Te Niu saw their arrival in a vision and travelled all over the island to tell it: He-oho-mai ko Rega Varevare a Te Niu mai Poike, he mimiro i te po ka-variró te kaiga he-kî i taana uruga, he ragi: "E-tomo te haûti i Tarakiu, e-tomo te poepoe hiku regorego, e-tomo te îka ariga koreva, e-tomo te poporo haha, e-kiu te Atua i te ragi". I te otea o te rua raá he-tu'u-hakaou ki Poike; i te ahi mo-kirokiro he-mate. Rega Varevare, son of Te Niu, came from Poike, and toured the island proclaiming his vision: "A wooden house will arrive at Tarakiu (near Vaihú). a barge will arrive, animals will arrive with the faces of eels (i.e. horses), golden thistles will come, and the Lord will be heard in heaven". The next morning he arrived back in Poike, and in the evening when it was getting dark, he died.
Uru manu
those who do not belong to the Miru tribe and who, for that reason, are held in lesser esteem.
to catch small fish to use as bait.
intruder, freeloader (person who enters someone else's house and eats food reserved for another).
higher up (from the coast, or from another place); i uta era, further up, up there.
buoy, net-float.
utu ahu
heart of the hauhau tree (Triumfetta semitriloba).
to draw water repeatedly (see uútu).
  1. to make a sound through one's closed mouth (like someone in his sleep, or someone in pain).
  2. to call eels forth by making such sounds. Ana ta'e oga-mai te koreha, he-ú-ú hai re'o mo garo'a e te koreha; koro garo'a te û-ú, he-oga-mai mai roto mai te toka, when the eels do not show up (near the baited trap), you make ú-ú sounds for them to hear; when their hear it they come investigating from inside the toka (smooth rocks on the coast).
abundance, plenty of; uuna-á te îka, there are lots of fish; uuna-á te kai, te maîka, the fruit of the land and the bananas grow in abundance.
to draw (water, or any liquid); kaha uutu, vai, water gourd.



to give (also: avai).
to choose.
foot, leg; te va'e mata'u, te va'e maúi, right foot, left foot.
va'e ruga, va'e raro
quick and light, without detour (lit.: foot up, foot down). Ka-oho koe ki a nua era va'e ruga va'e raro, ina ekó hipa-hipa, hurry straight to your mother, do not make any detours.
va'e pau
misshapen foot, clubfoot.
middle, centre; i vaega o, in the middle of.
chicken's long tail feather; lobster's antenna (vaero ura).
hollow; opening; space between the fingers (vaha rima); door cracks (vaha papare).
to fight, to wrangle, to argue with abusive words.
  1. to separate, to part; ka-vahi, separate them; ku-vahi-ra-á, the separation has been done. O te Atua i-vahi-ai i te vai, i te henua, God separated the water from the earth.
  2. to pass (of the beginning of a season); ku vahi-á te toga, ku vahi-á te hora, winter is past its beginning, summer is past its beginning.
water, liquid, juice;
  1. vai tagata, semen, sperm (also: takatea);
  2. vai kava, saltwater, sea, ocean.
to be unsuccessful (when asking for a girl in marriage). I-vaiapuga-nó au, kai rava'a-mai te rega mo te poki, I was unsuccessful, I did not get the girl for my son. E-vaiapuga-nó tooku ara, i-oho-atu-ai hai kona uha, ina kai rava'a. My trip was useless, going to the girl's place, I didn't get her.
celebration where men and women keep apart. Te me'e he koro vaiarega: e-tahi hiritoke o te hare mo te tagata, e-tahi hiritoke mo te ga vi'e, mo katikati i te ate-atua, i te rîu, ate rivariva. The festivals called vaiarega are this: one side in front of the house (built for the purpose of the feast) is for the men, the other is for the women, to practice ate-atua or rîu songs, which are serious, not frivolous, songs.
a tasty species of taro.
generous, munificent person; he vaiora tou tagata era, that man is a generous person.
  1. good fortune, good luck. o te vairua i rava'a-mai-ai-i tooku kahu, by a piece of good fortune I got myself some clothes.
  2. misfortune, bad luck; he uga koe e te maga i te vairua-á, you have been unlucky; o piría te vairua, so that no misfortune may happen to you. (Both expressions are ancient and almost unknown today).
canoe, small boat; vaka ama, outrigger canoe.
graves under ahu which hold skeletons (lit. "bone canoe").
to lay foundation stones in the outline of a canoe (e.g. for hare paenga); nowadays used in the more general sense, without reference to a special shape of outline.
rectangular; rectangle.
a sea-urchin, larger than the hatuke and with shorter, thinner spines.
radiate, said of any object with its parts radiating horizontally from a central axis, such as the feather hats on Thomson's Plate 54 [opens new window].
  1. ha'u vanavana belt adorned with multicolour feathers radiating out horizontally, used on occasion of important festivals.
    Compare with:
  2. ha'u tara, ha'u teketeke the feathers of which stick out vertically.
to speak, to talk, to pronounce; conversation, talk, word, language; he vânaga i te vânaga rapanui, to speak Rapanui; vânaga reoreo, lies, lying words, falsehoods.
to talk at length; useless talk.
to sow, to plant (seedlings) leaving adequete growing space between them.
spittle, drivel, any viscous liquid; viscous; vare mâmari, egg white; pipi-vare, slug.
  1. to have one's mouth water, to feel a consuming desire for, to crave (ki); ku varegao-á au ki te koreha, I have this sudden craving for eels;
  2. to crave, to desire, in a general sense: he-varegao ki te mee rakerake, to have evil desires, cravings.
  1. menstruation, period (also: tiko).
  2. to tack, to veer (nautical); ku-vari-mai-á te miro, the boat arrives, have veered [around Rano Kau].
  1. to cut one's hair (te puoko);
  2. to shave.
  3. to paint, to put on make-up: he varu te kiea.
spirit, soul; sleep, dream. This is a Tahitian word, but the same term may have been used in ancient times.
varu a-roto
to have diarrhoea.
merry, happy; kope vatavata, poki vatavata, merry youngster, merry child, of smiling, pleasant temperament.
to separate, to part, to be divided into groups; ku-vavae-á te tagata, the men are divided into several teams (see vae).
  1. coastal wave (waves in the open sea are called pari).
  2. not yet (used in the imperative, following the verb); ina koe ekó oho-vave, ka-tiaki-no mai, don't go yet, wait for me.
echo; to echo.


  1. song in someone's honour; ka-hoa-mai te vehi o te repa. sing us a song in our friend's honour.
  2. to form a circle, to sit in a circle;
    • ku-vehi-á te ga kope, the youngsters are seated in a circle;
    • ku-vehi-á te gogoro, the assistance is seated in a circle;
    • ku-vehi-á te mahigo i tau raá tomo era te Matu'a the people formed a large circle on the day the Padre arrived; vehi-á te taro,the taros are planted in a circle.
  1. wet (said of birds wet from the rain).
  2. disshevelled: ku-vekuveku-á te oho (oho, hair).
  3. messy, full of garbage (of houses); ku-vekuveku-á te hare, the house is a mess.
nail; to nail.
heat, hot, to feel hot; veravera, to burn, to be consumed. The following two terms are of obscure meaning: vera pipiro was said of person who did use face powder and vera hati was said of those did.
scar; to heal (of scars).
  1. to cut (plants).
  2. hair, beard;
    • vere gutu, moustache;
    • vere kukumu, whiskers, mutton-chops;
    • vere kauva'e, beard;
    • vere ha'iga (or haíga), armpit hair;
    • vere puku, pubic hair.
moa gao verapaka, chicken with featherless neck .
down, fine hairs; moa va'e verevere, chicken with feathers on its feet.
drizzle (also: ehu ûa).
servant, employee.
  1. fly eggs.
  2. pretty; he-veri-nó te kope era, this youth is really pretty; ko te veri te vî'e, how pretty this woman is!
veri arahu
a sort of scarf made of human hair.
puddle, small pond; to get wet going through puddles; veri-veri-á te va'e, I got my feet wet.
to throw, to hurl (a lance, a spear). This word was also used with the particle kua preposed: koía kua vera i te matá, he is the one who threw the obsidian [weapon].
to throw, to hurl repeatedly, quickly (iterative of vero) .
a seaweed.
neighbour; also seems to mean a stranger who has come to settle, an immigrant.
root of certain plants: veu kumara, veu uhi.
veu te va'e
to run; ka-veu te va'e ruga, va'e raro, run as fast as you can.
  1. dragonfly.
  2. to arrive early; e-veveke koe; do come early. E-haaki koe i te gagata tupa o te rago mo veveke mai! Tell the stretcher-bearers to come early at dawn!
to untie, to release.
to be in a hurry, to hurry; he-veveveve au mo oho ki te aga, I am in a hurry to get to work.


woman, female; matû'a vî'e, mother.
Vî'e hoa
ancient name of a spirit of the other world..
uninhabited, deserted, abandoned.
  1. to wind, to coil, to roll up; he viri i te hau, to wind, coil a string (to fasten something).
  2. to fall from a height, rolling over, to hurl down, to fling down.
round, spherical (said of small objects).
viviri te henua
to feel dizzy (also: mimiro te henua ).
partridge (modern onomatopoeia).


to raise shouts (te karaga); vo'u vo'u, to raise continual shouts or groans.
girl, daughter (term of endearment used by parents to their daughters, brothers to their sisters, or more generally to any female).


water puddle; to get dirty; ku-vuhi-á (ku-vuhivuhi-á) te kahu, I got my clothes dirty.