The Rongorongo of Easter Island

By Anonymous

Awards Last updated 2005/02/27 your questions answered
Rongorongo is the name for the hieroglyphic script of Easter Island, engraved on oblong wooden tablets, of which only a few have survived. Also known as Rapanui and Te Pito O Te Henua, Easter Island is a tiny volcanic island lost in the middle of the Pacific Ocean half-way between Tahiti and the coast of Chile. Easter Island is best known for its huge stone statues, called moai, of which there are hundreds, quite literally littering the island.

Sebastian Englert near Easter Island statue
Englert near moai Front cover of: Sebastian Englert's Island at the Center of the World
Island at the Center of the World
Sebastian Englert

      The tablets of Easter Island have never been deciphered. There are so few left that they may never be. Scholars do not even agree about the nature of the writing on them. Some even say that it is not writing at all. On this site you will find all the elements you need if you ever want to try your hand at deciphering them. But heed Father Sebastian Englert's warning:

"Our ko hau rongorongo are lost! Future events will destroy these sacred tablets which we bring with us and those which we will make in our new land. Men of other races will guard a few that remain as priceless objects, and their maori will study them in vain without being able to read them. Our ko hau motu mo rongorongo will be lost forever. Aue! Aue!"
       These words that I have placed in the mouth of Hotu Matu'a may seem too pessimistic to more than one of the linguists now dedicated to the decipherment of the tablets. Only the future will show which opinion is justified.

(Sebastian Englert, Island at the Center of the World, p.76)

Section of an Easter Island tablet
Rongorongo tablet
Front cover of: LES MYSTERES RESOLUS de l'ILE DE PAQUES-Solved Mysteries of Easter Island
Les Mystères Résolus de l'Île de Pâques
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Site Index
Tablet A
Tablet B
Tablet C
Tablet D
Tablet E
Tablet F
Tablet G
Tablet H
Object I
Object J
Tablet K
Object L
Tablet M
Tablet N
Tablet O
Tablet P
Tablet Q
Tablet R
Tablet S
Tablet T
Tablet U
Tablet V
Tablet W
Object X
Object Y
Tablet Z
The Tablets: Text, Decipherment, Historical Background

The Main Tablets

Deciphering the rongorongo

Early Visitors' Reports

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