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The Rongorongo of Easter Island

Song "Ate-a-renga hokan iti poheraa"

This song was sung by Ure Vaeiko upon being shown a photograph of tablet C (or Mamari) by William Thomson. It is reproduced here as it appears in Thomson 1891, pp.526.

Thomson presents it as a native love song. Even allowing for the typographical mistakes, the text is suspect: the sound "f" does not exist in the language of Easter Island, and verse 11 (horoa moni e fahiti) looks like straight Tahitian, with nothing to do with Salmon's translation: horo'a = gift, to give; moni = money; e = which, that; fa'ahiti = to announce, to pronounce, i.e. perhaps "Give money for reading out [this tablet]".

"Ate-a-renga-hokau iti poheraa"

Ka tagi, Renga-a-manu - hakaopa;
Chiu runarame a ita metua.
Ka ketu te nairo hihi - O te hoa!
Eaha ton tiena - e te hoa - e!

Ita haga ta poapatu - O te hoa!
Kahii te riva forani - O te hoa - e!
Auwe ka tagi ati - u - a - iti iti.
Eha ton tiena - e ta hoa - e.

Ta hi tiena ita have.
Horoa ita have.
Horoa moni e fahiti;
Ita ori miro;
Ana piri atu;
Ana piri atu;
Ana taga atu.


Who is sorrowing ? It is Renga-a-manu Hakopa!
A red branch descended from her father.
Open thine eyelids, my true love.
Where is your brother, my love?
At the feast in the Bay of Salutation
We will meet under the feathers of your clan.
She has long been yearning after you.
Send your brother as a mediator of love between us,
Your brother who is now at the house of my father.
O, where is the messenger of love between us?
When the feast of drift-wood is commemorated
There we will meet in loving embrace.

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