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The Rongorongo of Easter Island

Song "Ka ihi uiga"

This song was sung by Ure Vaeiko upon being shown a photograph of tablet D (or Tablette Echancrée) by William Thomson. It is reproduced here as it appears in Thomson 1891, pp.525.

Thomson comments, probably repeating Salmon: "This is an old song, supposed to have descended from the time the first inhabitants arrived on the island. The father is believed to mourn for his child left in that eastern land, from which tradition states the people migrated."

Salmon's translation, in the right-hand column, is again unfaithful. The only verse that can be said to have been translated is "Auwe te poki e!", rendered as "My daughter, oh my daughter!", and which means "O, child!". The rest is fantasy.

1. Ka ihi uiga - te ki ati -
        Auwe te poki, e -
Ite maki tana - Rii te hiva ina.
Ka ihi uiga - mai.

2. Ka ihi uiga - te ki ati -
        Auwe te poki, e -
Ite maki tana - Honiti ina.
Ka ihi uiga - moa mai.

3. Ha imu, - poki - e-;
        Ta auwe rai - e;
Viviri rai, inage - o;
        I - ruga - i;
        Te papare hinua
Viviri rai - inage - o !

4. Haki - e !
Avahinua - ki tagu atu.
        Auwe poki - e!
Ava rai -
Ava mata - Ina hiva
        Auwe poki - e!
Ite renia o parapa moni
        Auwe poki - e!

The sail of my daughter,
  Never broken by the force of foreign clans!

The sail of my daughter,
  Unbroken by the conspiracy of Honiti!

Ever victorious in all her fights
  She could not be enticed to drink poison waters

In the cup of obsidian glass.
  Can my sorrow ever be appeased

While we are divided by the mighty seas ?
  Oh my daughter, oh my daughter!

It is a vast and watery road
  Over which I look toward the horizon,

My daughter, oh my daughter!
  I'll swim over the deep to meet you,
My daughter, oh my daughter!

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