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The Rongorongo of Easter Island

Recitation "Atua-Mata-Riri". Overview.

William Thomson had with him photographic reproductions of several tablets. Upon being shown that of tablet R, his informant, Ure Vaeiko, delivered a long text consisting of 48 verses. This text is known as "Atua-Mata-Riri" (God-eyes-angry) after its opening words. The hope that it may provide the key to the decipherment, to be a new Rosetta Stone, has remained unfulfilled. To date (July 1999), no-one has succeeded in correlating Atua-Mata-Riri to any of the texts of the surviving corpus.

The text of Atua-Mata-Riri is reproduced here precisely as it appears in Thomson 1891, pp.520-522, without any attempt at correcting its many typographical mistakes. For each verse are given:

  1. Ure Vaeiko's version, as collected by Thomson, in boldface.
  2. Underneath, in italics, Salmon's translation as recorded by Thomson.
  3. Alfred Métraux's attempt at correcting misprints and words misheard, in boldface.
  4. Underneath, in italics, Métraux's own translation.

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