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United states national MUSEUivi. 



Paymaster^ U, S, Navy, 

From the Report of the National Museum, iSSS-'Sg, pages 447-559 
(with plates XII- LX). 





Report of National Museum, 1 889,— Thomson, 

Plate XII. 


By Paymaster William J. Thomson, U. S. Navy. 


The honor of the discovery of Easter Island is contested by several 
of the earlier voyagers in the Pacific. Spanish writers claim that the 
island was sighted by Mendana in 1566, but the account is by no means 
authenticated, and the records preserved are not sufficiently accurate to 
determine the exact track sailed over by that ancient mariner. Captain 
Davis is credited by Capt. William Dampier with being the first to sight 
the island, and Lionel Wafer, who cruised with that bold navigator, 
on board of the Batchelor^s Delight, gives the following account of the 
discovery in the year 1687: 

Bound to tlie southward, in latitude 12 degrees 30 minutes and about 150 leagues 
off tbe coast, experienced a shock of earthquake, that was afterwards found to cor- 
respond with the destruction of Callao by earthquake. Having recovered from our 
fright we kept on to the southward. We steered eouth-aud-by-east-half-ea.storly, 
until we came to latitude 27 degrees 20 minutes south, when about two hours before 
day we fell in with a small low, sandy island and heard a great roaring noise, like that 
of the sea beating upon the shore, right ahead of the ship. Whereupon the sailors, 
fearing to fall foul upon the shore before day, desired the captain to put the ship 
aliout, and to stand off until the day appeared ; to which the captain gave his consent. 
So we plied off till day and then stood in again with the laud, which proved to be a 
small flat island, without any guard of rocks. We stood in within a quarter of a 
mile of the shore and could see it plainly, for it was a clear morning, not foggy or 
hazy. To the westward about 12 leagues, by judgment, we saw a range of high land, 
which we took to be islands, for there were several partitions in the prospect. 

This land seemed to reach about 14 or 16 leagues in a range, and there came great 
flocks of fowls. I and many more of our men would have made this land and have 
gone ashore on it, liut the captain would not permit us. The small island bears from 
Copiap6 almost due east 500 leagues, and from the Galapagos, under the line, tiOO 

Unfortunately, none of the voyagers on board of the Batchelor^s De- 
light were permitted to land upon this unknown island, nor is mention 
made in the narratives of monoliths or unusual structures that might 
have been observed from the short distance in which it is claimed they 
approached the shore. The apparent inaccuracy in the description of 
the appearance of the land may have been due to the peculiar bearing 
of the vessel, but it gives foundation to the claim of Admiral Eogge- 



veen, that Davis's island was not identical with the one discovered by 
him on April 7, i 722, and named Easter Island in commemoration of the 
day upon which the laud was sighted. Eoggeveen says: 

When -vre approacbed nearer the land we saw distinctly from a short distance that 
the description of the sandy and low island did not accord in the least with our dis- 
covery. Furthermore, it could not be the same land which the aforesaid voyagers 
claim to have seen stretching 14 to IG leagues in front of them, and near the highland 
which Dampier judged to be the coast-line of the unlcoowu south. Tliat Easter Island 
can not be the sandy island described by Davis is clear, because that was small and 
low, while on the contrary Easter Island is high and towers above the sea, haviug 
also two elevations rising above the level part. It would not be possible to mistake, 
even at the dry season of the year, the grass and verdure that covers the hill-sides 
for barren sand. After the Dutch custom of the day, the admiral assembled the com- 
manders of the three vessels composing his fleet — the Aretid, the African Galley, and 
the Thieiilioven — in council to pass formal resolutions claiming the discovery of the 
land. The proceedings of the assembly state that on Easter day land was sighted 
about 9 Diiles distant, of moderate height, and containing an area of about 6 Dutch 
miles. The weather being calm the vessels were not able to secure an anchorage 
near the laud until the next day. The island was found to be destitute of trees, but 
with a fertile soil producing bananas, potatoes, and sugar-cane of extraordinary 
thickness. It was unanimously agreed that both from the difference in the location 
as well as the appearance of the land seen by Davis, the fact was established beyond 
doubt that the island just discovered could not be the same. These proceedino-s be- 
ing drawn up, were formally signed by Jacob Eoggeveen, Jan Koster, Cornelias Bon- 
man, and Eoelof Rosendaal. After sailing from Easter Island the vessels spent a 
number of days in a search for the low sandy island described by Davis, but not with 

The unreliable Behreus mentions in the " Two Years' Voyage " the 
discovery of Easter Island bj^ Eoggeveen on the day celebrated as the 
resurrection of the Lord (April 6, 1722), in latitude 27 degrees south 
and longitude 268 degrees west. 

Oapt. F. W. Beechey, R. N., commanding H. M. S. Blossom (Novem- 
ber, 182.5), referring to the discovery of Easter Island, finds the credit 
due to Davis, giving the following reasons for the conclusions drawn: 

Had such an island been in existence answering to the description of that seen by 
Davis, geographers would not have been long in reconciling their opinions on the 
subject of his discovery, as in all probability they would have waived their objec- 
tions to its distance from Copiapo in consideration of its identity. The subject of the 
supposed discovery has been often discussed; and when the data are so unsatisfactory 
as to allow one party to choose the islands of Felix and Ambrose for the land in ques- 
tion, and the other Easter Island, two places nearly 1,600 miles apart, they are not 
likely to be speedily reconciled unless two islands exactly answering the description 
given by Davis, and situated in the proper latitude, shall be found. 

Without entering upon a ciuestion which presents so many difficulties, I shall 
merely observe that, considering the rapid current that exists in the vicinity of the 
[ialapagos, and extends, though with diminished force, throughout the trade-wind 
the error in Davis's leckoning is not more than might have happened to any dull sail- 
ing vessel circumstanced .as he was. In a short run from .Juan Fernandez to Easter 
Island, Behreus, who was with Roggeveen, was drifted ;.U8 geographical miles to the 
westward of his supposed situa,tion. H. M. S. Blossom in passing over the same ground 
•vxperienced a set of 270 miles in the short s[iaco of 18 days. M. La Perouse on his ar- 
rival at Sandwich Islands from Concepcion, touchiug at Easter Island on bis way, 


found a similar error of 300 miles in the course of tbat passage. It is fair to presume 
that Davis was louger in crossing from the Galapagos to Easter Island than either of 
those vessels or, at least, than the Blossom ; and it is consequently but reasonable to 
allow him a greater error, particularly as the first part of his route was through a 
much stronger current. But taking the error in the Blossom's reckoning as a fair 
amount, and applying it to the distance given by Wafer, there will remain only 204 
miles unaccounted for between it and the real position of Easter Island, which, from 
the foregoing considerations, added to the manner in which reckonings were formerly 
kept, does not appear to me to exceed the limit that might reasonably be ascribed to 
those causes. 

M.La P^rouse was of the opinion that the islands of Felix and Ambrose were those 
under discussion, and in order to reconcile their distance from CapiapO with that given 
by Wafer, has imputed to him a mistake of a tigure in his text, without considering 
that it would have been next to impossible for Davis to have pursued a direct course 
from the Galapagos to those islands (especially at the season in which his voyage 
was made), but on the contrary that he would be compelled to make a circuit which 
would have brought him much nearer to Easter Island, and that Davis acquainted 
Dampier with the situation of his discovery, which agreed with that contaioed in 
Wafer's account. 

The alteration of a figure, it must be admitted, is rather arbitrary, as it has noth- 
ing to support it but the circumstauce of the number of islands being the same. A 
mistake certainly might have occurred, but in the admission of it either party may 
claim it as au advantage by interpreting the presumed error in a way which would 
support his own opinion. 

Cook and Pdrouse differ in a very trifling degree from each other, and also from us, 
ill the geographical position of Euster I^land. The longitude is, by Cook, 109 degrees 
"JCi minutes 20 seconds, and deducting 18 minutes 30 seconds, in consequence of cer- 
tain corrections made at Fetegu Island, leaves 109 degrees, ii7 minutes, 50 seconds 
west. That by P^ronse, allowing the longitude of Coucepcion to be 72 degrees 5fi 
minut<3s 30 seconds west, is 109 degrees 32 minutes 10 seconds west, and our own is 
109 degrees 24 minutes 54 seconds west. 

Admitting that the land was first sighted by Davis, the fact is be. 
youd question that the Dutchmen under Eoggeveen were the first 
Europeans to land on the island. From the unfortunate termination of 
his cruise, and the suppression of his ofiQcial journal for so many years, 
but little has been handed down to us in the way of description of the 
island as it then appeared. 

The Spaniards sighted the island in 1770, and gave it the name of 
St. Carlos. Captain Cook called it Easter Island in March, 1774, and 
sent an expedition on shore, but his log affords little in regard to its 
general appearance beyond the fact that it was parched and desolate, 
and of no value as a place of refreshment. 

M; Bernizet, geographical engineer, who visited the island in April, 
1786, with the La P6rouse expedition, describes its appearance with 
care, and after the lapse of a century his notes are found to be suflQ- 
ciently accurate for ordinary purposes. 

Amasa Delano, Kotzebue, Lisiausky, and many other voyagers made 
brief calls at the island, and their journals afford little information. 
The recent French, Spanish, and English charts are sufficiently accurate 
in the main features, but some of the coast lines were evidently estab- 
lished from running surveys, and are incorrect. During the stay of the 
H. Mis, 334, pt. 2 1:9 


Mohican Lieut. F. M. Symond.sJ' with Navul Cadet C. M. McCormick as 
awsislunt, made a careful .survey of tUe i.slaud, and their chart, here- 
with appeuded, will be fouud accurate and replete with iuterest. (I'late 


Vessels anchoring on this unprotected coast must be; guided entirely 
by the direction of the wind at the time. The Mohican anchored in tlie 
roadstead of Hauga Eoa (Cook's Bay on the English charts) on tlie 
morning of December 1!), 1SSC>, and afterwards moved to a jiositioii off 
Anakena Bay (La Perouse Bay), for convenience in shipiiiug the stone 
image, now in the National Maseum. 

Uu the south coast there are good anchorages during northeiiy and 
westerly winds, but there is usually a heavy swell from the southwest, 
making the boat-landings at Vaihu both difftcnlt ami dangerous. AVith 
easterly winds a good anchorage will be found just outside of Hanga 
I'ico Bay, with sandy bottom, in about 2(5 fathoms of water, and the 
boat-lauding will be fouud safe. The best boat-landing on the island 
is at Auakeua Bay; the beach is comparatively free from stones, and 
eveu with northerly winds the landing would be no more difficult than 
is usual at Funchal. 

The rise and fall of the tide at Easter Islaud is about 2 feet. The 
northerly and westerly wiuds do not produce a high sea, but generally 
bring rain, and are usually confined to the winter season. These winds 
are knowu to the uatives as "papakino" (ill-force). The northeast wiud 
is called "tongariki;" it is variable, aud frequeut in summer. The 
southeast wind, known as "anoraro" (wide expanse), is the prevailing- 
wind iu summer. The south wind, called "motu-rauri" (dark leaf rock), 
blows iu winter. The southwest wind blows strong iu winter, and 
brings rain and a high sea. Vaitara (cut-water) is a wintei' wind fiom 
the west. The prevailing winds are from an easterly direction, and all 
others are of short duration. Light airs that frequently shift tlirectiou 
are usually accompanied by rain, and are called by the nati\es " tepu- 
hauga" (biows drift on shore), the reason for which is obvious. 


Tlie geological features of the island are replete with interest. The 
fornnition is purely of a volcanic character and embraces every variety 
pertaining to that structure. Basaltic, cellular, aud tufaceous lavas 
abouud in diversified forms. The basaltic is generally [)orous and scori- 
form, but on the slope of the hills the substrata are frequently as com- 
pact and dense as that of the coast-line. Near Anakena may be seen 
hills composed of scoria quite as cellular as pumice, and in close i)rox- 
imity compact beds having a dark blue basis, composed of crystals of 
glassy feldspar aud olivine. 

Tlie cellukw fonnii'tioi! is iitixed puuiiee aiu-l slag, iu some cases isinib 


lar to volcanic cinder, having the liglitness and qualities of coke, la 
some of the varieties the cavities are filled with olivine crystals partly 
decomposed, but generally the cavities are empty. This lava when 
mixed with feldspar is sometimes of gray color; not iinfrequently sev- 
eral tints of red may be seen, though the most common is a dark, luster- 
less brown. 

The tnfaceous lavas are extremely interesting, because they form the 
most prominent feature in the iJhysiognomy of the island. To this 
geological structure, with the incessant action of the trade-winds and 
heavy rains, is due the fact that the island is surrounded by precipitous 
clifls, rising in some cases to a thousand feet in height. The forma- 
tion is extremely friable, and by the action of the elements, euorujous 
masses are continually disappearing beneath the waves of the sea tiiat 
beat upon this unprotected shore. These tufas differ considerably in 
consistency at the eastern end of the islajid. The species is a tine light- 
red dust that is blown about by the wind and is desti'ute of vegetation ; 
towards the southwest end the basis is a compact mud-like red clay, 
while the colossal crowns, intended to adorn the gigantic statues, are 
carved out of a variety that has been scorified in one of the craters, 
and is of a dull reddish color. 

The ordinary rules for estimating the age of rocks by compactness 
can be applied at Easter Island only hypothetically, because the scori- 
form and more dense specimens are found immediately contiguous to 
one another. In places they are quite conglomerated, as though older 
formations had been disturbed by volcanic couvulsions, while a new 
flow of lava enveloped and sealed the whole into a heterogeneous mass. 
During our short stay on the islands there was no oi)portunity to 
measure the lava flow or to make investigations of that nature. 

Natural caves are numerous, both on the coast-line and in the interior 
of the island. Some of them are of undoubted antiquity and bear evi- 
dence of having been used by the early inhabitants as dwellings and 
as burial places. It is reported that small images, inscribed tablets, and 
other objects of interest have been hidden away in such caves and 
finally lost through land-slides. 

The numerous hills on this island have gently sloping sides, except 
where they approach the coast, falling at this point precipitously to the 
sea. The plains are irregularly shaxsed, and some of the smaller ones 
rise to a considerable height. The physical character of the soil is 
alluvial. The substratum is volcauic ash and stones, and the upiter 
formation is composed of decayed vegetable matter mingled with a rich 
deposit of decomposed lava washed down from hills by the frequeut 
raius. These plains being formed by the periodical eruptions of the 
volcanoes, some diflereuce may be uoted in the quantity of the soil, 
varying according to location. 

After the successive discharges of lava from the craters of Eana Ito- 
raka and iiaua-kao bad prescdbed the limitfj of \X\^ island aud wheu 


this flow had ceased, tliere was a heavy deposit of mud, covering deeply 
both hill and dale. This condensed earth, after tlie lapse of centuries, 
has formed a soil that produces a natural grass affording an excellent, 
pas-turage for flocks and herds. The expiring energy of the volcanic 
power appears to have been directed, long after the formation of this 
soil, to sprinkling thickly the entire surface of the island with stones 
and small bowlders, thus providing the means of attraction and hold- 
ing the moisture, nature's substitute, as it were, for trees. The natives 
have distinct names for the following varieties: Black and red tufa 
with volcanic cinder and pumice are called " Maea-Hane-haue," " maea" 
being the generic term ap|)lied to all stone. A soft gray tufa is ground 
down with the juice of the sugar-cane and used as a paint. This is 
known as " Kiri-kiri Ten." Hard slates, black, red, and gray, are used 
for stone axes and called "Maea-Toke." Granite used for the same 
purpose is known as "Maea Nevhive. The hardest and finest stone im- 
plements are made of the flinty beach pebble known as "Maea-Reng- 
rengo." The hard cellular stones from which the majority of the 
jdatforms are built are called " Maea-Pupura." The material from which 
images were constructed is called '' Maea-Matariki," and the obsidian 
from which spear-heads were made is known as " Maea-Mataa." 


Previous to the general recognition of the name bestowed by Admi- 
ral Eoggeveen in commemoration of the day upon which tlie land was 
discovered, it had not been regularly christened by either of the earlier 
navigators who claimed to have sighted it. The Spaniards afterwards 
gave it the name of San Carlos, but the Dutchman's title of Easter Is- 
land was preferred by the chart-makers and was adopted by the world 
in general. 

The island is known to the natives as "Te Pito te Henua," the lit- 
eral interpretation of the words signifying the " navel and uterus." This 
singular name was given to the land, according to the ancient tradi- 
tions, by Hotu Metua immediately after its discovery, and has been 
handed down through succeeding generations unchanged. To the 
simideminded Polynesian this name is suggestive, ajjpropriate, and 
beautiful. The child of nature recognizing the volcanic origin of the 
island can see in the great volcano, Eana Roraka, a resemblance to the 
human "te pito" in relation to its shape and gently sloping sides sur- 
rounding tbe shallow crater. The same association of ideas would 
picture the majestic volcano, Rana Kao, at the southwest end, as " to 
henua," in whose womb was conceived the embryo and whose vitals 
brought forth the rocks and earth from which the island was formed. 

"Kiti te eiranga" is stated by an English writer of some note to be 
the native name for the island, bub we could' not find any authority for 
it, nor did the natives with whom we came in coutact recognize the 


Througbout southeasteru Polynesia this island is kuown as Rapa 
Nui, but the name is of accidental origin and only traces back about 
twenty years. When the islanders, kidnaped by the Peruvians, were 
being returned to their homes, there was for a time a question as to the 
identity of those from Easter Island. The native name of " Te Pito te 
Henua" was not recognized by the French oflScials, and finding certain 
fellow-snfFerers hailing from Oparo, an islaud lying 2,000 miles to the 
westward, were more successful under the local appellatiou of Eapa iti 
Little Itapa), the euphonious title was dropped and Rapa nui (Great) 
Rapa) substituted. Teapy, Waihn, and various other names have been 
given to the island, but clearly without warrant. Vaihu was the name 
of a district and was occupied bj' the most powerful clan in the days 
of Cook and La Perouse, but it was never applied to the entire island. 


The climate is not unlike that of Madeira, with one wet and one dry 
season. From April to October tiie niinfall is copious, and in summer 
it is limited to passing showers. The mean temperature at the time of 
our visit (midsummer), in the shade, at 2 o'clock p. m., was between 78° 
and 80° Fah., and at 2 o'clock a. m. there was a fall of about 6 degrees. 
The southeast trades blow fresh at the beginning and end of the sea- 
son, and make the climate s.alubrious and liealLlifid. Our long fatiguing 
marches, while making the exploration of the island, were not accom- 
panied with inconvenience from exposure to tiie direct rays of the sun, 
the constant breezes making the sensible temperature always appear 
lower than that recorded by the thermometer. Violent exercise induced 
profuse ])erspi ration, but evaporation was always free and rapid. Elec- 
tric storms are unknown. 


The Catholic missionaries built at Vaihu, on the south coast, near 
Cape Koe Koe, a commodious and substantial church, a parsonage con- 
taining three rooms, and several outbuildings. The house is now the 
residence of Mr. Salmon, the outbuildings are occupied by his employes, 
and the church has degenerated into a storehouse for wool. The i)rin- 
cipal native settlement is at Mataveri, on the southwest coast, and about 
a mile distant, at Hanga Koa, a small neat church has been erected. 
Here the islanders assemble on Sundays and other occasions to hear 
the service read by one of their number, who was ordained especially 
to take charge of this congregation upon the departure of the French 
missionaries. At the southwest end of the island, and near the base of 
Rana Kas, is the residence of Mr. Brander. 

The house is of modern structure, with large and convenient rooms, 
but is in a state of bad rei)air, and is more attractive when viewed 
from a distance, surrounded by the shrubbery and vines that have been 
planted about it, than it is upon close inspection. 



Tlie native priest and a few of Lis connections reside at Hanga Eoa, 
only tbose ia the employ of Mr. Salmon live at Vaihu, and tlie only set- 
tleojent on \he island that may be termed a village is the one at Mata- 
veri. The primitive bnts formerly used by the natives (Fig. 1 ) have 

Fig. 1. 

Native houses uuit.t of r.ui,it[jsiiii:s. 

been abandoned for more comfortable dwellings constrncted under the 
direction of a Danish carpenter out of material obtained from the wreck- 
ageof several vessels loaded witli Oregon lumber. These buildings are 
of a style of architecture commonly met with in small cheap barns and 
stables, but to the simple-minded islanders they supplj' all the comforts 
that could be desired. 

These houses are usually al)out 25 feet long and 15 feet wide with 
undressed weather-boards and roofed willi the same material. Hinged 
doors open in the center and a(bnit light and ventilation, though a few 
of the more pretentions buildings are furnished with small glazed win- 
dows. The lioors are of l>are earth strewn with a litter of dried grass, 
filthy and vermin-infested from long use. Mats made of bulrushes aie 
spread out for sleeping; several rough bedsteads and chests were seen, 
but the majority of the houses are destitute of furniture or ornament. 
Several families occnpy the same dwelling; men, women, and children 
lie down together like dogs in a Ivennel, aiul with about the same ideas 
of what constitutes the comforts of life. 


The native traditions agree in the statement that the discoverers of the 
island found it destitute of trees and all vegetation except grasses and 
a creeping vine bearing a dehiscent fruit to which the name Moki oo-ne 


was given. Hota-Matna and liis followers are believed toliave bionglit 
with them potatoes, yams, bananas, sugar-cane, and the seed of various 
jjlants, including the paper-mulberry and tororairo trees. The newly 
discovered species of legume, together with fish and turtle, enabled the 
first settlers to exist while the first crop was being planted and culti- 

Nothing could be more contradictory than the description which tlio 
different voyagers have given of Easter Island. Eoggeveen states that 
it was destitute of trees, but the land was found to be exceptionally fer- 
tile, producing bananas, potatoes, and sugarcane of extraordinary thick- 
ness, and concludes by saying that the island, by virtue of its productive 
soil and salubrious climate, could be made an earthly paradise by careful 
cultivation. Behrens speaks of trees on the island, but to his romantic 
eyes the clusters of banana and paper-mulberries were magnified into 
forests. Captain Cook expresses great disappointment in the expecta- 
tion that he had formed of this island. as a place of refreshment. The 
only articles of importance obtained were potatoes and yams, and these 
were only sufiQcient to servo for a few meals; while the fowls, bananas, 
and sugar-cane were in such inconsiderable quantities that they were 
deemed hardly worth mentioning. George Foster writes: 

The island is so very barren that the whole number i.f plants growing upon it; dops 
not exceed twenty species, of which the far greater part is cultivated, tlinngh flio 
space which the platforms occupy is incons^iderablc compared with what lies waste. 
The soil is altogetiier stony and parched by the sun, and the water is so scarce th;it 
the inhabitants drink it out of wells which have a strong admixture of brine, and 
some of onr people really saw them drink of the sea water when they wore thirsty. 

Mr. Poster' devoted considerable attention to the investigation of 
indigenous plants, and his report embraces all of the most important 
varieties. He found the paper-mulberry carefully cultivated for tiie 
purpose of making cloth. The stems were from 2 to 4 feet high, and 
they were planted in rows among the rocks where the rains had 
washed a little soil together. The Thespesia poimlnea Carr. {Hibiscus 
jpopulnevs Linn.), was cultivated in the same manner, and likewise 
a Mimosa, which is referred to as the only shrub that affords the 
natives sticks for their clubs and pattoo-pattoos, and wood sufficient 
to patch up a canoe. Wild celery and a few other small plants were 
identified as the same species as that which he had found growing in 
abundance on the shores of New Zealand. He also discovered a variety 
of night-shade, which the Tahitians use asa vulnerary remedy (<9o/rtw?n)t 
niprimi), and speculates as to whether it was used here for the same pur- 

La Perouse, impressed with a desire to relieve to some extent the 
destitute condition in which he found the islanders and of contributing 
essentially and lastingly to their welfare, had ground prepared in which 
he sowed various kinds of pulse. Peaches, plums, and cherries were 
planted, also pips of oranges iiinl lemons. The natives were instructed 


as fully as possible in the care and attention tbe new plants would re- 
quire, and made to understand tbe value of tbis addition to tbeir re- 
sources. Not a trace can be found of tbe tbings planted by tbis gener- 
ous Frencbman, but w betber tbey were sufi'ered to die out tbrougb tbe 
ignorance or indolence of tbe natives may never be known. 

We found tbe lapse of a century bad made but little improvement in 
tbe resources of tbe islanders. Trees bave been planted around tbe 
bouse of Mr. Brander, at tbe soutbwest end of tbe island, but, with 
tbe exception of tlie fig, acacia, and pa])er-mu]berry, tbey do not appear 
to tbrive. At various i)laces througbout tbis laud we found small 
clumps of Edicarclsia, Broussonetia, aiid Hibiscus, but all were dead, 
having been stripi)ed of tbeir bark by tbe flocks of sheep, which roam 
at will over the island. None of these trees were over 10 feet high, 
and the largest trunk we found would measure about 5 inches in 

Tbe natives are not altogether ignorant of husbandry, though they 
practice it spasmodically and at a great expense of time and labor, dif- 
fering in no respect from tbe customs of their forefathers hundreds of 
years ago. In the cultivation of yams, potatoes, and taro, the young 
jilants are protected from tbe tierce heat of the sun by a mulching of 
dried grass gatliered from the uncultivated ground. Bananas are 
grown in boles a foot or more deep and with sloping sides, designed to 
catch and bold the rain-water as long as possible about the roots of tbe 
plant. Sugarcane is grown in protected spots, and attains tbe height 
of about 10 feet. During our peregrinations this succulent plant was 
extensively used in lieu of something to drink, and proved exceedingly 
^ aluable in preventing a i)arcbed condition of the throat. The natives 
bave no knowledge of tbe art of extracting the juice of the cane for 
the purpose of making sugar. 

The sweet potatoes are large and remarkably good. The natives eat 
them both raw and cooked. Experiments have been made recently 
wim imported white potatoes, but they bave been tried in various situ- 
ations and at different seasons without success. After the first growth 
they appear like new potatoes, and when i)lanted again they are inva- 
riably soft and sweet, and are much less palatable than tbe indigenous 
variety. We saw tobacco plants growing in secluded spots, but were 
unable to determine by whom or when tbey were introduced. Tbe 
natives maintain that the seed was included among tiiat which was 
brought to the island by the first settlers. Tomato x)lants were also 
found growing wild, and on several occasions proved a valuable addi- 
tion to our limited fare. 

A wild gourd is common, and constituted tbe only water-jar and 
domestic utensil known to the natives. Suitable clay abounds, but tbe 
potter's art seems never to have been known on the island. There are 
two varieties of indigenous hemp. 

We saw no flowering i)lauts that are indigenous to tbe soil. Vervain, 


Verbena officinalis^ and a few otliers grow in great profusion, but they 
grew from cuttings obtained from ?■■ French vessel of war. 

Ferns of many varieties are common, and grow in i^rofusion in the 
craters of the volcanoes. Except in a few exposed places, the slopes 
of the hills and the valleys are covered with a perennial grass. It 
strongly resembles the Jamaica grass (PaspaZww) and grows in bunches 
or tufts, which in the dry season become so slippery as to make the 
walking both difficult and dangerous. This natural growth supplies 
ample pasturage for the numerous cattle and sheep owned by Messrs. 
Salmon and Brander. 

To avoid the depredations of the sheep that wander over the island 
without restraint, the natives are compelled to protect their cultivated 
patches by stone walls. The volcanic stones furnish the only available 
material for these barriers, and are thrown loosely together to a height 
of 5 or 6 feet, and inclose gardens from a few feet square to several 
acres. The deeply rooted prejudice existing in the native mind against 
physical exertion that might be avoided, has develo[)ed a happy ex- 
pedient to save labor and at the same time to escape the ravages of the 
animals lately imported by the foreign residents. Ruins of houses, 
cairns, platforms, and tombs are thickly scattered over the island ; 
many of the standing walls are sufficiently well preserved and others 
require but little repair. Within these ancient foundation walls are 
raised their limited crops of fruit and vegetables; the only disadvan- 
tage being the contracted area available for each plot. 


There are no quadrupeds peculiar to the island except several vari- 
eties of rodents. The ancient traditions claim that a goat like animal 
was found here by the first colonists, with wide-spreading horns and 
giving six young at a birtb. It is difficult to imagine the foundation 
for this fancy. We found no representation of such an animal either 
iu the mural paintings or outlined on the sculptured rocks, and diligent 
search of the debris of the caves failed to disclose any of the bones or 
traces of mammals. 

La Perouse found the islanders without domestic animals, and left 
with them two ewes, a she-goat, and a sow, with the male of each spe- 
cies. Their native names indicate the recent addition to the language. 

In the caves and among the ruins we saw 7nany rats of great size. 
The examiuation of the tombs disclosed the fact that tlie bones had 
been frequently gnawed by these rodents, and their nests were some- 
times found inside the crania. 

There are on the island a few cats as wild as though they had never 
seen the face of man, though they are descended from feline pets landed 
by some passing vessel. They have grown to an immense size, and 
upon several occasions when encountered iu the dark recesses of a cave 


or tomb presented a formidable appearance. Messrs. Salmon & Bran- 
iler bave a berd of 000 cattle, and a flock of sbeep numbering 18,000. 
The cattle are from Gliilian stock, are small, averaging only about 400 
pounds, and possess no dairy qualities ; tbe cows giving barely enough 
milk to rear tbeir calves. The sheep were also imported from Chili. 
The wool is coarse and scant, the average being only about 2 pounds 
per animal. The export of last year in wool was 16 tons, and was shiped 
to Europe via Tahiti. An effort will be made next year to improve the 
breed of sheep by introducing blooded rams from Australia. A few 
tough little horses have been introduced from the island breed of Tahiti, 
but it is doubtful whether this will ever become an important industry. 


Small birds are altogether absent and, except the ordinary domestic 
fowl, we found only the tropic or man-of-war bird, petrels, gulls, and a 
variety of aquatic birds. George Foster observed noddies so tame as 
to settle on the shoulders of the natives, but he did not conclude that 
they kept a regular breed of them. The common domestic fowl was 
found on the island by the early navigators, and it is claimed that they 
were brought there by tbe first colonists. They are of the same kind 
as the common chickens reared at home; their bodies are small, and 
tlie legs long, but this is no doubt the result of long in-breeding. The 
natives all have tame fowls about their dwellings, but there are others 
in a wild state. We shot some of the wildfowls and found- them tough 
and inferior in taste to those that were domesticated. 


Fish has always been the principal means of support for the islanders, 
and the natives are exceedingly expert in the various methods of capt- 
uring them. The bonito, albicore, ray, dolphin, and porpoise are the 
ofi' shore fish most highly esteemed, but the swordflsh and shark are 
also eaten. Rock-fish are caught in abundance and are remarkably 
sweet and good. Small fish of many varieties are caught along the 
shore, and the flying-fish are common. Eels of immense size are caught 
ill the cavities and crevices of the rock-bonnd coast. Fresh-water fish 
are leported to exist in the lakes inside of the craters, but we did not 
see any of them. 

Turtles are plentiful and are highly esteemed ; at certain seasons a 
watch for them is constantly maintained on the sand beach. The tur- 
tle occupies a prominent place in the traditions, and it is frequently re- 
presented in the hieroglyphics and also appears on the sculptured rocks. 
A si)ccies of crayfish classified by Dr. Philippi, of Chili, as "papar- 
chalu," is abundant. These are caught by the nati\es by diving into 
the pools among the rocks, and form an important article of food. 

Shell-fish are plentiful. Remains of several varities of univalves 
were found in the stone houses at Orongo, and frequently met with in 
the debris of the caves throiighont the island. 



Small lizards are frequently seen among the rocks; the natives 
claim that a large variety is not uncommon, but we saw nothing of it. 
No snakes exist, bat there are centipedes whose bite is said to be ex- 
tremely painful, though not attended with serious consequences. Sev- 
eral varieties of butterflies were observed. Myriads of flies infest 
every part of the island. Vliegen Island was the name given to Riroa, 
in the Pamotu group, or Low Archipelago, by Schouten iu 1G16, but 
we were tormented here by hundreds where we saw tens on the Attol. 
From the earliest dawn of day to the close of the short twilight, hordes 
of flies annoyed us ; it made no difi'erence whether we skirted the cliff's 
to windward, climbed the breeze-swept hills, or burrowed in the musty 
caves and tombs, swarms of flies met ns, prepared to dispute every foot 
of the ground. Whatever may have been the parent stock of the Poly- 
nesians, we came to the unanimous conclusion that we had discoverd 
here the lineal descendauts of the flies that composed the Egyptian 
plague, and can testify that they have not degenerated in the lapse of 

Fleas occasioned us more annoyance than the flies, because this in- 
dustrious little insect was untiring in its attentions by day and night. 
They were found in numbers in all the camping places, and we seemed 
to get a fresh supply every time a halt was called. 

There are fifteen or twenty mangy dogs of a mongrel breed on the 
island whose hides were literally alive with jumping insects. They 
had long ago given up all hope of relief, and made no ineffectual efforts 
in that direction, but they plainly expressed in their mute way the 
conviction that life in this flea-bitten state was not worth the living. 

It was said that there were no mosquitoes on the island until cisterns 
were built by Messrs. Salmon and Brander to catch the rain-water. 
We saw none elsewhere. 

Cockroaches about 2 inches long, with antennae to correspond, infest 
every dwelling on the island, from the humble thatched hut to the com- 
paratively comfortable residences of the foreigners. They partook of 
our food at meal-times with a freedom which showed that the presence of 
the stranger caused no restraint ; while at night they made themselves 
familiar with our garments in whatever time could be spared from 
tlieir gastronomic researches. 

A peculiar variety of snapping beetle made its appearance every 
evening just before sundown, appearing suddenly ana vanishing with 


Various forms of fishing nets were manufactured, from the hand net 
to the long seine called " kupenga maito," which was sujjported by 
l)oles at the extremities, weighted with stone sinkers on the submerged 
edge and floated by billets of wood on the surface (Plate XIII). Their 


light casting-nets were used with great dexterity as they waded along 
the beach, and when a shoal of small fish appeared, the net was thrown 
with the right hand. These nets were remarkably made, and in the 
maaufacture a netting-needle of bone or wood was used, much after 
the fashion in more civilized countries. The coarse nets and cordage 
was made from the twisted bark of the hibiscus, and the fine ones from 
the fiber of the indigenous hemp. From the strong heavy ropes used 
in raising and transporting the colossal images to the light but durable 
fish-lines, the threads were all twisted by hand, across the knee, into 
even strands, which were multiplied according to the size and strength 


The population of Easter Island is not stated in actual figures by 
any of the traditions or legends, but all agree in the statement that the 
different districts were peopled by numerous and powerful clans who 
were constantly at war with each other. The immense amount of work 
performed by the image-makers and platform-builders would indicate 
the employment of a great many persons, if accomplished vvithin a 
reasonable limit of time, or the extension over several centuries, if the 
undertaking was carried out by successive generations. The ruins of 
extensive settlements near Tahai Bay Kotatake plains, around Puka 
Mauga-Mauga mountain, the Kana-Hana-Kana coast, the vicinity of 
Anakena, the shores of La P6rouse Bay, and extending along the coast 
from Tongariki to Vinapu in an almost unbroken line, would prove 
either the presence of numerous inhabitants, or a frequent change of 
location. The limited area of the 32 square miles of surface available 
for cultivation precludes the idea of any very dense population, and 
many reasons might be assigned for a frequent change of habitation. 
We know that the stone houses at Orango were only occupied during the 
feast of "bird eggs." The image-builders engaged in the quarries of 
Rana Eoraka probably lived at Tongariki, and entire communities may 
have changed location at different seasons of the year from failure (if 
water supply, or some equally sufficient reason. 

The early Spanish voyagers estimated the population at between 
2,000 and 3,000. Admiral Eoggeveen states that he was surrounded 
by several thousand natives before lie opened fire upon them. Captain 
Cook, fifty-two years later, placed the number at between 600 and 700, 
and Poster, who was with him, estimated them at 900. Twelve years 
later (1786) La P^rouse placed the populatiou at 2,000. Bushey (1825) 
puts the number at about 1,500. Kotzebue and Lisiansky make more 
liberal estimates. Equally chimerical and irreconcilable deductions 
are made by recent writers. Mr. A. A. Salmon, after many years' resi- 
dence on the island, estimates the population beiween 1850 and 1860 
at nearly 20,000. The diminution of the actual number of inhabitants 
progressed rapidly from 1863, when the majority of the able bodied men 
were kidnaped by the Peruvians, and carried away to wor^£ in the 
guano deposits of the Chincha Islands, and plantations in Peru. Only 

Report of National Museum, 1889. — Thomson. 

Plate Xlll. 



(Cat. No. 129748, U. S. N. M. Easter Island. Collected by Paymaster W. J. Thomson, U. S. N.) 

Report of National Museum, 1 839,— Thom.scn. 

Plate XIV. 


a few of these unfortunates were released, and all but two of them died 
upon the return voyage, from small-pox. The disease was introduced 
on the shore and nearlj^ decimated the island in a short time. An old 
man called Pakomeo is at present the only survivor of those returned 
from slavery, and he is eloquent in the description of the barbarous 
treatment received from the hands of the Peruvians. In 186i a Jesuit 
mission was established on the island, and through the teachings of 
Frfere Eugene, the ancient customs and mode of life were replaced by 
habits of more civilized practice. 

H. M. S. Topaze visited the island in 18C8. At that time the popula- 
tion was about 900, one-third of the number being females. In 1875 
about 500 persons were removed to Tahiti under contract to work in the 
sugar plantations of that island. Vn 1878 the mission station was 
abandoned, and about 300 people followed the missionaries to the Gam- 
bier Archipelago. 

Mr. Salmon took a complete census of the people just before the ar- 
rival of the Mohican^ and we were furnished with a list containing the 
names of every man, woman, and child on the island. The total number 
of natives is at present 155. Of these 68 are men, 43 women, 17 boys 
under fifteen years of age, and 27 girls of corresponding age. The popu- 
lation has been for several years at a standstill, the births and deaths 
being about equal in numbers. The longevity of the islanders appears 
to compare favorably with the natives of more favored lands. The 
oldest man among them is a chief called Mati; his actual age is not 
known, but he must be upwards of ninety, and his wife is nearly of the 
same age. 

The last king was kidnaped by the Peruvians and died in captivity, 
but his nearest descendant is a sturdy old fellow (Fig. 2) called Kaitae, 

Fig. 2. 
Kaitab, nearest descendant of the last King of Easter Island. 

about eighty years of age. The simple mode of life, frugal diet, freedom 
from care and anxiety, witli regular habits, are favorable to the longevity 
of the race. 




Ill describing the iiei'soiial appearance of the islanders (Plate XIV) 
the early writers give us a iileasiug variety to choose from. Behreiis 
solemnly states that a boat came oii' to the ship steered by a single man, 
a giant V2 feet high, etc. He afterwards observes, " with truth, I might 
say that these savages are all of more than gigantic size. The men are 
tall and broad in proportion, averaging 12 feet in height. Surprising as 
it may appear, the tallest men on board of our ship could pass between 
the legs of these children of Goliath without bending the head. The 
women can not compare (Fig. 3) iii stature with the men, as they are 

^ i . 


. 1 

Fig. 3. 
Native women. 

coMimonly not above 10 feet high." Koggeveen does not commit himself 
to a measurement, but states "the people are well proportioned of 
limb, having large and strong muscles, and are great in stature. They 
have snow-white teeth, which are imcoiiimonly strong; indeed, even 
among the aged and gray wo were surprised to see them crack large 
hard nuts whose shells were thicker than those of our peach seeds." La 
Perouse contradicts the account as to their enormous height and 
praises the beauty of the women, who, he says, resemble Europeans in 
color and features. M. Kollin states that the females were more liber- 
ally cu(lowcd with grace and beauty thau any whicU were (ifcerwards 

Report of Naliona) Museum, 1889. — Thomson. 

Plate XV. 



met with. The uatives iire uot of large stature; a few of the lueu are 
tall, but they arc of spare build, staud erect with straight carriage, aud 
appear taller than they really are. 

Great care Avas takeuto measure accurately the humau remains found 
ill the oldest tombs excavated on the island. These proved the ancient 
islanders to have been of medium size, aud the largest skeleton found 
measured a little short of G feet. The men are strong, active, and capa- 
ble of standing great fatigue — a fact denionstrated to our satisfaction 
during the exploration of the island. The women are shorter aud of 
smaller bouethan the men, as is usually the case throughout Polyuesia. 

Mendaua states that the islanders are nearly white aud have red 
hair. They resemble the Marquesans more than any other Polynesians, 
and considerable variety prevails in their complexions. The children 
are not much darker than Europeans, but the skin assumes a brown 
hue as they grow up and are exposed to the sun and trade-winds. The 
parts of the body that are covered retain the light color, and the females, 
who are usually i)rotected from the sun, are much fairer than the men. 
Bronze complexions are believed to indicate strength, and a dark skin 
is considered a mark of beauty. The eyes are dark-brown, bright, and 
full, with black brows and lashes not very heavy. The countenance is 
usually open, modest, and pleasing. The facial angle is slightly reced- 
ing, the nose aquiline and well proi)ortioned ; the prominent chin with 
thiulips gives somewhat the appearance of resolution to the countenance. 

The native character aud disposition has naturally improved as com- 
pared with the accounts given by the early navigators. They were 
then savages wearing no clothes, but with bodies painted inbrightcol- 
ors. The women are said to have been the most bold and licentious in 
Polynesia, if the reports are correctly stated, but we found them mod- 
est and retiring and of higher moral.character than any of the islanders. 
The repulsive habit of piercing the lobe of the ear aud distendiug the 
hole until it could contain bone or wooden ornaments of great size is no 
longer practiced, but there are still on the island persons with ear-bbes 
so long that they hang pendent upon the shoulders. In disposition the 
natives are cheerful and contented. Our guides were continually jok- 
ing with each other, aud we saw no quarreling or fighting. They are 
said to be brave and fearless of danger, but revengefuj^ and savage 
-when arouted. They arefoudofdressand ornaments. Verylittletappa 
cloth is now worn, the people being pretty well equipped with more 
comfortable garments, obtained from the vessels that have called at the 
island. (Plate XV). Straw hats are neatly braided by the women and 
w^oru by both sexes. The women wear the hair in long plaits down the 
back, the men cut the hair short and never discolor it with limeas is the 
custom in many of the islands of Polynesia. The hair is coarse, black, 
and straight, sometimes wavy, but never in the kinky stage. The beard 
is thin and sparse. Gray hair is common affloug those beyopd Uiicl(Jle 
life and baldaes.^ is very rare, 


Kava is uot grown upon tho island anil the drink made from tbe 
kava-root, common throughout the South Sea, is not known to these 
people. The diminution of tho inhabitants can uot be ascribed to the 
introduction of intoxicating drinks, or indeed any of the factors usually 
advanced in such cases. The decadence was no doubt acceleratetl by 
the introduction of the small-pox, and by the deportation of large num- 
bers, but it is earnestly hoped that the small remnant of the people will 
increase and multiply under the comforts and protection acquired from 
contact with civilization. 


The brutal treatment that the islanders received from the hands of 
their early visitors was uot calculated to impress them favorably. 
Usually the strangers were met upon their arrival by a crowd of noisy, 
restless, impetuous people, as curious as children and as peaceable aud 
friendly with all their boisterousness. The greatest fault they com- 
mitted was theft, and in return numbers were shot down aud innocent 
persons murdered. Eoggeveen plainly states that his boats approached 
the island well armed and in great fear of the natives. The men were 
formed in line of battleas they disembarked, and before all werelanded, 
some one in therear iired a shot, and immediately a fusilade began by 
these cowardly ruffians upon the unfortunate islanders, ten or twelve of 
whom were killed outright and as many were wounded. The admiral 
quietly shifts the responsibility for this outrage upon the shoulders of the 
second mate of the Thienlwveii, who offers as an excuse that some of the 
natives were observed to take up stones and make threatening gest- 
ures. As soon as the astonishment and terror of the inhabitants had 
subsided, they sued for mercy, aud everything they possessed in the 
way of fruits and vegetables, poultry, etc., was procured and laid as a 
peace offering at the feet of the Dutchman. Captain Cook afterwards 
received the most friendly reception possible from the same people, but 
he observed their great dread of fire-arms, the deadly effects of which 
were thorougly understood. The landing party conducted a brisk trade, 
and were highly amused to witness the small thefts committed upon 
one another in order to obtain articles for barter, yet Lieutenant Edge- 
comb did UQf hesitate to immediately shoot with his musket a poor 
unfortunate who picked up a little bag of botanical specimens. 

Captain Beechey was received with friendly demonstrations and his 
boats, sent on shore for supplies, obtained bananas, yams, potatoes, su- 
garcane, nets, etc., in trade, and some were thrown into the boats, leav- 
ing the strangers to make what return they chose. His journal dwells 
at great length upon the thieving propensity of the natives. His boats 
were surrounded by native swimniers, who made off' with small articles 
that came within reach of them, and among them were women who 
were not the actual plunderers, but who jirocured the opportunity for 
others by engrossing the attention of tbe seamen. 


To reach the laudiiig-place (he boats had to pass a small isolated rock 
upon which many persons had congregated, and who sang asoug of wel- 
come, accompanied by gestures showing that the visit was acceptable. On 
shore the party was surrounded by a crowd clamorous to obtain some- 
thing from the strangers, the few presents oliered were accepted, and 
then everything that came handy appropriated in the most open man- 
ner. This led to a scuffle, in which sticks and stones were freely used, 
resulting in a fight in which the native chief was shot and killed. The 
punishment of the natives, according to European ideas, was both cruel, 
and unnecessary. La Perouse judged the same crimes more leniently, 
and did not feel Justified in committing murder to avenge petty thefts. 
The outrages perpetrated upon the defenseless people by Captain Eugg, 
of the Friend, aud other freebooters, including the Peruvian slavers, 
require no comment. 


The natives did nut attach any moral delinquency to the practice of 
thieving. They had a god of thieving, and successful operations were 
believed to be accomplished under his |)atronage, and only detected 
when not sanctioned by that spiiit. The detected thief was made to 
suffer for his crime by an eslablislied system of retaliation peculiar to 
themselves, but the individual never lost caste or the respect of his 
I'riends. Thieves caught in tne act might be bea! en, knocked about, 
and the aggressor was permitted to ofier no resistance in the efforts to 
escape, although he might be the largest and most powerful. Before 
the retaliation could be enfoiced, the tbeft had to be proven and fixed 
beyond question, then the plundered individual was at liberty to recover 
the value of the loss from any property available belonging to the robber, 
and in the event of the value uot^ being recovered, articles of value 
could be destroyed to equalize the amount. Eetalialion for theft could 
be enforced by the weak and feeble against the strong and powerful, 
and any resistance would call to their aid the entire community. 

The rite of circumcision, so common throughout Polynesia, is unknown 
here, and their language contains no equivalent word for it. At the 
presenttime, all the natives have professed Christianity, and the ancient 
customs have been replaced by the ceremonies of the church to a great 
extent, but since the departure of the missionaries there has been a 
tendency to return to the old ideas, and many superstitions and practices 
are mingled with their religion. The marriage ceremony is performed 
by the acting priest in the church, but the practice is permitted with 
children who have not reached the age of puberty, and the betrothal is 
conducted by parents, the relations of the female paying a stipulated 
amount, generally in food to be consumed by the friends at the feast 
given to celebrate the event. It is not certain that polygamy ever 
existed, but an ancient custom permitted the husband to sell or lease 
his wife to another for a stated term. On account of the disproportion 
in the number of the sexes, celibacy was a matter of necessity, and 
H. Mis. 224, pt. 2 30 



probably originated this custom. Love of family is a strong trait m 
tbeir character; children are ibuilly cared for, and the desire for off- 
spring is general. 


Tattooing is not practiced at the present titae, none being observed 
upon children and young i)ersons. But all those advanced iu life are 
ornamented on all parts of the body. Unlike the Samoans and other 
islanders, where a standard pattern is adhered to, the designs were only 
limited by the fancy and ability of the artist. Both sexes were tattooed 
(Figs. 4, « and h), but the women to a greater extent and with more 
elaborate designs than the men. The material used in tattooing is ob- 
tained by burning the leaf of au indigenous iilaut called "ti," which is 
moistened with tlie juice of a berry called "poporo." A tattoo comb 
is made of bone or fish bones fastened to a stick, which is held iu i^osi- 
tion and struck with a sharp blow. 

Fig. 4,(1. 
Tattooing on native woman {fhokt view). 

Fio. i,h. 
Tattooing on native woman (hack view). 

The highest ornanaentation was as follows: A narrow b;iud around 
the up[)cr i)art of the forehead, at tlie edge of the roots of hair, with 
little circles extending down upon the forehead and joined to the band 


by a stem. From tlie corouet, a line extended around tbc outside edge 
of the ear, with a. circle ou the lobe. The lips were freely tattooed, 
after the manner of the Maoris, with lines curving around the chin and 
extending towards the cheek-bones ; the entire neck and throat covered 
with oblique or wavy lines, with occasional patches of solid coloring; 
a broad, wide girdle (Fig. 4, a) about the waist, from which bands rise 
in front and behind, representing trees and foliage, surmounted by largo 
faces on the breast and back, and smaller ones on each side of the 
body. Below the waist belt the lines were fine, like lace-work, and 
from the thigh to the knee the appearance was that of silk tights with 
variegated pattern. Below the knee there were various designs, termi- 
nating in a point at the feet. 


The form of salutation is "Kohomai," literally interpreted, "Oome to 
me." This is always heartily expressed, and parties meeting often 
shout out the kohomai while somedistauce apart. The greeting is varied 
by the addition of a word of respect when addressed to a superior in 
rank, or a stranger, and by a term of endearment, when to a child or 
to a relation. 


The costume of the natives is at present made up of the cast-oif 
clothing obtained from ships of all nations that have called at the 
island, but principally old uniforms of the French, Spanish, and En- 
glish vesselsof war. Brass buttons api)eal strongly to the native love 
for adornment, and many were made happy by the liberal contributions 
from the Mohican. Very little tappa cloth is made on the island at 
l)resent, but specimens of the ancient handiwork are treasured up in 
every family. The mode of manufacture is quite similar to that prac- 
ticed on the various groups of the South Sea, but the patterns are 
much less elaborate. The bark is stripped from the branches of the 
Hibiscus, in a manner to obtain the greatest possible leugtli, and rolled 
into coils with the inner bark outside, in order to make it flat and 
smooth. It is then scraped with a piece of obsidian to remove the 
bark, the coils being occasioually soaked in water to remove the res- 
inous substances. The strips are laid across a log and beaten for 
many hours with a heavy mallet. The mallets are of the heav- 
iest and hardest wood that can be obtained (toro*Hi?-o), about afoot long 
and 3 inches ou each face, some of which are smooth and others 
carved into grooves or ribs, to suit the different stages in the process of 
manufacture. Several strips of bark are beaten into one thickness of 
cloth, according to the purpose for which it was intended, some being 
made quite fine and others coarse and heavy. iSTogum is used except 
that naturally contained in the bark, and the fibers adhere closely 
when kept dry. The fabrication of tbe tappa speaks weH for the native 


invention and industry, but it is not very durable when cooapared with 
woven goods. The colors with which tlie decorations are made are pro- 
cured from roots, leaves, and berries of indigenous plants and are pre- 
pared with considerable skill. Several kinds of earth are used for (he 
dark colors, the pigment being ground down and boiled in the juice of 
the sugar-cane. 


The natives excel in the manufacture of fine mats, specimens of 
which will be found in our collection. They are made of bulrushes 
obtained from the craters in the vicinity of the lakes formed by tlie 
collection of the rain-water. They are woven by hand, and fine speci- 
mens are highly prized. 


The amusements of the people were reduced to a minimum when the 
customs of their heathen forefathers were abandoned, and at present 
there is no general assemblage for the jjurpose of enjoj'ment except an 
O(;casioual marriage feast or some accidental occasion, such as the ar- 
rival of a foreign ship. Prominent among the ancient customs were 
fiMsts to celebrate the return of the different seasons and various an- 
niversaries in their history, such as the landing of Hotu-Metua at 
Anakena Bay. Upon the latter occasion the ancient traditions were 
,rei)eated by recognized orators, and a prominent feature of all fetes 
was athletic sports, such as running, spear-throwing, and feats of skill 
and dexterity. Dancing was the most common of all amusements and 
there was no assemblage without its appropriate dance. 


Just as the traditions are cherished and repeated from father to son, 
the native dances are remembered and held in esteem, although never 
publicly practiced. Mr. Salmon secured the services of the "star per- 
formers" and we were fortunately enabled to witness the peculiarities 
of the native dance at his house at Viahu, on the eve of our departure 
from the island. The music was furnished by three persons seated 
u[ion the floor, who accompanied their discordant voices by thumps 
upon a tom-tom improvised from old cracker-boxes, and the dance was 
performed by an old woman and a young girl, the latter possessing some 
claim to symmetry of figure. The dancers wore a single loose garment, 
short enough to expose the bare ankles and sun-browned feet. Over 
the head and shoulders was thrown a white cloak, composed of a few 
yards of cotton cloth, which was sometimes spread open and occasion- 
ally made to hide the whole figure as they went through the various 
evolutions of the dance. This mantle was not managed with any par- 
ticular skill or grace and seemed to be identified with one [uirticular 


daoce, after which it was discarded for the small danciug-paddle or 
wand. The weird songs related the achievements and exploits of their 
ancestors in war, fishing, and love, and the gestures of the dancers 
were upon this occasion perfectly proper and modest. Some of the 
movements were suggestive of a rude relationship to the dances per- 
formed by the geisha girls of Japan in their odori, and consisted of 
movements and attitudes calculated to display the elegance and grace 
of the performers. The peculiar feature of the native dancing is the 
absence of violent motion ; there is no jumping or elaborate pirouettes, 
no extravagant contortions, and nothing that might be called a precision 
of step. The lower limbs play a part of secondary importance to the 
arms and the dancers indulge in no dizzy gyrations. The feet and 
liiinds are kept moving in unison with the slow, monotonous music, 
while the dancers endeavor to act out the words of the song by panto- 
mime. These islanders, like their sisters throughout Polynesia, have 
their hula-hula, or dances that partake of passion and abandon, and 
l)ortray the old story of coquetry, jealousy, and ultimate surrender of 
the maiden. Soft swaying movements, a gentle turning away, timid 
gliinces, and startled gestures, gradually giving place to more rapturous 
l>assioii, speak plainly enough the theme of the song, tiiough the move- 
ments are less graceful and elegant than those which characterize the 
naiitch dances of India. Among the diversified dances, some are per- 
Ibrmed by men and others by women, but the sexes rarely if ever dance 
together. Wands are usually held in each hand, but occasionally one 
and sometimes both are discarded. Feather hats and other ornaments 
are worn in portraj'ing characters and some of the dances are said to 
be of obscene tendencies. 


Like most savage nations, the Easter Islanders had numerous super- 
stitions and resorted to charms, prayers, incantations, and amulets 
to bring good luck and ward off evil. A thorough delineation of these 
superstitions might be instructive in the light of showing the real depth 
of the religious feeling of those who now profess Christianity as well as 
the capacity of the native miud for entertaining a higher form of civili- 
zation ; but, unfortunately, our brief stay on the island did not aftbrd 
time to thoroughly investigate the subject. 

Tbe belief in a future state was a prominent feature in the religion. 
After death the soul was supposed to depart to the "place of departed 
spirits" to be rewarded by the gods or tormented by the demons. 
With this idea in view a small hole was invariably built in the wall 
near the top of all tombs, cairns, and other receptacles for the dead, by 
wuich the spiiit of the deceased was supposed to find egress. Deified 
spirits were believed to be constantly wandering about the earth and 
to have more or less influence over the human affairs. Spirits were 
supposed to appear to sleeping persons and to communicate with them 
through visions or dreams. 



Guoines, gboiils, and goblins were believed to inhabit inaccessible 
cavps and niches in tbe rock and to bavo the power of prowling about 
after dark. The small wooden and stone images known as " household 
gods," were made to represent certain spirits avid belong fo a different 
order from tbo gods, though accredited with many of the same attri- 
butes. They occupied a prominent place in CA'ery dwelling and were 
regarded as the medium through which communications might be niaile 
with the spirits, but were never worshiped. The Great Spirit Jleke- 
Meke is represented by a bird like animal as referred to in the descri^)- 
tion of sculptured rocks and paintings at Orongo. 


The islanders were superstitious to an extent that was extraordinary, 
and they were constantly under the influence of dread from demons or 
supernatural beings. Fishhooks were made of bones of deceased fish- 
ermen, which were thought to exert a mysterious influence over the den 
izens of the deep. Fishermen were always i)rovided with the stone god 
that was supi)osed to be emblematic of the spirit having cognizance of 
the fish. I!o(ks in certain localities were believed to be under spirit 
taboo, and jiersons who walked over them were punished with sore feet. 
The leaves of several harndess plants were regarded as prophylactic 
against disease. Stones were buried beneath the doorways of houses 
to guard against evil influences. The native priests were simply 
wizards and sorcerers who professed to have influence with evil spirits 
sufficient to secure by incantations their co-operation in the destruc- 
tion of an enemy, or by occult means gain their aid and good-will for 
the protection of property, crops, etc. The system of taboo* corre- 
sponds with the sanie tljing practiced throughout the islands of the 
South Sea, and included a prohil)ition in regard to persons as well as 
property. The symbol of the taboo on crops properly consisted of a 
small pile of stone placed in the form of a pyramid, or piled one on top 
of the otlier. The natives have a way of divining the future by means 
of a floner, common enough iu more civilized countries but not observed 
before in Polynesia. "Ae" and "Aita" are repeated as the petals are 
thrown away, and the signification appears to be equivalent to the 
"yes," and "no" of Goethe's Marguerite. 


In the rear of some of the best-preserved platforms are stones said to 
have been erected for sacrificial purposes. These altars consist of a 
single shaft, generally of vesicular lava, but in some cases cut from the 
material of which the images and crowns wei'e made. They range in 
height from 5 to 10 feet, squared to 3.^ or 4 feet on each face, and stand 
in the center of a terrace paved with smooth bowlders. The sides and 
plinth were covered with figures sculptured ia low relief, but are now 
too much weather-worn to be traced. These altars are said to have 


been desigiied and used for liuinau sacrifices, but of tbis a reasonable 
doubt may be expressed. Tbe form is inconveniently adapted to the 
purpose and the stones differ in all respects from those used for the same 
purpose iu tlie other islands. Evidences of fire on top of stones were 
plain enough, but no charred bones were found except those of recent 
date belonging- to sheep and cattle. 


The practice of relieving pain by manipulation of the body was the 
effective movement cure resorted to by the islanders years before llie 
Swedish or massage treatment assumed its present prominence. With- 
out entering upon the question of how valuable the practice of lomi-loiui 
may be as a cure for ailments, I may testify to the physical regeneration 
of this titillaiit manipulation. On more that one occasion I have thrown 
myself upon tbe ground, completely exhausted by over exertion, and 
yielded to tbe dexterous kneadings and frictions and palmings and 
pinchings of those slnlled in tbe treatment. The hard-fisted native is 
by no means gentle iu the operation, but with palms and knuckles 
vigoi'ously tests every muscle and tendon, as well as every joint of tlie 
vertebrae, until the exhausted patient sinks into a state of oblivions 

Several of tbe plants indigenous to the island were considered valua- 
ble remedies for certain ailments, but the chief therapeutic art of the 
native i)ractitioner was tbe pretended exercise of powers of divination. 
The application of herbs, simples, and tbe practice of lorai-lomi were 
perlia[)s not sufficient distinction, and therefore a claim was made for 
occult knowledge and supernatural power. 

Tbe native pharmcopceia isextreuiely limited in its scope. The thistle 
is bruised and applied to sores and ulcers, arrowroot for burns, and 
a species of nightshade is used as a vulnerary remedy. On tbis breeze- 
swept island diseases of a paludal nature are unknown. 

A mild type of remittent fever is common during the rainy season 
from April to October, but nature is left to fight its battles without 
assistance. Rheumatism and pulmonary complaints occasionaly result 
from long exposure to inclement weather, but as a rule no medical treat- 
ment is attempted. 

The natives believe that a disease called "kino," or cracked feet, 
results from walking over the rocks along tbe shore at Tahai. Probably 
tbe trouble arises from cuts and abrasions coming in contact with a 
succulent vine that grows at tbis place. 


The method of obtaining lire requires considerable preparation of ma- 
te) inl and patience ou tbe part of tbe operator. A pointed stick of hard 
wood is rubbed against a piece of dry paper mulberry until a groove is 
formed, which finally becomes hot from the friction and ignites the lint 


or fiber thrown up at tlie end of tbe groove. This is blown into a flainc, 
and dried grass added to -it until the fire is sufficiently established. 
The difficulty of preserving suitable material in a perfectly dry state 
led to the custom of keeping up a perpetual fire in each comniunitj'. 
These vestal fires were kept up by persons appointed for that purpose, 
though it does not appear that they were vestal virgins. Caves afford- 
ing ample protection from the weather were selected for the location of 
these permanent fires, and although they had no religious'significance, 
the tlaraes wore as carefully watched and attended as the celestial fire 
of the followers of Zoroaster. 


Tiie traditions abound with instances of authropophagism, and in all 
Polynesia there were no more confirmed cannibals than these islanders. 
The practice is said to have originated with a band of natives who were 
defeated in war and besieged in their stronghold until reduced to the 
borders of starvation. From this time the loathsome custom of devour- 
ing prisoners, captured in war, grew in popular favor. Cannibalism may 
have originated in a spirit of revenge, but it grew beyond those limits, 
and not only were prisoners of war and enemies slain in battle eaten, 
but every unfortunate against whom trivial charges -were made met that 
fate. Instances are related in the legends of children being devoured 
by their parents, not from any other motive than to satisfy the crav- 
ings of their depraved and vitiated api)etites. Cannibalism was prac- 
ticed until a comparatively recent period. Several of the older natives 
acknowledge that they had frequently eaten human flesh in their youth, 
and described the process of cooking and preparing "long-pig" for the 


The ancient government of Easter Island was an arbitrary monarchy. 
The supreme authority was vested in a king and was hereditary in 
his family. The person of the king was held sacred. Clan fights and 
internecine struggles were common, but the royal person and family 
were unmolested. The king reigned o\'er the entire island and was not 
disturbed by the defeat or the victory of any of the clans. The island 
was divided into districts having distinct names and governed by chiefs, 
all of whom acknowledged the supremacy of the king. The title of 
chief was also hereditary, and descended from father to sou, but the 
king reserved the right to remove or put to death any of them and of 
naming a successor from the people of the clan. 

There was no confederation, each clan being independent of all the 
rest, except as the powerful arc naturally dominant over the weak. The 
chiefs wore peculiar feather hats to denote their rank, and they pre- 
sided at feasts and councils in the absence of the king. Other grades 
of rank were recognized, such as that required by feats of valor, public 


service rendered, suck as image making, etc., but this privileged class 
had no authority vested in them over their fellows. Personal security 
and the rights of private property were little regarded, and disputes 
were settled by king or chief without regard to law or justice. There 
was no code of laws, the people avenged their own injuries, and per- 
sona who incurred the displeasure of the ruler were marked as victims 
for sacrifice. It does not appear that any great homage was paid the 
king, and no tax was exacted of the people. Long-continued custom 
was accepted as law, and defined the few duties and privileges of the 
private citizen. 

Maurata, the last of a long line of kings, together with all of the prin- 
cipal chiefs of the islands was kidnapped by the Peruvians and died 
in slavery. Since that time there has been no recognized authority 
among the natives; every man is his own master, and looks out for his 
own interests. 

In 1863-64 the natives were converted to Christianity by Frfere Eu- 
gene, a Jesuit missionary. A Frenchman called DutrouBornier had 
settled upon the island and started an extensive farm, and a conflict of 
authority sprang up between the two foreigners, which led to bitter 
feuds between the natives. Dutrou-Bornier lived with a common wo- 
man, who had been the wife of a chief, and he succeeded in having her 
proclaimed queen of the island, under the name of Korato. A system 
of espionage and iutrigue was instituted by Queen Korato, guided by 
the Frenchman's instructions, which resulted in an open rebellion 
against the ecclesiastical authority. The missionary was finally com- 
pelled to leave the island, and he reqjoved to Gaml)ier Archipelago 
with about three hundred of his followers, giving Dutrou-Bornier and 
Queen Korato a clear field. The Frenchman was killed in August, 1876, 
by being thrown from his horse while drunk, and Queen Korato and her 
two children survived him only a few years. Mr. Salmon found upon 
his arrival that none of the natives had assumed authority over his 
fellows, and in due course that gentleman became to all intents and 
purposes the king of the island, ruling the people with kindness and 
wisdom and thus securing their unbounded respect and esteem. 


Hundreds of tombs, cairns, platforms, and catacombs were examined 
during our stay on the island, and in all cases the bodies were lying 
at full length. In a vault beneath platform No. 11 are a number of 
skulls packed together in sufficient quantity to completely fill the com- 
partment—trophies of war perhaps, in view of the fact that the skulls 
were those of adults; but in no single instance did we discover the re- 
mains doubled up as the Incas and other American aborigines were in 
the habit of burying their dead. In the early ages it was the custom 
to wrap the corpse in dried grass, bound together by a mat made of 
sedge, and whether laid in platform, cairn, or cave, the body was 


usually laid with the head towards the sea. Sueceediuir p;eueratiotii^ 
substituted tajipa or native cloth for the sedge mat, and the present 
people arc suiBciently civilized to prefer rude coffins when the material 
can be obtained. Cemeteries were located by the missionaries near the 
churches at Vaihu and Mateveri, and strong cfibrts made to discourage 
the burial of converted natives with their heathen ancestors, but they 
were never able to overcome their aversion to promiscuous iiiteriiient. 


Hotu-Matua is said to have landed upon the island with three hun- 
dred followers m two canoes, which are described in the traditions as 
90 feet in length and G feet deep (draught of water). From the descrip- 
tion given of these boats and the representations found of them among 
the mnral paintings and sculptures in certain caves, the canoes of the 
original settlers were quite similar to the Fiji war-canoes. They were 
constructed of many pieces of wood neatly fitted together and held in 
place by thongs or lashings; high and sharp at both ends and bal- 
anced by an outrigger or smaller canoe. Such boats are in use at the 
present time iu many of the Polynesian islands and are quite ca])able 
of making long' voyages at sea. The boats built by succeeding gener- 
ations were few in number and small in size, on account of the scarcity 
of material to be found on the island. Many of the early navigators 
refer to the scarcity of boats belonging to the natives. Captain Cook 
saw several canoes, 10 or 12 feet long, built of pieces 4 or 5 inches 
wide, and not more than 2 or 3 feet long, but the majority of his 
native visitors swam off to his ship. Captain Beechey saw three canoes 
on the beach, but they were not launched. Yon Kotzebue saw three 
canoes each containing two men. At the time of our visit tlie only 
boats on the island were two large ones, belonging to Messrs. Salmon 
and Brander, built of material obtained from the wrecks on the coast. 
There are no canoes in use at the i)resent time, but we found two \ery 
old ones iu a cave on the west coast, having long ago passed their days 
of usefulness on the water and now serving as burial-cases. They 
were a patchwork of several kinds of wood sewed together, and though 
in an advanced stage of dry-rot the material was sufficiently well pre- 
served to ju'ove that it never grew on Easter Island, but had been ob- 
tained from the drift-wood on the beach. 


The native weai)ons in offensive and defensive operations were lim- 
ited to obsidian-i)oink'd spears, short clubs, and the throwingstones, 
l>ut these were handled willi remarkable skill and dexterity. The his- 
tory of the simple weapons in the hands of people who became ])re- 
eminent in their use has been repeated in all ages and countries, and 
is fully exemplified iu these islanders; though their primitive spear, 


lacking- the raetal-piercing medium, could never aspire to the fame of 
tlie gladiator's trideut, the Homeric javelin, the Roman pilum, the Turk- 
ish jereed, the Landsknecht's halberd, the Polish lance, the Zulu assa- 
gai, or even the knobkerry of the AmaznUi. The formidable weapon of 
the ancient Parthian, still wielded by the dexterous Turcoman, was not 
known to these islanders. Arrows miglit have been improvised, but 
there was no wood in their possession suitable for the manufacture of 

Unlike the Fijians and other Polynesians to the westward, who did 
great execution with their long war clubs, these natives nsed in fight- 
ing- only the patoopatoo, or the mer6, like that of the Maori, except that 
tiiey were invariably made of wood. They possessed a long club, a lit- 
t le expanded and flattened at one end, and the other carved into a head 
with a double lace with eyes made of obsidian and bone; but this was 
carried as a baton of office before the chiefs and used only for that pur 

Stones were thrown with great precision and accuracy from the hand, 
and the use of a sling, such as made David more than a match for the 
gigantic Philistine, appears to have been unknown. Slings were com- 
mon among the Inoaa and other races of Soutli America from the earli- 
est times, but no traces of such an api)liauce could be found on Easter 
Island, either in the tombs or mentioned by the ancient traditions. 

A want of practice has probably made the natives of to-day less pro- 
ficient ill stone-throwing than their forefathers, but if the stories may 
be believed, the time was when their truculent address could only have 
been surpassed by Runjeet Singh's Akalis in flinging the chuckkra. 

Several of the ancient traditions speak of a net being used in flglit- 
ing, and men were especially trained in its use, but whether they re- 
sembled the old Roman retiariiis can not be discovered, the custom 
having long since died out. It is unknown to the natives of to-day. 

Two kinds of spears were used, on^ about 6 feet long for throwing and 
the other a shorter one; a heavier stabbing pike was only fit for use at 
close quarters. In its original form the spear was essentially a missile, 
and the traditions speak of the adoption of the thrusting weapon in the 
desperate engagements that resulted in the extermination of the "long- 
eared race." The shafts were made ofpourou Hibiscus sp. and tu Dracwna 
terminaiis, and the various forms of obsidian points were secured by a 
lashing made from the indigenous hemp. The javelins were thrown 
underhanded with the little finger foremost, but they did not have 
that peculiar vibratory motion that distinguished the Zulu assagai. 

Nothing was known of a retrieving weapon, such as the boomerang of 
the Australians, or even the throwing-sticks of the Eskimo tribes on 
the coast of Alaska. 

Tiiere was no class of professional fighters or soldiers ; every able- 
bodied man was supposed to be a warrior and compelled to do duty in 
time of war. Fighting men were not trained or drilled, except that 


throwing stones and darting the spear were favorite amusements and 
always a prominent feature of all feasts. The clans were always led to 
battle by the chief, but there was no ])articular formation. Every man 
acted in accordance with his individual fancy, or as occasion demanded, 
relying upou skill and strength alone. No shields were used and no 
l)articular eftbrts were made to parry the weapons of the enemy. 

In view of the fact that the islanders all acknowledged the authority 
of one king, their wars were surprisiugly numerous, barbarous, and nn- 
releutiug. The traditions are filled with accounts of sanguinary con- 
tliots originating from trivial causes and continued through genera- 
lions, until one party or the other were entirely exterminated. The 
slaugUter ou the field of battle was never very great, but in the event 
of a general defeat, the vanquished party was pursued by the victors 
to the hiding places, their habitations destroyed, females captured, 
children and infirm persons brutally murdered. The defenseless un- 
fortunates who fell victims to their merciless captors, accepted their 
fate, whether it was slavery, torture, or butchery, with remarkable for- 
titude, seldom if ever making any show of resistance. 


The i¥o/wca?i came to anchor in the roadstead of HangaRoa (Plate XVI) 
on the morning of Saturday, December 18, 1886. The individuals most 
interested in the exploration of the island went on shore without delaj', 
and the work was pushed forward as rigorously as possible until the 
hour appointed for the sailing of the ship for Valparaiso ou the even- 
ing of the last day of the year. 

Messrs. Salmon and Brander boarded the ship upon her arrival and ex- 
tended the hospitalities of Easter Island, placing their limited resources 
entirely at our command with a heartiness that won our immediate es- 
teem, and whicli ripened into sincere friendship before our departure. 
These gentlemen are closely connected with the royal family of Tahiti, 
and we had been intrusted with letters and various articles from rela- 
tives and friends who desired to embrace the opportunity for commu- 
nication offered by the Mohican. 

Upon landing at Hauga lloa we found nearly all of the natives on 
the island congregated to receive their unknown visitors. The men in- 
spected us closely and were profuse iu friendly demonstrations, while 
their wives and daughters gazed curiously from a little distance, and 
the children's manner plainly showed the enjoyment of an occasion of 
infrequent occurrence in their quiet lives. Surrounded by this crowd 
we walked about a mile to the house of Mr. Brander, where the bag- 
gage, tools, and impedimenta in general were deposited. During the 
afternoon a reconnaissance was made to the crater of Kana Kao and the 
ancient stone-houses in the vicinity, and in the evening we crossed the 
island iu a light wagon with Mr. Salmon to his residence at Vaihu. 
That gentleman has, during his long residence ou the island, accumu- 

Report of National Museum, 1889. — Thomson. 

Plate XVI. 



Report of National Museum, 1889. — ThomBOn. 

Plate XVII. 



Report of National Museum, 1 889. — Thomson. 

Plate XVIII. 



lated a valuable collection of curios aud relics of the former inLab- 
itauts. Nearly all of our first uight ou shore was devoted to the pur- 
chase aud cataloguing of specimens from Mr. Salmon's collection, all of 
which will bo referred to and described elsewhere. Duplicates were 
obtained of all articles furnished Lieut. (Jommander Geisler, of the 
Hyane, for the museum at Berlin, aud of those collected by the Topaze 
for the British Museum, together with original tablets aud other lelics 
of great interest and value that had escaped the attention of former 


Sunday, December 19. — Made an early start from Vaihu and rode to 
the central elevations called Mount Teraai, Mount Punapau, and Mount 
Tuatapu and inspected the quarries from whence the red tufa was ob- 
tained which formed the crowns or head-dresses that ornamented all 
the huge images. Following the road to the southwest we made the 
ascent of Rana Kao. The crater is nearly circular and about a mile in 
diameter (Plate XVII), with steep jagged sides, or walls, except on the 
south, where the lava-flow escaped to the sea. A lake fills the bottom of 
what was once the volcanic caldron ; the water is of great depth and the 
surface covered with a coat of peat, so dense and strong that cattle range 
over it, finding food at irregular intervals. The surface of the lake is 
about 700 feet from the top, but the cattle have made a path by which 
the descent can be made with safety. 

Skirting the edge of the crater to the southward the ridge becomes 
narrower, falling precipitously a thousand feet to the sea on one side, 
and descending abruptly into the crater on the other until it terminates 
in an elongated wall of rock rising to a sharp, jagged edge impassable to 
either man or beast. Just where this elevated edge contracts rapidly 
towards the south are located the ancient stone-houses of Orongo. 
(Plate XVIII). These burrow-likedwelHngswerebuilt with little regard 
to streets, avenues, etc., but were regulated by the contour of the land. 
Piles of debris in one or two spots marked the destroying hand of former 
investigators, but the large majority of the houses were intact, and in 
some instances the openings had been sealed up with stone, making it 
difficult to outline the original entrances. These dwellings were con- 
structed without windows or other openings except a door- way so low 
and narrow that an entrance could only be effected by crawling upon the 
hands and knees, while in many cases it was necessary to creep serpent- 
like through the contracted confines. Many interiora were inspected 
by the light of candles provided for the purpose and houses inarked for 
thorough investigation ou the morrow. 

While tracing and sketching the sculptured rocks in the vicinity of 
Orongo, the declining sun hastened the departure for Vaihu, where the 
hours after our evening meal were devoted to making notes of the native 
traditions as translated by Mr. Salmon, until that good-natured gentle- 



man could be kept awake no longer. It had been proposed that vre 
should occupy one of the ancient stone houses for the night, in order to 
be near the scene of operations planned for the next day, but they were 
damp and ill-smelling and the work accomplished on the traditions 
more than repaid the time lost in recrossing the island. 


December 20. — Leaving Vaihu at early daylight we arrived at Hanga 
Eoain time to meet the detachment of eight selected men sent on shore 
from the ship with proper tools and implements for making a thorough 
exploration of Orongo and vicinity. (Plate XIX). The blue-jackets 
scampered up the slope of Eaua Kao with the buoyant spirits of school- 
boys out for a holiday, and arriving at the spot were anxious to lend 
the assistance of willing hands and plenty of brawn to the-prosecution 
of the work. 

Every house was entered and inspected, though occasionally a mis- 
calculation was made in the dimensions of a narrow passage-way and it 
became necessary to rescue a prisoner by dragging him back by the 
heels. Once inside the building, the interior could be easily inspected 
and sketches made of frescoes and sculptured iigures. (Plate XX). 

These remarkable habitations were built against a terrace of earth or 
rock, which iu some cases formed the back wall of the dwelling (Fig. 5). 
From this starting point a wall was constructed of small slabs of strat- 
ified basaltic rock, piled together without cement and of a thickness 
varying from about 3 feet to a massive rampart of 7 feet in width. 


Fig. 5. 
View of stone hut in Orongo. 

The outer entrance is formed by short stone posts planted iu the 
ground and crossed by a basaltic slab. The passage-way was in all 
cases unpaved and usually lined on the top and both sides with flat 
stones. This im[)ortaut feature added materially to our comfort while 
forcing an entrance through some of the narrow openings, and saved the 
necessity for adding to our already bountiful supply of bruises and abra- 
sions. No regularity of plan is shown iu the construction of the ma- 
jority of the houses; some are parallelogram in shape, others elliptical, 
and many are immethodical, showing a total absence of design, the 
builder being guided by the conformation of the ground, the amount 
of material available, and other chance circumstances, These housea 

Report of National Museum. 1 889. —Thomson. 

Plate XIX. 



Report of National Museum, 1889. — Thomson. 

Plate XX. 




are roofed with slabs ot rock of sufficieut length to span the side walls, 
showing that no particular care had heen exercised to form close joints. 
Over this stone ceiling the earth was piled in mound-shape, reaching 
a depth in the center of from 4 to C feet, and covered by a sod that 
afforded ample protection from rain. The floors were the bare earth, 
and the interiors were damp and moldy from insufticient ventilatioa 
afforded by the single contracted opening. 

An accurate measurement of these remarkable structures gave the 
average height from floor to ceiling 4 feet 6 inches; thickness of 
walls, 4 feet to 10 inches ; width of rooms, 4 feet 6 inches ; length of 
rooms, 12 feet 9 inches; average size of door- ways, height 20 inches, 
■width 19 inches. In making the survey of Orongo the houses were 

numbered from 1 to 49, inclusive, commencing at the inshore extremity 
(Fig. 6). Wliile in the majority of instances the interior dimensions 
were considerably below the average given above, several of the houses 
exceeded those limits, particularly in the length of the rooms, The 


largest house contained a single chamber nearly 40 feet lone:; three 
were over 30 feet, and eight measured over 20 feet in length, with other 
dimeusious approxiiSately the same as the general average. These rude 
dwellings were not in all cases confined to a single apartment; some 
have one and a few have two or three recess chambers opening out of 
the main room; buttheywere dark little dens, having no separate light 
or ventilation. 

Near the center of this assemblage of houses there is a sort of square 
court with eight door-ways opening upon it. These might be considered 
separate and distinct dwellings, though the apartments are connected 
by interior passage-ways, making it possible to pass from one to the 
other. At the extreme end of the point a similar collection of houses 
opens upon a circular court, and the interiors are also connected. 

In front of each house and about 10 feet from the door-way, small ex- 
cavations lined with slabs of stone, making holes about a foot wide and 
2 feet long and about 20 inches deep, indicated the culinary arrange- 
ments of the former inhabitants. The modus operandi of preparing the 
food was primitive in the extreme; a fire was built in the rude oven 
and removed when the stones were sufficiently heated, a covering of 
damp earth being placed over the oven to retard the radiation of heat. 

Thorough examination demonstrated the fact that these peculiar 
houses were not precisely alike in all respects, though thesame general 
characteristics i)revailed. Those at the extreme point of the ridge 
(Plate XXI) bear evidence of great antiquity, and much excavation was 
necessary before a satisfactory examination could be made of the door- 
posts or stone supports to the entrances, which were covered with hiero- 
glyphics and rudely carved figures. From houses numbered 2, 3, and 
■1 (b'ig 6) on Lieutenant Symond's chart of Orongo, were taken samples of 
these sculptures for the National Museum. The large beach pebbles 
were obtained by digging to a depth of 2 feet below the door-posts, and 
are of considerable interest both from the dense nature of the mateiial 
and the fact that these carvings were found frequently repeated through- 
out the islaud. 

The majority of the houses at Orongo are in a fair state of preserva- 
tion and bear evidence of having been occupied at no very remote pe- 
riod. The result of the investigation here showed very little of carving 
ou stone, but the smooth slabs lining the walls and ceilings were orna- 
mented with mythological figures and rude designs painted in white, 
red, and black pigments. Houses marked 1, 5, and 6 on Lieutenant 
Symond's chart were demolished at the expense of great labor and the 
frescoed slabs obtained. Digging beneath the door-posts and under the 
floors produced nothing beyond a few stone implements. 

The houses in this vicinity occupy such a prominent position that 
they were naturally robbed of everything iTi the way of relics by the 
natives, who were beginning to appreciate the value of such things 
through the importance placed upon them by the foreign vessels that 

Report of Nations.! Museu 

1889. — Thomson 

Plate XXI. 



Report of Nalionai Museum, 1889- T,,orr,co 

Plate XXII. 





have called at the islaud. A iiiclje in the ^Yall of each of these dwell- 
ings was evidently designed to receive the household god and the va- 
rious valuables which were possessed by the inhabitants. Whatever 
treasures they may have held in former years, we found them empty, 
and our search revealed nothing of importance. 

Attention was directed to one of the buildings in this assemblage that 
apparently had no entrance way. One wall was demohshed, disclosing 
a rude coffin containing the remains of a native recently deceased. 
The unoccupied house had been utilized as a tomb, and sealed up with 
the material of which the walls were built. 


The most important-sculptured rocks on this islaud (Plate XXII) are 
in the immediate vicinity of the stone houses at Oiongo (Fig. 7). As 

Fig. 7. 


much time as possible was devoted to examining and sketching these 
curious relics. The hard volcanic rock is covered by carvings intended 
to represent human faces, birds, fishes, and mythical animals, all very 
much defaced by the ravages of time and the elements (Plate XXIII). 
The apparent age of some of the rock-carving.§ antedates the neighbor- 
ing stone houses, the images, and other relics of the island except the 
ruined village on the bluff west of Kotatake Mountain. Fishes and 
turtles appear frequently among these sculptures, but the most common 
figure is a mythical animal, half human in form, with bowed back and 
long claw-like legs and arms. According to the natives, this symbol was 
H. Mis. 224, pt. 2 31 



iuteuded to represent the god " Meke-Meke," tlie great spirit of the sea 
(Fig. S). The general outline of tliis figure rudely carved npon the 

Fir. 8. 
Sculptured figures often kei'iioduced on rocks at Oi:ongo; 'Meke-Meke." 

rocks, Lore a striking resemblance to the decoration on a piece of pot- 
terj' which I once dug up in Peru, while making excavations among the 
graves of the Incas. The form is nearly identical, but, except in this 
instance, no similaritj' was discovered between the relics of Easter Is- 
land and the coast of South America. 


From the most reliable information that could be obtained, the stone 
houses at Orougo were built for the accommodation of the natives while 
celebrating the festival of the "sea birds eggs," from a remote period 
until the advent of the most important ceremonies. 

During the winter months, sea-birds in great numbers visit the Is- 
land to lay their eggs and to bring forth their young. The nests are 
made among the ledges and cliffs '>f the inaccessible rocks, but a favor- 
ite spot fop these birds has always been the tiny islands Mutu EauKau 
and Mutu Nui, lying a few hundred yards from the southwest point of 
the island (Plate XXIV). Here the first eggs of the season are laid, and 
therefore Orongo was selected as a convenient point to watch for the 
coming of the birds. According to the ancient custom, the fortunate 
individual who obtained 2'»ossession of the first Qgg and returned with 
it unbroken to the expectant crowd, l)ecame entitled to certain privi- 
leges and rights during the following year. No especial authority^ was 

Report of National Museum, 1 889.— Thomson. 

Plate XXIII. 

Report of National Museu 

Plate XXIV. 


vested iu him, bat it was supposed that be had wou the approval of 
the great spirit " Meke Meke " and was entitled to receive contributions 
of food and other considerations from his fellows. The race for the dis- 
tinguished honor of bearing off the first egg was an occasion of intense 
excitement. The contestants were held in check at Orongo until the 
auspicious moment arrived, and the scramble commenced at the word 
" go," pronounced by the kiug,who was about the only able-bodied man 
on the island who did not participate. It was deciiiedly a go as you- 
please race, every man selecting his route to the sea by the circuitous 
paths or directly over the face of the cliff, and many fatal falls are re- 
corded as the result. 

The swim to Mutu Eau Kau was a trifling matter, the chief difficulty 
being to return with an egg unbroken through the general scramble. 

The houses at Orongo were probably unoccupied except for a short 
period in July of each year while awaiting the coming of the sea-birds. 
The peculiarity of their construction might be accounted for by the fact 
that the thatched hut, common to the plains, could not be used to ad- 
vantage on this exposed bluff". The low, contracted entrances, were used 
here as well as elsewhere for defense. Factional fights were common 
and it was necessary that every house should be guarded against sur- 
prise and easily delended. Another reason might be found for making 
the openings as small as possible, iu the absence of doors to shut out 
the storms. The sculptured rocks in the vicinity of Orongo bear record 
of the grateful contestants in the egg-races to the great spirit "Meke 
Meke" for his benign iniluence and protection, much after the manner 
in which boats, pictures, and other objects are dedicated to certain pa- 
tron saints in more civilized portions of the earth. 


The investigations iu the vicinity of Orongo having been finished, a 
contract was made with Mr. Brander for removing from the excavations 
and transporting to the landing-place the frescoed slabs, inscribed door- 
posts, and objects collected, and the evening was devoted to the native 
traditions until exhausted nature demanded a few hours rest. With a 
view of propitiating the natives and securing their goodwill and co- 
operation in prosecuting the work with the utmost dispatch, a number 
of men were employed to assist in the excavations made at Orongo, but 
the experiment proved a failure. They constituted themselves an ap- 
preciative audience, and could not be induced to work. They evinced 
a lively interest in all that was going on, and performed astounding gas- 
tronomic feats at meal-time. We concluded to dispense with their serv- 
ices after a demonstration of their dexterity in causing the disappear- 
ance of every small object that remained unprotected for a moment. 
Several of the head-men, afterwards employed as guides to accompany 
the expedition around the island, and stimulated with the hope of bounti- 


ful rewards, performed valuable service in the way of locating water- 
holes, ideutifying localities, naming objects of interest, etc. 

December 21. — Preparations were made for an early start on the ex- 
pedition already planned. The native contingent was disi)atched abont 
daylight with carap equipage and instructious to form Camp Mohican at 
a spot where it was reported good water could be found iu abundance. 
We were somewhat handicapped for the march by the fatigue of the 
last i&^' days, added to the want of rest. The hospitality of the Brauder 
establishmeut had been cordially extended, but such a large and varied 
assortmeutof insects and noxious animals had possession of the premises, 
that we i)referred the open air,though there were several passingshowers 
during the night. A working party from the ship, consisting of nine 
men, including a boatswain's mate and quartermaster, landed at an early 
hour, each man equipped with knapsack, canteen, shovel and pick. 
The expedition took the road passing through the villages of Mataveri 
and Hanga Koa to the coast, followed by almost every man, woman, and 
child on the island. The interest displayed by the natives in our move- 
ments gradually died out after a few hours of hard walking, and towards 
noon the last party returned to their homes, leaving us a clear ticld. 

Following the coast-line to the northwest, every part of the ground 
was carefully examined, platforms measured and plotted, excavations 
made, and objects of interest collected and catalogued. 

Near Anahoirangaroa Point, on some ledges of hard volcanic rock we 
found numerous depressions that evidently were made at the cost of 
great labor. Some are elliptical in shape, others perfectly circular, 
averaging about 3 feet in diameter and 2 feet deep. The majority are 
above high-water line aud others just awash when the tide is full. Xo 
explanation could be obtained in regard to these holes, aud it was con. 
eluded that they were originally intended as live-boxes for the preser- 
vation of fish. 

The natives have a superstition to the effect that any one who walks 
over these rocks will be attticted with sore feet, and we received many 
solemn warnings in regaid to it. If there is any foundation for it at 
all, it is probably due to a succulent vine that grows here, coming in 
contact with the wounds caused by the sharp rocks. A short dis- 
tance farther on stands a round tower 12 feet in diameter and 20 feet 
high (Fig. 9), said to have been erected as a lookout station from whence 
the movements of turtles could be watched. We fouud here, as well 
as under every other pile of stones of any description on the island, 
tombs and receptacles for the dead, all tilled with human remains in 
various stages of decay, from freshly interred bodies to the bones that 
crumbled into dust upon exposure to the air. The entire island seems to 
be one vastuecropolis, and the platforms along the sea-coast appear to 
have been the favorite burial places iu all ages. Natural caves were 
utilized as places of deposit for the dead. 

Considerable time was devoted to the examiuatiou of the platforms, 



and in uume'oiis iustinices interesting catacombs and tonib.s were dis- 
covered, containing remains of great antiquity. lu tbis connection a 
lieculiar trait in tlie native character was developed. Towards even- 
ing one of the niitive guides returned to pilot tiie working party to the 
lilace selected for the camp, just at the time a particularly oldtomb had 
been uncovered and the crania were being removed from their former 
resting place. This the unsophisticated native took in at a glance, 
and with the announcement that we were desecrating the burial place 
of liis forefathers, be set up a howl of despair, and became prostrated 
with grief at the sight of a skull which he claimed to recognize as that 
of his great-grandfather. ISTotwithstanding the absurdity of the state- 
ment, the anguish displayed induced us to return the bones to their 
ancient resting place. The afflicted youth quickly dried his eyes, and 
intimated that for a suitable reward he would be willing to dispose of 
the remains of his ancestors, and he thought that a consideration of 
about $3 would assuage his grief. That settled it. The skulls were 
gathered into the collection, and the sorrowing native left to mourn the 
loss both of the money and of the bones of his forefathers. 

Fig. 9. 
Obseuvation Towr.i! on Bi.uff KKAit AKHOiEANi;AnoA Point. 

Many of the stone bases upon which the images stood still remain 
in their original positions upon the platforms. Generally they are ir- 
regular in shape, a few have been squared, and on platform No. 5 we 


found one of octagon shape that stood the test of uieasureuieut very 
well. Between platforms 4 and 5 the land falls away gently to the sea, 
and this slope is paved regularly with small round bowlders, having 
every appearance of having been constructed as a way for hauling out 
boats. The coast in this vicinity is perfectly rock-bound, but a narrow 
channel extends from the paved way out to sea. Boats might land 
here at any time. With the wind southeast, or iu any direction ex- 
cept west, the landing would be perfectly smooth. The place is admir- 
ably adapted to the landing of heavy weights, but, as far as known, the 
images were never transported by sea, nor did the islanders possess 
boats sufBciently large to float them, or material from which they could 
be constructed. 


On the face of tbe cliff near the point, Ahuakapu, a large and inter- 
esting cave, was visited. Many of the recesses and angles had been 
walled up and contained human remains. Fossiliferous specimens of 
marine animals were obtained by digging up the floor of the cave. The 
igneous rocks in the vicinity show evidences of rude sculptures, among 
which could be traced canoes, fishes, and men in various attitudes. Upon 
the extreme point we found another one of those round towers, built 
for the purpose of observing the movements of turtles on the beach. 
The shaft measures 24^ feet, and stands in the center of a narrow plat- 
form 67 feet long, filled with tombs containing human remains that had 
long been undisturbed, as evidenced by a luxuriant growth of lichens 
on the rough rocks. 


On the high bluff west of Kotatake Mountain we discovered the ruins 
of a settlement extending more than a mile along the coastline and in- 
land to the base of the hill. These remains bear uumistakable evidences 
of being the oldest habitations on the island. The houses are elliptical in 
shape, with door-ways facing the sea, and were built of uncut stone. 
Some of the walls are standing, but the majority are scattered about 
in tbe utmost confusion. An extremely interesting feature 'of these an- 
cient ruins is the fact that each dwelling was provided with a small cave 
or niche at the rear eud,built of loose lava stones, which was in a number 
of instances covered by an arch supported by a fairly shaped keystone. 
The recesses were undoubtedly designed to contain the household gods, 
and the key-stone, although extremely rough in construction, is unmis- 
takable in its application. Our guides had no knowledge of this locality 
and knew no distinctive name for it. 

Messrs. Salmon and Brander had not visited the spot, because the 
location is bleak and desolate and, as far as they had heard, was a track- 
less waste, devoid of all interest. 


Camp Mohican was formed a few huiielred yards in the rear of plat- 
form No. 7. We reached the spot just as the shades of night were clos- 
ing in, foot-sore and weary from the hard day's march. The camp was 
not more than 5 miles in a direct line from our starting point in the 
morning, but we had traveled many times the distance in making a 
thorough Inspection of the ground. A narrow pathway follows the 
coast-line for a part of the distance, which affords safe footing for 
the natives ; everywhere else the ground is covered with volcanic rocks 
of every conceivable size and shape, making the walking both difacult 
and dangerous. The site for the camp was selected because of the prox- 
imity of a water-hole, the only oneJ;o be found in this neighborhood. 
It proved to be a shallow cave where the rain-water collected from the 
drainage of the surrounding hills ; the fluid was full of both animal and 
vegetable matter and decidedly unpleasant to taste and smell. A shel- 
ter-tent was improvised by suspending a blanket at the ends from board- 
ing pikes planted in the ground, and after a hasty meal all hands sought 
the much needed rest. About midnight ominous looking clouds rolled 
up from the southeast, and it rained in heavy squalls until morning. Wet 
and unrefreshed, we turned out at daylight to resume the march with 
everything completely saturated from underclothing to note-books, but 
with undaunted resolution to continue the work in spite of the ele- 

Platforms? and 8 are within a few hundred yards of each other and 
close to the edge of the bluff, which is at this point 390 feet above the 
sea level. From beneath these ancient piles many interesting speci- 
mens of crania were obtained, together with obsidian spear-heads and 
stone implements. An extensive settlement must have been located 
here at a comparatively recent period. Narrow curbing stones indi- 
cated the position of the houses. These stones had been squared, with 
2 inch holes sunk in the upper face at short intervals to receive the 
ends of the poles that supported the thatched roof. These dwellings 
had been built upon terraces descending towards the sea, and though 
they differed greatly in size, the same characteristics were preserved in 
all cases. The style of architecture mu^t have been suggested by an 
inverted canoe. The curbing walls of the house in the center of this 
collection measured 124 feet in length, 12 feet wide in the center, and 
converging to 15 inches at the ends. 


Among some outcropping rocks near by, a cave was accidentally dis- 
covered, with a mouth so small that an entrance was effected with dif- 
ficulty. Once inside, however, it branched out into spacious chambers 
that could shelter thousands of people with comfort. It bore evidences 
of having been used in former years as a dwelling-place, and probably 
had other entrances and extensions which w^e failed to penetrate for the 


want of time. Human remains were found in this cave, but all very 

The caves of Easter Islaud are numerous and extremely interesting 
in character. They may be divided into two classes : those worn by the 
action of the waves, and those due to the expansion of gases in the 
molten lava and other volcanic action. The process of attrition is in 
constant progress around the entire coast-line, and the weaker portions 
of the rock are being undermined by the incessant beating of the ocean. 
Some of these sea-worn caves are of considerable extent, but generally 
difQcult of access and afibrdiug little of interest except to the geologist. 
The caverns produced by volcanic agencies are found thro\ighout this 
islaud, and some were traced through subterranean windings to an out- 
let on the bluffs overlooking the sea. They are generally quite dry; 
the rain-water falling upon the surface occasionally finds its way be- 
tween the cracks or joints in the solid rock, but these gloomy passages 
and chambers lack grandeur from the entire absence of stalactites and 
deposits of carbonate of lime. Iso glistening and fantastical forms of 
stalagmitic decorations exist here to excite the fancj' and create iu the 
imagination scenes of fairy-like splendor. The feeble rays of our can- 
dles were quickly absorbed by the somber surroundings, heightening 
the apparent extent and gloom of the recesses. Careful investigation 
proved that all of the caves visited had been used as dwelling-places 
by the early inhabitants. 

Platform 18 deserved more attention than we were able to give to it, 
the facing-stones having been torn from their original position in the 
structure and lying scattered about as though thrown down by some 
great convulsion of nature. Some of them show evidences of having 
been ornamented with rude figures carved on the hard rocks; but the 
approach of sundown hastened our steps toward Motukau Point, where 
we could see the flags flying over our camp. The day's march had been 
exceedingly fatiguing on account of the rugged nature of the ground 
and the absence of water, but the last mile or so was accomplislied at 
a swinging pace in view of the fact that the camp could not be reached 
after darkness had closed in. 'Our course had been around Cape ISTorth, 
and covering the territorj^ between the coast and the base of Eana Hana 
Kana*. Loose bowlders of everj' imaginable shape and size cover the 
ground, threatening sprained limbs and broken bones at every incau- 
tious step, as though the expiring energy of the volcanoes had been ex- 
l^endedin creating this natural barrier. 

Camp Day, named in honor of our commanding officer, was located in 
a district known as Vai-mait-tai (good water), but it was decidedly a 
misnomer, the supply being ample, but brackish and ill-smelling. After 
a hearty meal of mutton, prepared by our guides in true island style, 
we sought shelter under the lee of an outcropping rock, fatigued enough 
to sleep through the attacks of myriads of noxious insects and regard- 
less of the passing showers of rain. 



December 23.— A dip ia the sea at daylight, aud a brealifast of mut- 
ton which had been slowly roasting all night on hot stones placed in 
the ground and covered with earth to prevent the escape of heat, put 
us in prime condition for the work in hand. Our route lay along the 
north coast of the island and around Anakena Bay, the place where 
Hotu-Matua and his followers landed when they arrived from the un- 
known aud much-disputed locality from which they migrated. On the 
sand beach of this bay we found the small uni valve, the remains of which 
were noticed in all the caves aud ruins on the island and which are still 
highly esteemed by the natives as an article of food. Jelly-fish, such as 
are known to the sailors as "Portuguese men of-war," also abound, and 
are esteemed a delicacy by the natives. The entire plain back of An- 
akena (La P6rouse) Bay is covered with small platforms, cairns, tombs, 
and the ruins of dwellings of various sorts. Houses built of loose stones, 
nearly circular in shape, are plentiful ; but they belong to a comparatively 
recent date, as is indicated by the fact that the stones, of which they 
are constructed, have been taken from the platforms and from the foun 
dations of the thatched tents. Any sort of material that came handy 
appears to liave been freely used by the builders of these houses. In 
several we found well-cut heads that had formerly ornamented image 
platforms, built in the walls, some facing inside and others in the op- 
posite direction. The ruins in the vicinity show that this had been the 
site of a large settlement, and that it continued to be a place of impor- 
tance through many generations; but the greatest mystery is how such 
a number of people obtained a sufScient supply of fresh water. 

Near Anakena is a large image in the best state of preservation of 
any found about the platforms of the island. The traditions assert that 
this was intended to represent a female, and that it was the last image 
completed aud set up in place. Our guides informed us that it was 
only thrown down about twenty-four years ago, and previous to that 
time it had remained for many years the only statue standing upon a 
platform on the island. - Camp Whitney was located at Hangaone Bay, 
where we found shelter in a bug-infested cave. The' water supply was 
obtained from an ancient tomb near by, aud was both scant in quantity 
and nasty in quality. We were, however, in such an indifferent state of 
mind that anything wet was acceptable. 

December 24.— With the knowledge that we had a particularly hard 
march before us, we struck camp early and got under way before it was 
fairly light in the morning. Around Cape Pokokoria the rugged nat- 
ure of the ground passed over was extremely exhausting. The slopes 
of Mount Puakalika are in places covered with coarse hummock-grass 
and flowering vines, which look green and attractive during the rainy 
season of the year, but which were at this time almost as dry and parched 
as though scorched by fire. The toilsome march of this day was height- 
ened by the absence of water, and all suffered severely from thirst. 


Starting out in the morning with empty canteens, our throats soon be- 
came dry and painful. A small quantity of water was found in the 
afteruooii in Mount Puakalika crater, thick and unpleasant to look 
upon, but aftording valuable relief to our sufferiugs. 


The Poike Plains are extensive tracts of fine red volcanic sand and 
dust with occasional patches of hummock-grass struggling for exist- 
ence in this barren waste. Mauga Tea-tea (White Mountains), so called 
from the grayish appearance of the rocks, furnished the stone imple- 
ments of the natives. The material was chipped as nearly as possible 
into the desired shape and then ground down to a point or edge by 
friction upon a hard surface with sand and water. At Anakena and 
other points convenient to the sand bea_ch we found grinding-stoues, 
together with unfinished and broken implements. 

The traditious assert that the island was in former ages densely pop- 
ulated, and the legends are supported by the gigantic works of the 
image and platform builders and the ruins of various sorts scattered 
about. While the accounts are probably greatly exaggerated in regard 
to the number of inhabitants at one time, there is every reason to be- 
lieve that the people were numerous enough to severely tax for their 
support the limited area of ground available for cultivation. The Incaa 
of Peru usually selected for burial-places the rocky aud steep slopes of 
the hills or the low sandy plains, where cultivation was impossible, aud 
presuming that a similar economy might have been practiced here, 
much time was devoted to a thorough examiuation of the sand-wastes 
at the eastern extremity of the island. Excavations were made at the 
esi^ense of great labor iu several places where the indications were 
most promising, but with barren results. Diggiug to a depth of 9 feet 
in a depression near Cape Anataavanui we found several flat stones of 
large size, such as were used for facing the platforms, but the loose, 
shifting nature of the sand made it impossible with our small force to 
thoroughly investigate them. The trade-winds freely sweep these ele- 
vated plains, blowing the sand about, aud creating ridges that may be 
leveled again by stronger currents at some other season. Hills and 
depressions simply represent the force and direction of the wind at the 


Camp Baird was delightfully located in a commodious cave called 
Ana Havea, ou the bay of Hanga Nui, near Point Ouetea, aud its 
proximity to Eana Roraka where all the monoliths on the island had 
been quarried. Tongariki with its rich remains of platforms, images, 
cairns, and tombs, and Vailiu and other points not yet explored, were 
suflBcient to induce a permanent establishment during the remainder of 
our stay at Easter Island. The cave was dry, with spacious entrance 
exposed to the full force of the trade-winds, and we were comfortable 
to a degree, after dried grass and bulrushes had beeu collected to 


sleep upon. Successive generations of natives probably occupied this 
ancient cavern; an extensive corral Las been built near by, and Messrs. 
Salmon and Brander sleep here wbile rounding up their cattle. Drink- 
iug-water, the great desideratum on the island, obtained I'roni sources 
that form the crater of Eaua Eoraka, was, owing to its animal and 
vegetable impurities, unpalatable, while the supply from the springs 
vras more so, but afforded a pleasing variety, which enabled us to 
exercise a preference for some other, whenever either kind was used. 
The so-called springs are holes into which the sea-water percolates, 
and are as salt as the ocean, at high tide, and decidedly brackish at all 
other stages. 

December 25. — The forenoon was devoted to the exploration of the 
face of the bluff to the eastward of Tama Point. Many caves were 
reached after difficult and dangerous climbing, and were found to con- 
tain nothing of interest, while others of traditional importance were in- 
accessible from below, and we were not provided with ropes and the 
necessary appliances for reaching them from above. No doubt there 
are caves in this vicinity with contracted entrances that have been 
covered by loose rocks and intentionally concealed. One such cavern 
Mvas found by accident. It contained a small image about 3 feet high, 
carved out of hard gray rock. It was a splendid specimen of the work 
and could be easily removed to the boat-landing at Tougariki. Retrac- 
ing our steps toward the camp, the ground between Puakalika eleva- 
tion and Eaua Eoraka was thoroughly examined during the afternoon. 
The plain is completely covered with cah?us, tombs, and platforms. 
Many of the most promising were completely demolished and the 
foundations dug up to a depth of six feet." All contained human re- 
mains in various stages of decay, and the earth upon which they were 
built proved to be a rich loam filled with seasbells of minute size, free 
of stones, while outside of the foundation-walls the composition was 
composed of bowlders of all sizes with very little earth. Among the 
vast ruins are many fragments of images and crowns scattered about, 
and it is evident that platforms were erected and destroyed by suc- 
ceeding generations. The traditions assert, and appearances indicate, 
that this plain had from the earliest times been one of the most densely 
populated districts on the island. Only the remains of walls and cis- 
terns were found here. They were generally small, the largest being 9 
feet in diameter, 14 feet deep, and surrounded by a sloping bank 
paved with small stones to facilitate the collection of rain-water. 

In honor of the day, work was suspended earlier than usual, and we 
returned to camp a couple of hours before sundown, but we found that 
our Ohristmas cheer had been reduced to "hard-tack" and island mut- 
ton by the legerde-main of our native assistants, though ample stores 
had been provided for the entire expedition. With no indulgence in 
indigestible Christmas luxuries, we were enabled to retire to an undis- 
turbed rest at an earlier hour than would have been probable in a more 
civilized land and with diflereut surroundings. 



December 26. — Our native coutingeut deserted in a body at daj light 
on the plea that tbeir religious convictions would not permit them to 
work on Sunday. Remonstrances and arguments were in vain, and we 
had to permit them to depart after exacting a promise that they would 
return early the next morning. Luka, the chief guide, lingered a while 
to state that his family burial place was beneath the great platform of 
Tongariki, and that he had a decided aversion to having the skulls of 
his ancestors added to our collection. 

Sunday inspection and its attendant functions has through long cus- 
tom become second nature with the men who have been long in the serv- 
ice, and through the desire to thus mark the day, the most valuable 
of our geological specimens were lost. The boatswain's mate took ad- 
vantage of our temporary absence to clean up the cave and make it 
more presentable, and, in doing so, threw all the stones and "trash " into 
the sea. Nothing could be said, in view of the fact that it was done 
with the best possible intentions, but he was greatly chagrined to find 
that those same stones had been carried over niiiny a weary mile to be 
lost now, when it was impossible to obtain duplicates or other specimens 
of some of the peculiar formations met with on the hrst days of the trip. 


The day was devoted to the examination of the inside of the crater of 
Rana Roraka. The walls of the crater are very abrupt except on the 
west side, where the lava-flow escaped to the sea, and here the cattle 
and horses find easy accesS to the pool of water that has collected in 
the bottom. High up on the southern side are the workshoj^s of the 
image-builders, extending in irregular terraces quite to the top. Here 
we found images in all stages of incompletion (Fig. 10), from the rude 



Fig. 10. 


outline drawing to the finished statue ready to be cut loose from its 
original rock and launched down the steep incline. The modus operandi 



appears to have been to select a suitable rock upon wbich the image 
was sketcbed in a reclining position. Tbe upper surface having been 
carved into shape and entirely fliiished, the last work was to cut the 
back loose from tbe rock. This necessitated the exercise of great care 
to prevent the breaking off of exposed portions, and was accomplished 
by building piles of stones to sustain the weight while it was being un- 

Ninety-three statues in all, similar to those shown in Figs. 11 and 12, 
were counted inside the crater, and of these forty are standing up, com- 
pleted and ready to be transported to the platforms for whicli they were 






i ' 




A A {front view.) 

Fig. 12. 
Image: Eana Eoraka (back view). 

intended. They stand well down towards the bottom of the slope, and 
are more or less buried in the earth by the washings from above, as 
shown in Figs. 13 and 14. 

The work of lowering the huge images from the upper terraces to the 
bottom of the crater and thence over the wall and down into the plain 
below, was of great magnitude, and we are lost in wonder that so mucli 
could be accomplished by rude savages ignorant of everything in the 
way of mechanical appliances. Tlie average weight of these statues 
would be something between 10 and 12 tons, but some are very large 
and would weigh over 40 tons. It is possible that a slide was made, 
upon which the images were launched to the level ground below; 
a number of broken and damaged figures lie in a position to suggest 
that idea, but from the bottom of the crater they were transported up 
and over the wall and thence over hill and dale to various points all 
over the island. Excavations were made at different points inside the 



crater, but nothing was fouud of interest beyond a few broken stone 
implements tliat had no doubt been used bj' the image-builders. 

r n 

Buried Imahe: Crater of Rana liiiRAivA. 

Fig. 14. 


Rana Roraka. 

December 27. — We made an early start and visited the image-builders' 
workshops on the west side of Eana Eoraka, which are much more ex- 
tensive than those on the inside of the crater. These workshops com- 
mence well up on the side of the mountain and extend quite to the 
summit by irregular terraces. In places these terraces extend one 
above another with unfinished images upon each, and the configura- 
tion of the land is such as to jireclude all idea of launching the statues 
by means of a slide. We were ujiable to arrive at anj' satisfactory 
conclusion as to how the immeuse statues on the upper tier of works 
could be moved to the i)laiu below, passing over the underlying cavi- 
ties where similar works had been quarried. We know the natives had 
ropes made of hemp, two kinds of which are indigenous to the island, 
but it is difficult to conjecture how these heavy weights were handled 
without mechanical appliances. One hundred and fifty-five images 
were counted upon this slope iu various stages, iucluding those stand- 
ing at the base of the mountain finished and complete, ready for removal 



to the platforms. Many of the images in the worlishops are of huge 
proportions, but the largest one on the island lies on one of the central 
terraces in au unfinished condition and measures 70 feet in length, 14^ 
feet across the body ; the head being 28^ feet long. Some of tlie stand- 
ing statues are in as perfect condition as the day they were finished. 

One (Fig. 15) is noticeable from the fact that the head is sliglitly 
turned to one side and is known as the " wry-neck," but whether it is 
the result of accident or design could not be determined. 

Fig. 15. Fig. 10. 


Ckatek of Eana Eohaka, 

Another excellentspecimeu (Fig. 16) of these remarkable figures stands 
near the last mentioned and shows tool-marks around the neck as 
though an effort had been made to cut tbe head off. The natives call 
this "hiara" and have a tradition to the effect that it belonged to a 
powerful clan who were finally defeated in war, and that their enemies 
had made an attempt to destroy the statue by cutting off' the head. The 
story may be based only upon the mutilation, but the chances are that 
it is founded upon fact. 

Nothing of importance was found by digging about the images or in 
the workshoj)s except broken stone implements which had been used by 
the builders. In one of the quarries we found the only trace of sculpt- 
ured figures in the viciuitj'. 

These emblems were carved upon a smooth rock over a half-finished 


December 28. — Shortly after daylight the entire force started maUinff 
excavations under the foundations of the image-builders houses, the 
ruins of which extend towards Eana Eoraka from Tongariki Bay, on 
regular terraces. These peculiar ruins are to be found here in great 
numbers both inside and outside of the crater, but do not differ from 
those already described. A custom obtained among the islanders, sim- 
ilar to that practiced by the tribes of Alaska and other Indians of 
America, of burying something of interest or value beneath the door- 
posts of their dwellings. Usually it was a smooth beach pebble which 
was supposed to have some fetish qualities to bring good luck or ward 
off evil influences. 

One of the largest of these ruins has an extensively paved terrace in 
front. At a depth of about three feet below the surface ot the central 
door-way, we found a rough angular tiinty stone with a rudely carved 
face upon it. A prominent ruin of the same description inside of the 
crater, and another near the workshop on the outside, yielded a hard 
stone upon which marks had been carved very similar to those on the 
rocks at Orongo. 


One of our guides produced from a hiding place three ancient skulls, 
described elsewhere, upon the top of which these same mystical figures 
had been cut. They were not shown until a reward had been promised, 
and the guide claimed to have obtained them in their present condi- 
tion from the King's platform. 

On the outside of the crater of Eaua Eoraka, near the top and looking 
towards the southwest, we found a workshop containing fifteen small 
images. These had been overlooked in our former trips to this place. 

Scattered over the plains extending towards Vaihu are a large num- 
ber of images, all lying face downward. The indications are that 
they were being removed to their respective platforms when the work 
was suddenly arrested. These heavy weights were evidently moved 
by main strength, but why they were dragged over the ground face 
downward instead of upon their backs, thus protecting their features, 
is a mystery yet unsolved. One statue in a group of three is that of 
a female; the face and breast is covered with lichen, which at a short 
distance gives it the appearance of being whitewashed. 

December '29. — We continued the work of exploration from Yaihu 
around the southwest points of the island. Excavations were made 
wherever the indications were good, but the results did not differ from 
those already described. Mount Orito was visited, from whence the 
obsidian was obtained for spear-heads, and also the quarries that pro- 
duce the red pigment from which the natives make a red paint by rub- 
bing it down with the juice of the sugar-cane. The remainder of the 
stay on Easter Island was devoted to the collection of traditions, trans- 
lations of tablets, and similar matters of interest. 

Report of National Museum, 1889. — Thomson, 

Plate XXV. 

Report of National Museum, 18tjy. — Thomson. 

Plate XXVI. 






Iq order to form au estimate of tbe magnitude of tlie work performed 
by the image-makers, every one on the island was carefully counted, and 
the list shows a total of five hnudred and flfty-flve images (Plates XXV 
and XXVI). Of this number forty are standing inside of the crater and 
nearly as many more on the outside of Rana Roraka (Plate XXVll), at 
the foot of the slope where they were placed as finished and ready for 
removal to the different platforms for which they were designed; some 
finished statues lie scattered over the plains (Plate XXVIII) as though 
they were being dragged toward a particular locality but were suddenly 
abandoned. The large majority of the images, however, are lying near 
the platforms all around the coast, all more or less mutilated and some 
reduced to a mere shapeless fragment. Not one stands in its original 
position upon a platform. The largest image is in one of the work- 
shops in au unfinished state and measures 70 feet in length; the small- 
est was found in one of the caves and is a little short of 3 feet in length. 
One of the largest images that has been in ])osition lies near the plat- 
form which it x)rnamented, near Ovahe; it is 32 feet long and weighs 
50 tons. 

Images representing females were found. One at Anakena is called 
" Viri-viri Moai-a-Taka" and is apparently as perfect as the day it was 
finished ; another, on the plain west of Rana Roraka is called " Moai 
Putu," and is in a fair state of preservation. The natives have names 
for every one of the images. The designation of images and platforms 
as obtained from the guides during the exploration was afterwards 
checked off in company with other individuals without confusion in the 
record. The coarse gray trachytic lava of which the images were made, 
is found only in the vicinity of Rana Roraka and was selected because 
the conglomerate character of the material made it easily worked with 
the rude stone implements that constituted the only tools possessed by 
the natives. The disintegration of the material when exposed to the 
action of the elements is about equivalent to that of sandstone under 
similar conditions, and admits of an estimate in regard to the proba- 
ble age. The traditions in regard to the images are numerous, but 
relate principally to impossible occurrences, such as being endowed 
with power to walk about in the darkness, assisting certain clans by 
subtle means in contests, and delivering oracular judgments. The 
legends state that a son of King Mahuta Ariiki, named Tro Kaiho, 
designed the first image, but it is difficult to arrive at au estimation of 
the period. The journals of the early navigators throw but little light 
upon the subject. The workshops must have been in operation at the 
time of Captain Cook's visit, but unfortunately his exploration of the 
island was not directed towards the crater of Rana Roraka. 

Although the images range in size from the colossus of 70 feet down 
to the pigmy of 3 feet, they are clearly all of the same type and general 
H. Mis. 224, pt. 2—33 


cbaracteiistics. Tiie bead is loug, the eyes close under tbe heavy 
blows, tlie nose long, low-bridged, and expanded at the nostrils, the 
upper li[> short and the lii)s pouting. Tiie aspect is slightly upwards, 
and the expression is firm and profoundly solemn. (Jareful investigu 
tion failed to detect the slightest evidence that the sockets had evci- 
been fitted with artificial eyes, made of bone and obsidian, such as are 
placed in the wooden images. 

The head was in all cases cat flat on top to accommodate the red 
tufa crowus with which they were ornamented, bat the images standing 
on the outside of the crater had flatter heads and bodies than those 
found aroujid the coast. Tiie images represent the human body only 
from the head to tlie hips, where it is cut sqnarely off to aftbrd a good 
polygon of support when standing. The artists seem to have exhausted 
their talents in executing the features, very little work being done 
below the shoulders, and the arms being merely cut in low relief. The 
ears are only rectangular projections, bat the lobes are represented 
longer in the older statues than in those of more recent date. 

The images were desigiied as effigies of distinguished persons and 
intended as monuments to perpetuate their memory. They were ues'er 
regarded as idols, and were not venerated or worshiped in any manner. 
The natives had their tutelary genii, gods, and goddesses, but they were 
represented by small wooden or stone idols, which bore no relation to tlie 
images that ornamented the burial platforms. The image-makers were a 
privileged class, and the profession descended from father to son. Some 
of the natives still claim a descent from the image-makers, and refer to 
their ancestors with as much pride as to the royal family. One of our 
guides never missed an opportunity of stating that one of his fore- 
fathers was Unrautahui, the distinguished image-maker. 

The work of carving the image into shape and detaching it from the 
rock of which it was a part, did not consume a great deal of time, but 
the chief difficulty was, in the absence of mechanical contrivances, to 
launch it safely down the slope of the mountain and transport it to a 
distant point. It was lowered to the plain by a system of chocks and 
wedges, and the rest was a dead drag accomplished by main strength. A 
roadway was constructed, over which the images were dragged by means 
ofropes made of iudigenoushemp, and sea-weed and grass made excellent 
lubricants. The platforms were all built with sloping terraces in the 
rear, and up this incline a temporary road-way was constructed of a 
suitable height, upon which the statue could be rolled until the base 
was over its proper resting-place. The earth was then dug away to 
allow the image to settle down into position, the ropes being used to 
steady it in the mean time. It was a work of great magnitude, but we 
can clearly see how it was'accomplished with a large force of able bodied 

The crowns, or head ornaments, were made of red vesicular tufa, quar- 
ried in the Teraai Hills, where many fiuished specimens are still standing. 

Report of National Museum, 1 889.— Thorrson. 

Plate XXVII. 


Report of National Museum, I 889.— ThomGon. 

Plate XXVIII. 



These truucated cones, nearly cylindrical in shape, were easily trans- 
ported. The material is readily quarried and fashioned, being light, 
only about 1.4 times heavier than water, while the average density of 
the image-stone is about 2.1. 

The largest crown measured -was 12^ feet in diameter, but of those 
that had actually been placed in position the average weight would not 
be more than 3 tons. The crowns were placed in position upon the 
heads of the standing images by building a road-way upon which they 
could be rolled to the proper spot. The clearing away of the incline 
was the final act. The earth which formed the surface was utilized as 
garden-patches, and the stones which formed the foundation of the road- 
way were disposed of in building the wing-extensions of the platform. 
The platforms differ greatly in dimensions, but the general plan and 
characteristics are invariably the same. Many of them are in a fair 
state of preservation, except that the images have been thrown down 
a,ud the terraces in the rear obliterated or strewn with rubbish, while 
others have been reduced to a state of complete ruin. The platforms 
are usually located near the beach, and on the high blutf some of them 
are quite near the edge, overlooking the sea. The general plan consists 
of a front elevation composed of blocks of stone fairly well squared 
and neatly fitted together without cement, a parallel wall forming the 
inside boundary, built of uncut stone, inclosing small chambers or 
tombs placed at irregular intervals. Loose bowlders fill the spaces 
between the tombs and form the horizontal plane of the platform, into 
which are let the rectangular stones which constituted the base upon 
which the images stood. The fagade stones are large and heavy, and in 
some cases the smooth surface presented could not well be attributed 
to the rude implements at the command of the builders, and must have 
been produced by friction or grinding. Long wings composed of uncut 
stone extend from the platform proper, built up to the s>ummit at the 
line of junction and sloping away to the surface of the ground at the 
ends. In the rear of the platform a few steps descend to a gently 
sloping terrace, which terminates in a low wall and is bounded by a 
squarely built wall raised above the ground so as to join the top of the 
platform. Human remains fill the inner chambers, and bones lie scat- 
tered about among the loose bowlders of the platform and its extensions. 
The ruined condition of these solid specimens of architecture, with the 
overthrown images and immense deposit of loose bowlders on the 
surface of the ground, are strongly suggestive of earthquakes and 
volcanic eruption. The images in all stages of incompletion in the 
workshops, and abandoned en roiite to the coast in various directions, 
indicate that the work was suddenly arrested, and not gradually brought 
to an end; but the traditions are silent upon the subject, and nc ecord 
has been handed down of the disturbance of any of the volcanoes on 
the island. 



Platform No. 1.— Known to the natives as " Hanga Roa". Only the 
base remains, measuring 59 feet long by 7 feet wide. This pile was 
demolished to obtain material for the construction of a house for one of 
the Catholic missionaries formerly stationed on the island. 

Plalform No. 2.— Called "Ana Koiroraroa"; 1(10 feet long by 12^ feet 
wide and 10 feet high. The facing-stones on thefroiit line remain intact, 
but the body of the platform is a mere mass of loose stones, probably 
torn up by the natives in recent years for the purpose of depositing 
their dead in these ancient structures. The three statues that formerly 
adorned this pile are lying immediately in the rear, and show from 
their positions that they had faced inboard, with their backs to the 
sea. These images are much weather-worn and defaced : one is entire; 
another has the bead lying close by, probably broken off in the fall ; 
and the third is minus, the head and with the neck showing saw-marks. 
We afterwards found out that a French vessel of war visited the island 
a few years ago and the head of this image was cut off by them and 
taken to Europe. 

Platform No. 3 (See Fig. 17).— Called " Hauga Varevare"; 50 feet 
long and 8 feet wide. This has the appearance of an unfinished pile 
and is merely a burial place covered with loose rocks and without the 
usual smoothly faced stones in front. We found the catacombs or 
tombs underneath this platform had been robbed of the uiost ancient 
skulls, and concluded that the Frenchmen had taken everything of 
interest away. 

?lal^oTTTv\lo '5. \ifTuu\e fVestoved,. 


FlO. 17. 

Platform No. 4.— Called "Tahai"; 100 feet long, 7^ feet wide, and 7 
feet high. In a bad state of preservation, but the facing-stones on the 
front are sufficiently plain, while the re§b of the pile is a mass of loose 


stones. Five large flat stoues at regular iutervals along the platform, 
sbow wbere the images once stood. The statues have fallen face down- 
ward on the inshore side, and are much broken and dilapidated. The 
one on the north end is of gigantic size, and much larger than the 
others. The red tufa crown that adorned this image lies near it, and 
measures 7 feet 9 inches wide; 5 feet 9 inches in ellipse; and 4 feet 9 
inches high, and the top is ornamented by sculptured lines that have 
the appearance of geometrical iigares, but are too much obliterated to 

Platform No. 5.— Called by the same name as the last, only a few yards 
distant, is shaped like a right angle, and it is possible that these two 
platforms may have been originally designed for one of huge propor- 
tions. The stones of which it is composed have been thrown about iu 
such disorder that the original design can not be followed, but the flat 
base stones indicate where the images once stood. At one end of this 
platform a statue 14 feet high and 9 feet across the hips, lies face 
downward on the inboard side, and at the other end, one measuring 
15 feet long and 6 feet wide, lies face downward toward the sea, being 
one of the few images on the island found iu that position, admitting 
the possibility of having faced outboard. 

Platform No. C— Called " Anotai"; 120 feet long, 17J feet wide, and 7 J 
feet high. In a bad state of preservation, though the faced stones on the 
front may be traced. The remains of one image lies on the inboard side, 
but minus the head. A large cavity iu the center of the back of this 
image attracted attention, but could not be explained. The red tufa 
crown belonging to this statue lies half-buried in the earth, about 100 
feet distant. Under the center of this platform were obtained some in- 
teresting relics, and the tombs bore evidence of great antiquity. 

Platform No. 7. — Called "Ahuakapu"; 101 feet long, 9 feet wide, and 
8 feet high. In a bad state of preservation. Three images lying on the 
front side with the appearance of having been pulled over backwards, 
and one upon the inshore side down upon its face. AH four statues 
are in good condition, except that the heads have been broken off at the 
neck by the fall. One of these detached heads measured 5 feet 3 inches 
in length by 3 feet 2 inches from ear to ear. The four pedestal stones 
are still in place on the platform and average i feet long and 3 feet 8 
inches wide, and are composed of hard volcanic rock, roughly squared. 

Platform No. 8. — Called "Anaoraka"; 95 feet long and 8 feet wide 
and 7 feet high. Eemarkable for the large stones that support the sea 
face, the largest of which measures 6 feet 9 inches high and 4 feet 7 
inches wide. Four images have fallen upon their faces upon the in- 
board side. Only a pedestal stone remains in position, which is 5 feet 
2 inches square by 2 feet 2 inches thick. (Fig. 18). 

Platform No. 9.— Called "Kihikihiraumea"; 186 feet long, 8 feet 10 
inches wide, and 7 feet 5 inches thick. The central section of this struct- 
ure contains stones so remarkably well cut and fitted ogether that it 



merits the accompanying sketcli. Four images were found, which had 
been thrown down on tlieir faces on the inboard side. Tiiese are in a 
fair state of preservation. From this ruin we obtained skulls, obsidian 
spear-heads, and stone tools. 

ci'^ll'i''- Ground in reaj- of platform, ;.-;j^ 
^:'fi'--~ proper pa^d. fyztfi^ cobUe, \ y}.^ 

sec. at ^3 



Plan victi' of cc hou:i& 

curling a'x.ea 

Fig. 18. 
Showikg geneuai. plan of construction of platform. Also plan of house coxbtruction with 


Platform No. ]0. — Called " Ahutepeu". Is iu such a state of dilapida- 
tion that it was impossible to obtain accurate measurements. Portions 
of an image are here, but it looks as though others might have been 
rolled over the edge of the cliff, which is only a few feet distant and 
about 450 feet high, and against the base of which the sea dashes in- 

Platform No. 11. — Called " Hanauakou". Central sections 48 feet long, 
12 feet wide, and 9 feet high ; total length, with wings, 248 feet. This is 
an exceedingly fine platform, and contains some remarkably large stones. 
In the face of the main structure are huge blocks of igneous rock that 
appear to have once been fashioned into faces and figures, but now so 
destroyed by the action of the elements and perhaps by the hand of the 
iconoclast that the features can only be dimly traced. Hard work with 

Report of National Museum, 1 889.— Thomson. 

Plate XXIX. 
















our entire force disclosed heiieatli this platform well constructed cata- 
combs and tombs, coiitaitiiiig huiniui remains so old tbat they crumbled 
into dust upon exposure to the air. The removal of one of the facing- 
stones revealed a lot of skulls with remarkably broad, heavy underjaws. 
These were generally too brittle to be handled, and a peculiar featnro 
about the find was tlie fact that these heads had been entombed to- 
gether, and the surroundings excluded the idea of any other portions of 
the l)odies having been interred with them. Only one image is in 
sight, and the proximity of the platform to the edge of the bhifi' sug- 
gests the possibility that other statues may have beeu thrown into 
the sea. From the size and character of the work on the structure it 
is not reasonable to suppose that it was designed to support the one 
insignificant statue that lies near it. 

Ptoyorm i\^o. 12.— Called "Ohau". Central section 18 feet long, 9 
feet wide, and G feet high. One image tiirown down upon its face on 
the inboard side, 8 feet 4 inches long ; extreme width of body 5 feet ; 
length of head 4 feet ; and width from ear to ear, 3 feet 3 inches. Good 
state of preservation. (Plate XXIX). 

Platform No. 13. — Called "Ahukinokino". In such a state of ruin 
that measurements were not obtainable. Situated close to the edge of 
the high cliff. 

Platform No. li. — Called "Ahutoretore". Has been so completely 
destroyed that nothing can be determined about its original size and 
importance. Excavations in this vicinity pioduced nothing but a few 
stray spear heads of obsidian. 

Platform No. 15.-Called " Hangatariri"; 103 feet long, 11 feet wide; 
and 6 feet high. In very bad condition, but some of the large cut facing- 
stones are in position. Four images lie face downward on the island 
side, and two more have fallen on their backs toward the sea. A few 
yards back of (his structure is a tomb 50 feet long and 6 feet wide, bnilt 
of stones taken from the platform and those peculiarly cut stones that 
form the foundations of the image-builders' houses. At one end is a 
hard stone slab that api>ears to have beeu covered with hieroglyphics, 
but they are too nearly obliterated to be accurately traced. After a 
thorough investigation we concluded that it was of comi)aratively 
recent date and had no distinctive features of its own. On the plain, a 
few hundred yards distant, is an image of gigantic proportions lying 
npon its face with the head toward the sea. The indications are that 
it was designed for this platform and was being moved into position 
when from some sndden emergency it had to be abandoned. The 
ground underneath the statue has been dug out by later generations 
in such a manner that the body of the image forms the roof of the 
cave. The base of the statue shows traces of rudely sculptured figures, 
nearly obliterated. In this vicinity are several large caves, with the 
narrow entrances completely blocked up with loose stones, which were 
not investigated for the want of time. 


Platform No. IC— Called " Haugaoteo" ; 70 feet long and 12 feet wide. 
Has tbe appearance of having been in process of construction when 
tlie work was suddenly suspended. 

Platform No. 17.— Called "Tumuheipara" ; 40 feet long, 8 feet wide, 
and 8 feet higb. This structure also appears to Lave been abandoned 
before completion. The chances are that several days could have been 
spent upon the extensive plain, back of these images, to great advan- 
tage and it is regretted that the limited time at our disposal did not 
allow a more thorough investigation. 

Platform No. 18.— Called " Haahuroa". Central section 40 feet long, 
12 feet wide, and 7 feet high, with wings 145 feet in length. One image 
lying on the inboard side measures 7 feet 5 inches long and 3 feet 5 
inches wide; length of head to shoulders 3 feet 4 inches, and width 
from ear to ear 3 feet 5 inches. The fragments of two other images lie 
in front of the platform. The huge facing-stones of this structure have 
been thrown about as though by some great convulsion of nature, and 
some of them bear evidences of having been ornamented with sculpt- 
ured figures. 

Platform No. 19. — Called '' Akaue ". Seems to have been abandoned 
while in the ])rocess of construction. A few faced stones intended for 
tbe front of the central section are lying about, but were never jilaced 
in position. 

Platform No. 20. — Called " Ahuroa". Is a mere mass of loose roi;ks, 
said to have been destroyed in the tribal wars, but it has the appear- 
ance of having never been completed. 

Platform No. 21. — Called " Vaiavangarenga". In the same condition 
as the last. No images. 

Platform No. 22. — Called " Maiki". Same as tbe last; merelj' a pile 
of loose stones covering human remains. These platforms may have 
been robbed to supply the material for the construction of the numerous 
houses and cairns, the ruins of which cover the hills in this vicinity. 

Platform No. 23.— Called "Tauka". Central section 38 feet long, 48 
feet wide, anil 12 feet high, the extreme length with wings 120 feet. In 
very bad condition. One small image lies face-upward toward the sea, 
much broken. Facing aud other suitable stones have been removed 
from this platform for the construction of tombs and houses. Near at 
hand is one of those peculiar ways, made by paving tbe sloping bank 
with regular lines of smooth, lound bowlders, as though intended for 
hauling up heavy boats or weights, 

Platform No. 2i. — Called " Punamuta". In its incipient stage, and 
important only fron:; the fact that it shows the manner of laying the 
foundation of the work. 

Platform No. 25. — Called " Koteva". This has been an important 
structure and was built in the shape of a right angle GO feet long, 11 
feet wide, and 20 feet high. Portions of the walls have been thrown 
down, and no images could be found. 


Plaf/orni No. 26. — Culled " Tetoiigii". Similar in Khape and structure 
to tlie last, but of smaller size. From these piles we obtained relics in 
the shape of obsidian spearheads, stone implemeuts, and skulls. 

Platform No. 37,— Called " Hanghaogio"; 150 feet long, 8 feet wide, 
and 10 feet high. Three small images have been thrown down and 
much broken. 

Platform No. 28.— Called " Huarero". Very similar to the last, but 
located on the hill-side about three-quarters of a mile back of the bay. 
The facing-stones show traces of carving, but so nearly obliterated that 
only these figures could be made out: Qy cfi, and they seemed to bo 
often repeated. The fragments of two images lie behind the platform. 

Platform No. 29.— Called " Anakena"; 75 feet long, 8 feet wide, and 
10 feet high. An image li^s upon its face upon the inboard side, 13 
feet long and 9 feet across the hips; length of head, to shoulders, 5 
feet, and width, from ear to ear, G feet 6 inches. This image is in the 
best state of preservation of any found about the platforms of the 
island. The traditions state that it was the last statue finished and 
set up in place. Our guides raaintaiued that this is the statue of a 
female, and that it was only thrown down about twenty-four years ago. 
Its size, and proximity to the perfectly smooth landing place nt Ana- 
kena Bay, would insure its easy removal to a vessel. From the sand 
beach at Anakena Bay we passed over hills comi)oseil of volcanic cin- 
der as light as coke, but very hard. Beyond this are numerous ruins 
of houses, each with a small stone building connected that was evi- 
dently designed for fowls. The largest of those was about 8 feet square, 
and the only opening was a small hole for the chickens to pass 

Platform No. 30. — Called " Ahutrature". Central section 30 feet long, 
10 feet wide, and 6 feet high. Extreme length 80 feet. In ruins, with no 

Platform No. 31.— Called "Anateka"; 30 feet long, 12 feet wide, and 
7 feet high. Extreme length 100 feet. In a very bad condition. 
Small fragments are all that remain of two images and two crowns. 

Platform No. 32.— Called " Ahupuapuatetea". Merely a shapeless 
mass of uncut stones remain to indicate the site of the structure. 

Platform No. 33.— Called " Ahangakihikihi "; 20 feet long, 10 feet 
wide, and 9 feet high. In ruins. One small image lies on the inboard 
side iu a bad condition. 

Platform No. 34,— Called "Puuahoa". Although in ruins, this has 
evidently been a structure of some importance; 175 feet long, 8 feet 
wide, with the central section projecting G feet forward of the main 
line. The facing-stones are from G feet to 9 feet iu length by 5 feet and 
1 foot in thickness. An image lies upon its face on the inboard side, 
and measures 32 feet long, 10 feet 3 inches wide; length of head, to 
shoulders, 12 feet and 6 inches. Near this platform we found a peculiar 
stone nearly buried in the earth. After much digging it proved to be 


neaiij' spherical in shape and about 8 feet 4 iiiclies in cironnifereTice. 
The natives cialied it " Petaknla". and wc could ouly mnko out that it 
was a grinding stoTie of some sort. 

Platform N'o. 35.— (Jelled " Tuapau" ; 150 feet long, 1(» feet wide, and 
8 feet high, with a small platform in front of it. The building of this 
elaborate structure must have furnished employment for a large num- 
ber of people. The foundation stones are of hard rock of immense size, 
all smoothly faced. Four images have been thrown down, two on each 
side, and all much broken. 

Platform No. 3C>.—GMg(\ " Hangakouri''. Central section 70 feet long, 
7 feet wide, and 8 feet high. Extreme length 300 feet. In a state of 
absolute ruin and no images. 

riatform No. 37. — Called "Hangahohoonu". Completely in ruins and 
-with one image in a bad condition. Between these last two platforms 
is a paved way leading to a small channel through the rocks that 
aftbrds a safe and convenient landing for small boats. 

Platform No. 38.— Called •' Mari". Central section 80 feet long, 12 feet 
wide, and 7 feet high. Extreme length 300 feet, situated very close to 
edge of the bluff. 

Platform No. 39. — Called " Alinrai". Very large; but, like the last, in 
a state of ruin. 

Platform No. 40. — Called " Tehahitunukiolaira". Of great size; but, 
like the last, in a state of absolute ruin; covering human remains. 

Platform No. 41. — Called " Naruaanga". Small and inferior ; also in 
ruins and no images. 

Platform No. 42 — Called " Hangaopnna" ; 100 feet long and 10 feet 
wide. Has two layers of roughly cut stones in the front face, and ap- 
pears to have been left in an unfinished state. 

Platform No. io. — Called "Tumatuma"; 25 feet long, 7 feet wide, and 
7 feet high. Poorly constructed, and contains nothing of interest but 
one small image. 

Platform' No. 4:4:. — Called "Tokaie". Larger than the last, but in a 
bad cnndition. A much battered head lies just behind the pile, but the 
rest of the image can not be found. 

Platform No. 45. — Called " Vaimaugeo" ; 50 feet long, 8 feet wide, and 
15 feet high. Extreme length, including wings, 150 feet. In a state of 
ruin, and has one large image thrown down on the inboard side. 

Platform No. 4G. — Called " Moukuhoi"; 50 feet long, 7 feet wide, and 
5 feet high. Extreme length, including wings, GO feet. Situated very 
close to the edge of the bluff, and looks as if the destroyers of the struct- 
ure might have tossed the most of it into the sea. 

Platform No. 47. — Called " Moukuroa". In all respects a duplicate of 
the last one. 

Platform No. 48.— Called " :\lotuariki"; 20 feet long, 7 feet wide, and 5 
feet high. Extreme length, including wings, 2G0 feet. This has been a 
large and imposing structure. The central section, upon which theini- 

Report of National Museum, 1 889.— Thomson, 

Plate XXX 

Report of National Museum, 1889.— ThofT 

Plate XXXI. 


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Report of National Museum, 1 889.— Thomson. 

Plate XXXII. 

Report of National Museum, 1 889.— Thomson, 

Plate XXXIII. 

..•Sai^iS'- ..1 







Report of National Museum, 1889. — Thomson. 

Plate XXXIV. 







ase stood projects beyond tlie, line of the platform, aiul was higber. In 
the rear, and extending tlio entire length' of the pile, is a broad terrace, 
neatly paved with smooth round bowlders. The fragments of three im- 
ages lie npon the terrace. 

Platform Wo. i9. — Called " Oneonepuhea". Oentralsection is about 
45 feet long by 6 feet high. This is a crescent-shaped structure, and the 
only one of the kind that we saw on the island. It is situated on the 
extreme edge of the cliff, which at this point has a straight away fall of 
over 500 feet to the sea, which dashes against its wall-like base. There 
is no image in sight, l)ut a large pedestal stone, inclined at a sharp angle 
towards the sea, shows where one has stood and suggests what became 
of it. 

Platform No. 50. — Called "Ahutakaure". Located on Poike cliflf, 
facing westward; is small and unimportant and in a state of complete 
ruin. On the east slope of the mountain we found an image, the head 
of which had been broken off, but it lies near by. There is no platform 
here and no indications that one was intended to be built in the vicinity; 
so we concluded that the statue was being moved to some distant locality 
when it was broken and abandoned. 

Platform No. 51. — Called "Hangaiti"; 30 feet long and 8 feet wide and 
5 feet high. In a bad condition and one small image broken. 

Platform No. 52. — Called "Tongariki "; 150 feet long, 9 feet wide, and 
8 feet high (Plates XXX-XXXIV). Extreme length, including orig- 
inal wings, 540 feet. This is the largest platform on the island, and 
was ornamented with fifteen gigantic statues. These have been thrown 
down upon their faces on the inshore side, and the most of these are 
broken, the one on the south end being fractured across the middle of 
the body, leaving the lowei' section still standing. The red tufa crowns 
are lying a short distance away and are also much broken. The hard 
stones of which the sea-front of this platform is constrncted are of im- 
mense size, fiiced and neatly joined together. One of the foundation- 
stones in the center of this wall is of red tufa and represents a human 

Our investigations were commenced at this point by throwing down 
the facing-stones and working straight backwards through the plat- 
form. The labor was great, and occupied the most of our force for nearly 
two days, but the catacombs and tombs underlying the structure were 
thoroughly examined. Under the central section are small, narrow pas- 
sages forming a part of the original design, having been built up while 
the platform was in i)rocess of construction, and containing human re- 
mains. The oldest of these tombs appear to have been sealed up before 
the structure Avas completed, and the probability is that they were not 
intended to be opened, from the fact that there is nothing to indicate 
their exact locality. The pedestal-stones, all of which are still in place, 
show that the images were put up at equal distances and with a view 
to symmetry, and without regard to the position of the tombs; though 


it is pretty well establisbed that they were iuteuded as eifigies of chiefs 
or distiuguished persons. Tlie terrace behind the iilatforra was also 
used as a burial-place, and contained remains of an ancient date. Suc- 
ceeding generations have utilized the same i^laces for the same purposes, 
but there are passages under the platform that have never been opened 
since the structure was built. The entire plain back of Tongariki Bay 
is one vast cemetery, containing the decaying remains of thousands of 
people. Every pile of stones, cave or ruined platform, house or cairn, 
has been used as a tomb. The christianized natives of today still re- 
gard this as a favorite burial-place. They have neither the ambition nor 
the industry to construct tombs for themselves, but are content to place 
their dead in receptacles filled with thereraaiusof their ancestors. The 
recess-angles between the bodies of the fallen images, and the platforms 
ujion which the base rests, are filled with remains of a recent date. 

Plaiform No. 53. — Called "One-tea". Completely in ruins. Three 
images much broken. Foundation proper about 100 feet long. 

Platform Ko. 54. — Called " Opaarionga". Small and unimportant. 
Central section 20 feet long, 6 feet wide, and 7 feet high. Eemains of 
one small image. 

Platform No. 55.— Called " Hangatufata"; 125 feet long, 8 feet wide, 
and 7 feet high. Five images thrown down, broken and in bad con- 

Platform No. 56. — Called " Onemakihi". Central section iO feet long, 
7 feet wide, and 7 feet high. Extreme length, including wings, 100 
feet. One image much mutilated. 

Platform No. 57. — Called '• Puuakape''. Central section 40 feet long, 
feet wide, and 6 feet high. Extreme length 80 feet. In ruins, and 
no images. 

Platform. No. 58.— Called " J\Ioaitutahi ". Central section 150 feet 
long, 7 feet wide, and 7 feet high. Extreme length 250 feet. Only 
two images remain, but appearances indicate that others have been 
destroyed. Upon terraces sloping towards the sea from the front are 
numerous remains of image-builders' houses. From the back of the 
structure a nicely paved w^ay, 10 feet wide, extends inland for a dis- 
tance of 200 yards. 

Platform No. 59. — Called "Hanga-mahihikn". A mere mass of ruins, 
and almost devoid of shape. No images. 

Platform No. CO.- Called "Ahuakoi". Central section 75 feet long, 
7 feet wide, and 6 feet high. Extreme length, 100 feet. In a bad con- 
dition, and no images. 

Platform No. 61.— Called " Hanga-tutuki". A mere mass of ruins 
covering humau remains. 

Platform No. 62.— Called "Ahupoepoe". In same condition as the 
last and without images. 

Platform No. 63.— Called " Yairaoai". Central section 40 feet long, 6 
feet wide, and 8 feet high. Extreme length, 90 feet. In bad condition 
and no images. 

Report of National Museum, 1 889.— Thomson, 

Plate XXXV. 


Platform No. 64.— Called "Kai". Same dimensions and general 
appearance as the last, but has one broken image. 

Platform No. 65.— Galled " liuruoa". Central section 150 feet long, 
7 feet wide, and 6 feet high. Extreme length, including wings, 275 
feet. Two- large images, each 33 feet in length by 5 wide. Length of 
head, to shoulders, 10 feet, and width, from ear to ear, 4 feet. The 
stones on the front wall of the structure are neatly squared and 
smoothly faced. 

Platform No. 66.— Called "Mahatua". Central section 30 feet long, 
7 feet wide, and 6 feet high. Extreme length, 100 feet. Two images, 
much defaced, lie on the inboard side on their faces. Between this 
platform and the last there is a nicely graded and ])aved road, with 
gentle slope from the cliff to the water edge. 

Platform No. 67.-^Called " Ahukirirera". Has been pretty well de- 
molished. No images. 

Platform No. 68. — Called " Tehangakiri". Central section 40 feet 
long, 7 feet wide, and 7 feet high. Extreme length, 250 feet. Here are 
seven images, three large ones and four small-sized, all in a damaged 

Platform No. 69. — Called "Kirikiriroa". Has been pretty thoroughly 
demolished, and has the fragments of one image. 

Platform No. 70. — Called "Onepuhea". A duplicate of the last one 
in all respects. 

Platform No. 71.— Called " Hanga-tetera" ; 60 feet long, 6 feet wide, 
and 7 feet high, and has no wings. The main stones of sea-face 
average in size 5J feet long and li feet wide. No images. 

Platform No. 72. — Called "Hangarea". Has been completely de- 
molished and the fragments of two images lie among the ruins. 

Platform No. 73. — Called " Oteu ". Has a small foundation and seems 
to have been abandoned in an unfinished condition. 

Platform No. 74. — Called "Tahureue". Has been destroyed, and the 
fragments of two images lie in the ruins. 

Platform No. 75.— Called " Oroi ''. Central section 40 feet long, 6 feet 
wide, and 6 feet high. Extreme length, 140 feet. In a bad condition 
and no images. 

Platform No. 76. — Called "Ahukiuokino ". Somewhat smaller than 
the last, but destitute of all interest. 

Platform No. 77. — Called "Papaturei". A duplicate of the last, and 
in a demolished condition. 

Platform No. 78.— Called " Tutuira". A mere mass of ruins, and with 

no images. 

Platform No. 79.— Called " Ue ". Central section 30 feet long, 6 feet 
wide, 6 feet high. Extreme length, 120 feet. Two images in a bad con- 

Platform No. 80.— Called "Akahanga" (Plate XXXV). Two hun- 
dred aud fifty feet long, 10 feet wide, and 7 feet high, with no wings. 



Thirteeu colossal images that ouce ornameuted tliis remarkable struc- 
(ure have been thrown dowu aud more or less damaged. Their red 
tufa crowns, also considerably broken, lie near at hand. Ou the in- 
land facing-wall there is a grouud tier of gray volcanic stone finely 
dressed, and on this is a tier of tufa stones 4J feet long, 2i feet high, 
and S inches thick each, aud these are covered with hieroglyphics. 
This is known as the King's platform, and is regarded as one of the 
most important ou the island, on account of the finished work on the 
structure as well as the numerous sculptures (Fig. 19). The tradition 

Fig. 19. 
sculptuked ijock: king's platform. 

asserts that this was the burial place of Hotu-Matua, the first king, 
and a long line of his descendants. Our excavations in the vicinity 
produced nothing of interest beyond a few ancient skulls with lower 
jaws of extraordinary size and width. From the foundation of image- 
builders' houses we obtained fine stone implements and carving tools. 

Platform No. 81. — Called "Harerora". Small aud unimportant. One 
image, much broken. 

Platform No. 82.— Called "Motuopope". Central section 252 feet 
long, 10 feet wide, and 7 feet high. Extreme length, 375 feet. Six im- 
ages in rather bad condition. This structure is important from the fact 
that the statues have short ears, the only ones of the kind we found on 
the island. The sketches will show that on all the platforms, as well 
the images in the workshops as those left in an unfinished state were 
all carved with long ears. Why there was an exception made to the 
general rule in the images that adorned this structure, could not be 

Platform No. S3. — Called "Anaonero". Consisting of foundation 
stones only, showing that the work was abandoned shortly after being 

Platform No. 84. — Called "Huareva". A mere mass of ruins. 

Platform No. 85. — Called "Hoekoe". Has been completely demol- 
ished and shows fragments of two large images. 

Platform No. SO. — Called "Pakaea". Central section 45 feet long 8 
feet wide, aud 7 feet high, with wings extending 250 feet on either side. 
One image, in a bad condition. 


Platform No. 87. — Called "Manumea". A mere mass of ruins. 

Platform No. S8.— Called "Hauga-tee". Same condition as the last. 

Platform No. 89. - Called "Kopeiti". Only the fouudation-stoues in 
place; probably never flnisbed. 

Platform No. 90.— Called '■Eunga-vae". Same condition as last. 

Platform No. 91.— Called "Kote-one". In same unanished state. 

Platform No. 92.— Called "Eenga-bavini". A mere mass of ruins. 

Platform No. 93.— Called "Kote-ara ara". In a complete state of 

Platform No. 94.~Called "Puepau". In same condition as the last. 

Platform No. 95.— Called " Kiraau ". A shapeless ruin. 

Platform No. 96.— Called "Taroe". Central section 200 feet long, 8 
feet wide, and 6J feet high. Extreme length, 350 feet. Eleven images, 
all mutilated. 

Platform No. 97.— Called "Arilci-iki". A shapeless ruin. . 

Platform No. 98.— Called " Kone iti ". Same condition as the last. 

Platform No. 99.— Called " Koturara". In a very bad condition, with 
one brolien image. 

Platform No. 100.— Called "Moturea". In a state of absolute ruin. 

Platform No. 101. — Called "Hangapaukura". Shows that it was 
originally well built, and has six images lying behind it. 

Platform No. 102. — In a very bad condition, and the name could not 
be ascertained. 

Platform No. 103. — Called "Mataakira". A shapeless mass of ruins. 

Platform No. 104.— Called "Anokahi". Similar to the last. 

Platform No. 10~>. — Called "Hauga-hahiie". In a bad condition, but 
Las been an extensive structure with long wings. Four images. 

Platform No. 106. — Called "Tehuteaheru". A mass of ruins. 

Platform No. 107. — Called "Ahumeamea". Small and irregular con- 
struction. One image much damaged. 

Platform No. 108. — Called "Ahumata-iti". This structure has been 
pretty thoroughly demolished and shows the fragments of one image. 

Platform No. 109. — Called "Tahiri". The dimensions of the structure 
are not great, but it is remarkable on account of the finished workman- 
ship. The sea front is built of immense blocks of hard heavy volcanic 
rock, smoothly faced and neatly joined together. In places, small stones 
have been mortised into the larger ones. It is surprising that such 
results could be produced by the rude stone implements that are known 
to have been the only tools at the command of the natives. Finished 
surfaces might be the result of grinding with sand and water, but the 
joints and fittings could only be accomplished by long and patient 
labor. Some of the facing-stones were estimated at a weight of up- 
wards of 5 tons. Under the impression that the superior character 
of the work indicated a platform of more than usual importance, it was 
thoroughly investigated at the expense of great labor and time. A 
section of the front wall was thrown down and the stones removed 


until an opening was made clear through the structure. Ko results 
having been obtained except a knowledge of how the pile was con- 
structed from the foundation up, additional efforts were directed 
towards the two ends. To our great disai)pointment, we had nothing 
to show for the great labor expended upon this platform. The only 
human remains about the place are those of recent date, in shallow 
tombs on the rear side of the pile. There is a tradition to the effect 
that this was the last platform built on the island and was intended 
for the colossal image (70 feet) lying in the workshops on the west 
side of the crater of Eana Eorakn. The legend asserts that when the 
work upon the platform and images had arrived at a certain stage, a 
great feast was held in honor of the event by the i)0werful tribe of 
Vinapu. The wife of the chief was of the Tongnriki clan and during the 
ceremonies this "lady" was slighted in the division of "long pig," but 
whether intentionally or otherwise does not appear. Cannibalism was 
practiced on the island down to the advent of the first missionaries, and 
was always an important feature of the ancient feasts. The bodies 
were roasted in ovens made of hot stones covered with earth, after the 
manner practiced all through Polynesia, and certain portions were 
awarded to prominent individuals. Upon this particular occasion the 
rib-roast, "tenderloin" steak, or whatever the favorite morsel was which 
belonged to the aforesaid female by reason of her rank, was given to 
another. The insulted individual immediately sought the protection 
of her own clan, who arose en manse to vindicate the Tongariki honor. 
Long and bloody wars followed. Image-builders and platform-makers 
were drawn into the conflict from all parts of the island and, in a spirit 
of revenge, platforms were destroyed and images thrown down when- 
ever opportunity offered. This is believed to have been the origin of 
the trouble which has laid waste the extraordinary works of this island. 

Fir,. 20. 

PlATFOUM 110. "ViNAPU.' 

Platform No. 110.— Called "Vinapu" (Fig. 20). A large structure 
with six mutilated images, and of the same general character and 
appearance as those already described. Immediately behind this plat- 
form a wall of earth incloses a piece of ground about 325 feet iu 


diameter and circular in sliape. This is believed to have been the 
theater of the native ceremonies, and perhaps the spot where the feasts 
were held. We made excavations in the center and around the sides, 
but without a "find." 

Platform No. HI.— Called "Ahutupai." Has been pretty thoroughly 
demolished. Six images in a bad condition lie on the top of the pile. 

Platform No. 112.^Called "Ahurikinki." Situated on the extreme 
southwestern end of the island, and remarkable from its position on the 
face of a perpendicular cliff nearly 1,000 feet high and midway between 
the sea and the top. Sixteen small images are lying on this platform 
and many of them seem to be in excellent condition. We could find no 
way of reaching the narrow ledge upon which this platform stands. No 
road leads down from the top; it can not be approached from either side, 
and from below it is a straight up and down wall against which the sea 
dashes continually. It is hardly probable that the images were lowered 
from the top by ropes, and the natural conclusion is, that a roadway 
once existed, which has been undermined by the waves and has fallen 
into the sea. 

Platform No. 113.— Called "Kaokaoe." This was originally a large 
structure, but has been completely demolished by Mr. Brander to obtain 
material for the construction of stone-feuces about his place. 


The principal feature of interest, connected with Easter Island, is the 
written language by which the ancient traditions and legends were per- 
petuated. The existence of the incised tablets was not known until the 
missionaries settled upon the island. Numerous specimens were found 
iu the possession of the natives, but no especial attention appears to 
have been directed towards them. Several persons, belonging to vessels 
that were wrecked at Easter Island, report having seen these tablets, but 
they were so highly prized by the natives, that they could not be induced 
to part with them. The three hundred islanders who emigrated to 
Tahiti had in their possession a number of these tablets ; they created 
some attention on account of the I'einarkable skill with which the figures 
wereexecuted, but they were highly prized by the owners and no effort 
was made to secure them because their real value was not discovered. 
The Chilian corvette O^Higgins visited Easter Island in January, 1870, 
and Captain Gaua secured three tablets, two of which are ou deposit in 
the national museum at Santiago de Chili and the third was sent to 
France, but does not appeared to have reached its destination. Paper 
impressions and casts were taken from the Chilian tablets for the 
various museums of Europe. Those sent to the English Ethnological 
Society created some interest after a time, but others sent to Berlin 
were regarded as stamps for marking native cloth (Mittheiluugen, July, 
1871). Seven of these tablets are now iu the possession of Tepano 
Jansser, bishop of Axieri, all iu excellent state of preservation. 
H. Mis. 224, pt. 2 33 


While the Mohican was at Tahiti, the bishop kiudly permitted us to 
examine these tablets and take photographs of them. These tablets 
were obtained from the missionaries who had been stationed on Easter 
Island, and they ranged in size from 5J inches in length by 4 inches 
broad, to 5J feet in length and 7 inches wide. Diligent search was 
made for specimens of these tablets during our visit to Easter Island. 
At first the natives denied having any, but Mr. Salmon knew of the 
existence of two, and these were finally purchased after a great deal of 
trouble and at considerable expense. The tablets obtained are in a fair 
state of preservation. The large one is a piece of drift-wood that from 
its peculiar shape is supposed to have been used as a portion of a canoe. 
The other is made of the toromiro wood indigenous to the island. In 
explanation of the ilisappearauce of these tablets, the natives stated 
that the missionaries had ordered all that could be found to be burned, 
with a view to destroying the ancient records, and getting rid of every- 
thing that would have a tendency to attach them to their heathenism, 
and prevent their thorough conversion to Christianity. The loss to the 
science of philology by this destruction of valuable relics is too great 
to be estimated. The native traditions in regard to the incised tablets 
simply assert that Hotu-Matua, the first king, possessed the knowledge 
of this written language, and brought with him to the island sixty-seven 
tablets containing allegories, traditions, genealogical tables, and proverbs 
relating to the land from which he had migrated. A knowledge of the 
written characters was confined to the royal family, the chiefs of the 
six districts into which the island was divided, sous of those chiefs, and 
certain priests or teachers, but the people were assembled at Auekena 
Bay once each year to hear all of the tablets read. The feast of the 
tablets was regarded as their most important fete day, and not even war 
was allowed to interfere with it. 

The combination of circumstances that caused the sudden arrest of 
image-making, and resulted iu the abandonment of all such work on the 
island, never to be again revived, may have had its effect upon the art 
of writing. The tablets that have been found in the best stage of pres- 
ervation would correspond very nearly with the age of the unfinished 
images in the workshops. The ability to read the characters may have 
continued until 1864, when the Peruvian slavers captured a large num- 
ber of the inhabitants, and among those kidnapped, were all of the of- 
ficials and persons in authority. After this outrage, the traditions, etc., 
embraced by the tablets, seem to have been repeated ou particular occa- 
sious,but the value of the characters was not understood and was lost to 
the natives. A man called UreVaeiko,oueof the patriarchs of the island, 
professes to have been under instructions in the art of hieroglyphic read- 
ing at the time of the Peruvian visit, and claims to understand most of the 
characters. Negotiations were opened with him for a translation of the 
two tablets purchased ; but he declined to furnish any information, on tLie 
ground that it had been forbidden by the priests. Presents of money and 

Report of National Museum, 1889. — Thomson. 

Plate XXXVI. 

irjc. l2^'- Rjfc 









— - .<r 


Report of National Museum, 1889.— Thorr 

Plate XXXVII. 

^s=rr ir''^ i^-^^=^ -gs;:? ■'i-^^,..;^^ <' Sif -• - ^ 


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^^•. '^== ^iS 3LS "^iri^i^-irr^.'-— - 


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=?=■ Si-O: 


valuables were sent him from time to time, but he invariably replied to all 
overtures that he was now old and feeble and had but a short time to 
live, and declined most positively to ruin his chances for salvation by 
doing what his Christian instructors had forbidden. Finally the old fel- 
low, to avoid temptation, took to the hills with the determination to re- 
main in hiding uutil after the departure of the Mohican. It was a mat- 
ter of the utmost importance that the subject should be thoroughly in- 
vestigated before leaving the island, and unscrupulous strategy was the 
only resource after fair means had failed. Just before sundown one 
evening, shortly before the day appointed for our sailing, heavy clouds 
rolled up from the southwest and indications pointed to bad weather. 
In a heavy down-pour of rain we crossed the island from Vinapu to Ma- 
teveri with Mr. Salmon, and found, as had been expected, that old Ure 
Vaeiko had sought the shelter of his own home on this rough night. He 
was asleep when we entered and took charge of the establishment. 
When he found escape impossible he became sullen, and refused to look 
at or touch a tablet. As a compromise it was proposed that he should 
relate some of the ancient traditions. This was readily acceded to, be- 
cause the opportunity of relating the legends to an interested audience 
did not often occur, and the positive pleasure to be derived from such 
an occasion could not be neglected. During the recital certain stimu- 
lants that had been provided for such an emergency were produced, and 
though not pressed upon our ancient friend, were kept prominently be- 
fore him uutil, as the night grew old and the narrator weary, he was in- 
cluded as the " cufj that cheers" made its occasional rounds. A judi- 
cious indulgence in present comforts dispelled all fears in regard to the 
future state, and at an auspicious moment the photographs of the tab- 
lets owned by the bishop were produced for inspection. Old Ure Vae- 
iko had never seen a photograph before, and was surprised to find how 
faithfully they reproduced the tablets which he had known in his young 
days. A tablet would have met with opposition, but no objection could 
be urged against a photograph, especially something possessed by the 
good bishop, whom he had been instructed to reverence. The photo- 
graphs were recognized immediately, and the appropriate legend related 
with fluency and without hesitation from beginning to end. The story 
of all the tablets of which we had a knowledge was flually obtained, 
the words of the native being written down by Mr. Salmon as they were 
uttered, and afterwards translated into English. 

A casual glance at the Easter Island tablets is sufficient to note the 
fact that they diifer materially from other kyriologic writings. The 
pictorial symbols are engraved in regular lines on depressed channels, 
separated by slight ridges intended to protect the hieroglyphics from 
injury by rubbing. In some cases the characters are smaller, and the 
tablets contain a greater number of lines, but in all cases the hiero- 
glyphics are incised and cover both sides as well as the beveled edges 
and hollows of the board upon which they are engraved. The symbols 


on each line are alternately reversed; those on the first stand npright, 
and those on the next line are upside down, and so on by regular alter- 

This unique plan makes it necessary for the reader to turn the tablet 
and change its position at the end of every line; by this means the 
characters will be found to follow in regular procession. The reading 
should commence at the lower left-hand corner, on the particular side 
that will bring the figures erect, and followed as the characters face in 
the procession, turning the tablet at the end of each line, as indicated. 
Arriving at the top of the first face, the reading is continued over the 
-edge to the nearest line, at the top of the other side, and the descent 
continues in the same manner until the end is reached. The Bonstro- 
phedon method is supposed to have been adopted in order to avoid the 
possibility of missing a Hue of hieroglyphics. 

Ure Vaeiko's fluent interpretation of the tablet was not interrupted, 
though it became evident that he was not actually reading the charac- 
ters. It was noticed that the shifting of position did not accord with 
the number of symbols on the lines, and afterwards when the photo- 
graph of another tablet was substituted, the same story was continued 
without the change being discovered. The old fellow was quite dis- 
composed when charged with fraud at the close of an all-night session, 
and at first maintained that the characters were all understood, but he 
could not give the signification of hieroglyphics copied indiscriminately 
from tablets already marked. He explained at great length that the 
actual value and significance of the symbols had been forgotten, but the 
tablets were recognized by unmistakable features and the interpreta- 
tion of them was beyond question; just as a person might recognize a 
book in a foreign language and be perfectly sure of the contents with- 
out being able to actually read it. 

Beyond doubt certain legends are ascribed to particular tablets, all 
of which are named, and a reference to those names will recall the ap- 
propriate story from those who do not profess to understand the hiero- 
glyphics. An old man called Kaitae, who claims relationship to the 
last king, Maurata, afterwards recognized several of the tablets from 
the photographs and related the same story exactly as that given pre- 
viously by Ure Vaeiko. 

The writing is composed of pictorial symbols carrying their significa- 
tion in the image they represent. The execution would be a creditable 
production with the assistance of the best etching tools, and is a truly 
wonderful result of patience and industry to be accomplished by means 
of obsidian points. The minute size of the hieroglyphics made it im- 
possible to convey anything more than the general appearance of the 
objects delineated, but the figures may be recognized by their form in 
the outline drawing after the manner of some of the Egyptian hiero- 
glyphics. The study of the tablets is chiefly difficult on account of the 
way in which actual objects are conventioually treated, and in order to 


preserve symmetry aud effect, meD, cauoes, fisb, etc., are represented 
of the same size tbrougliout the lines. 

A careful study of the hieroglyphics of Easter Island is being made 
with the hope that Valuable information may be obtained in regard to 
the early history and origin of the people. Results of an extremely inter- 
esting nature are barely outlined at present and not in shape to bepre- 
sented herewith. It is not considered expedient to attempt an expla- 
nation of the symbols until the subject can be treated exhaustively. As 
an example of the ideographic character of the signs, the tablet contain- 
ing the genealogical tables shows a frequent repetition of the symbol of 
the great spirit Meke-Meke in connection with that of the female vulva. 
The signification is the birth of a person. The position of the figures 
shows whether the child was the result of marriage, or intrigue, and the 
following figures indicate the date of the birth, the seasons and the ap- 
proximate time. An important feature, in connection with the tablets, is 
the fact that forms h Ave been discovered which have no types on Easter 
Island, and which may lead to au identification of the locality from 
■whence the first settlers migrated. The hieroglyphics include, besides 
the representation of actual objects, figures used by the chiefs, and each 
clan had its distinctive mark. Samples are given in different treaties 
made with the islanders of the sign-manual of some of the chiefs. (See 
Plates XXXVI-XLIX.) 


(Plates XXXVI and XXXVII.) 

Timo te kakaha piki apai te roria aruki e tangata Mobonakuta mo- 
honga matangi en-i apai ia ra Techo i te ika maboi rua matangi apai ti- 
rori mahoi rua matangi tahoi te tha tahoi hakavirri ia tapui rurenga 
tahri te ika tahoi te ata e tau ira tau na mimi hara rau kina ata rangi 
no no tupa kan k maka reva atea e tau ira matuku hara atarungi no no 
tapairu reuga ava ki hoato. 

Houa kata-kata hura matini rau hanga tamaru kia tun ama tavake 
toto tunmakeuka tantan mea te kura. Ki hi honga te kura e aku ta- 
jjaini kari mao aku hoa-hoa tae kote kura mata ki rei aaku tapa iru nei 
kairi mai aku hora-hora tae kote kura. 

Mata ki rei mata ku haka iri n:arai matairi maru matai maru kairira 
tapui rei tapui ranga muku kiri mai aku hoa-hoa tae kote kura. Mata, 
ki rei mata ku haka iri maru matai maru matai rara ku uira tapui rei 
tapui rei tapu ranga muku kairi mai aku hora-hora kapainga mai. E. 
taugaroa te mare kura hapai e haka ihi mo topa rei kura taku tapo rei 
huu atu arua tae haath rangi ura rangi hara-tua oaku matua oaku ma 
tenga otae ahiri noa ranga ki te rangi no te munniri a rua hiru te hetu 
takiri ko mumu ana kia kake mao-mao ake. Haka tau Bra a Nuku te 
atua, Atara kabiria a uka hopua. Tun haka maua kura. Tun te ha. 
hei kura. Tun te tieaituiri kura. Tuu te matangi e ria a mangaro. 


Tan tahake oi taura te heriinga taku ohu tatuhiDga tanku mato kapi- 
piri te hetun tan aranga noi ruga vake noi runga. 

Maruaua ha heire mana mahahine mauaira taake. Te herauga taku 
oho te tuhinga taku mata mata ka pipiri te hetii tau avanga no iriuga 
Vake-vake. No iri uga vake rei manana hahinie E te mai ran o tun e 
katan, ra, ka piapiri ra e te maraioturi e kakapurae kahakpiri e kaho- 
notake mate aa tapu onote ariiki no Manana hahine no Mauanatake a 
niramai te raugi kai a ku ia umika uri te hainu tokotokona to ran e 
nui a tapu te tai nate ariiki. E. hopu a ia e tapu te tai no te tapa iru 
e kore kaukau a ia haharua tau kapa tau kaiugoh i te an mata heuna, 
mariunga te hou i te an matalieune mariunga te houga ma tau arapeka 
hoa mai iakeho iti hiti aura hiti apauoko hue taka haahaaruatau kape 
tau hai ugotopiria tamu ara te uaua na Heke i kai te hunue kara te 
nahoapu, pue hatataka i te an mata mo tara haieka i te peka akatau 
o miruiiga te hounga mo tara haieka. Panga tiorei uuku horo papa 
tara naeaki i te pou tuu. Panga te orei nuku horo papa hoake mataue 
uake tahau te uauai e oho te nauai e rai te nauau nauai kino noho ava- 
ava tauake te kete irnuga te niu ei ia hoa ko ni ni ei ia boa o Eionou 
tona koake mlitoue uake te nauai e oho te nauai e rai te uauai nauai 
nauai kino nohi ava ava taua kate kete iringa te niu haamatua nauai 
kiuokatangi temoko-moko uri kataugi te moko-moko tea kohao kopi- 
rieuta moko-moko uri ua moko-moko tea takaia raugi kakae hoki i te 
atua. Mohao haruru vai e kahihinga ma te tougakapitia raugi moko- 
moko uri moko mol^o tea kohao kopiri e atua mamairi liauaha itu atimo 
eae aruarua vori kaliiliiua mo te Tonga kahuhinga ma te Tonga nui 
kahinga i tongarou kapitia raugi moko moko uri moko-molto tea pruho 
kaualia uri korueiha Hangaroa a Timeo eae e te Raki ete roroe taua 
erua aaku manu. 

Hakarongo noa i te reo o te moa e vai-vai mahaui ia ure roroi renga 
aha iho nei e te ahiue ariikie ouku ika ua kio i varimariariahopue hara 
koe e rara a eau i te taura hiku rarerave a hiro kai te teri hepo e tao 
koe hoki uapa te iugoa taua ilea ko mumu maranga ugaiatu ko pephu 
ko pepetaugi. ko pepetangi taravi tavi. ko pepetangi tava taravi tava 
e hakanui koe ki te ehu koe ki te kapua. Tun hitu hare ka more koe 
kapai tue. 


Mohouakuta, the chief of a powerful clan, when about to make war 
to revenge the death of one of his relatives, who had been killed by 
treachery, summoned Timo, the builder of fowl-houses, and ordered 
him to construct ou the windward side of the house of Techo, the 
fisherman, a fowl-house of one hundred cresent-shaped stakes. It was 
ordered that of the fowls captured iu tlie war those with long tail- 
feathers, aud the white ones, should be reserved and sent to this house 
for safe-keeping. 

The warriors of the clan assembled promptly at the council-fire with 


tteir faces brilliantly painted and wearing their distinctive shell neck- 

The solemn ceremonies, attendant upon the declaration of war, were 
performed by the assembled braves, in accordance with the ancient 
customs handed down by their forefathers. Obeisance was first made 
to the sky, each warrior repeating the prayer, " May we be killed in 
battle if we neglect to worship the Great Spirit." The ceremoaies 
concluded with obeisance to the god of feathers, each warrior wearing 
the feather-hat of his clan— Bra Nuku, the god of feathers, whose 
costume consists of feathers for the head, feathers for the neck, and 
feathers to be waved by the wind. He who brings good luck when 
feathers are worn that are tied by a string of hair. He who protects 
the yams and potato plantations when feathers are tied upon a stick, 
and placed close together between the hills. He who keeps off the evil 
spirit when feathers are planted over the burial-places. 

The god of feathers, whose wife is Mauana. Manana Take came 
from the skies. She once visited the land in the shape of a fish, which 
■was captured and given to the king on account of its size and beauty. 
Recognizing the divine nature of the fish, the king was thereafter 
debarred from swimming in the sea. 

(The next hieroglyphics oa the tablet are supposed to have been 
■written in some ancient language, the key to which has long ago been 
lost. After this unknown section the translation is continued as fol- 
lows) : 

When the island was first created aud became known to our fore- 
fathers, the land was crossed with roads beautifully paved with flat 
stones. The stones were laid close together so artistically that no 
rough edges were exposed. Coffee-trees were growing close together 
along the borders of the road, that met overhead, and the branches 
■were laced together like muscles. Heke was the builder of these roads, 
and it was he, who sat in the place of honor in the middle where the 
roads branched away in every direction. These roads were cunningly 
contrived to represent the plan of the web of the gray and black- 
pointed spider, and no man could discover the beginning or the end 

(Here again are some sections of the tablet written in the characters 
that are not understood, after which the following translation is 

In that happy land, that beautiful land where Eomaha formerly 
lived with his beloved Hangaroa, and where Turaki used to listen to 
the voice of the fowl, and feed them with watery food. In that beau- 
tiful land that was governed by gods from heaven, and who lived in 
the water when it was cold. Where the black and white-pointed 
spider would have mounted to heaven, but was prevented by the 
bitterness of the cold. 


Where is our ancient queen ? It is known tbat slie was transformed 
into a fisU that was finally caught in the still waters. A fish that had 
to be tied by the rope of Heros to be captured. Away, away, if you 
can not name the fish. That lovely fish with the short gills that was 
brought for food to our Great King, and was laid upon a dish that 
rocked this way and that. The same that afterwards formed the 
corner of the stone walk that led to the house of the Great Chief. 


(Plates XXXVIII aud XXXIX.) 

Atua Matariri ; Ki ai Kiroto, Kia Taporo, Kapu te Poporo. 
Ahimahima Marao; Ki ai Kiroto, Takihi Tupufema, Kapu te Kihi- 
Aoevai ; Ki ai Kiroto, Kava Kobe Koe Kapu te Koe. 
Matua anua; Ki ai Kiroto, Kappii)iri Haitau, Kapu te Miro. 
Angingieai; Ki ai Kiroto, Kia Humutoti, Kapu te Maluta. 
Hiti ; Ki ai Kiroto, Kia Heta Kapu te Ti. 
Atura; Ki ai Kiroto, Katei, Kapu te Monku Uta. 
Ahan ; Ki ai Kiroto, Vava, Kapu te Tureme. 
Ahekai ; Ki ai Kiroto, Hepeue, Kapu te Mataa. 
Viri Koue ; Ki ai Kiroto, Ariugarehe Uruharero, Kapu te Runa. 
Atua Metua; Ki ai Kiroto, Kariritunarai, Kapa te Nin. 
Atua Metua ; Ki ai Kiroto, Kite Vuhi o Atua, Kapu te Toromiro. 
Atua Metua; Ki ai Kiroto, Tapuhavaoatua, Kapu te Moana. 
A Heuru ; Ki ai Kiroto, Hetomu, Kapu te Marikurn. 
A Taveke ; Ki ai Kiroto, Pouhutuhututerevaimangaro, Kapu te Veke. 
A Hahamea; Ki ai Kiroto, Hohio Kapu te Takure. 
Aukia Ki ai Kiroto; Moremanga, Kapu te ISTgarava. 
Avia Moko; Ki ai Kiroto, Viatea, Kapu te Kena. 
Tereheue ; Ki ai Kiroto, Viaraupa, Kapu te Kau))a. 
A Heroe; Ki ai Kiroto, Uuhipura, Mapu te Ro. 
Tahatoi ; Ki ai Kiroto, Kateapiairiroro, Kapu te To. 
Irapupue; Ki ai Kiroto, Irakaka, Kapu te Pia. 
Mangeongeo; Ki ai Kiroto, Herakiraki Kapu te Kape. 
A Hen ; Ki ai Kiroto Pana Kapu te Hue. 
Heinia; Ki ai Kiroto Kairui Kairui-Hakamarni Kapu te Raa. 
Huruau ; Ki ai Kiroto Hiuaoio Kapu te Moa. 
A Hikna: Ki ai Kiroto Hiuaoioi Kapu te Uruara. 
Tingahae: Ki ai Kiroto Parararnhikutea Kapu te Niuki. 
A Hikue: Ki ai Kiroto Hiuaoioi Kai)u te Tabraha. 

Report of Nattonal Museum, 1889. — Thomson. 


Report of National Museum, 1889, — Thomson 

Plate XXXIX. 



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Tikitehatu: Ki ai Kiroto Hibohihokitetara Kapa te Paroko. 

Tikitehatu: Ki ai Kiroto Hinapopoia Kapu te Hiuakuhara. 

Tikitehatu: Ki ai Kiroto Maea Kapn te Heraherakitotuea. 

Tikitehatu : Ki ai Kiroto Ruruatikitehatu Kapu te Teririkatea. 

Atimoterae : mea a mura i hiki te alu mo tuna o te ita. luo haugai it 
te ariiki. 

Takoua : Ki ai Kiroto Tukouo, Kapu te Pooj)oo. 

E. Toto te Efi no Kino no naroko no ngaoreno no nga tokutoko 

Epuoko te uuika no tupa iti no tupa nui. 

Uku Ki ai Kiroto, Karori Kapu te Ngaatu. 

Kuhikia Ki ai Kiroto Taurari Kapu to Egaatu. 

Kuhikia Ki ai Kiroto Euperoa Kapu to Turi. 

Taaria Ki ai Kiroto Taaria, Kapu te Taueehu. 

Haiuge Ki ai Kiroto hatukuti, Kapu te Evea. 

Pauaroroko Ki ai Kiroto Hakukuti, Kapu te Taerongoveteve. 

Hiuitirerire Ki ai Kiroto Kanohotatataporo Kapu te Roporo. 

Nuinia a Tangaire Turuhirohero te toto o te o korare. 

Kamau te Korare taratara te Korare. 

Turuki te Ua Maanau Manavai roa. 

Kauuuku raituahea anakihorou eaa e to e tua tanu to tana moko 
eaha Uaugai e to e ufl e Kumara. 


The origin of inanimate things is believed to be the result of the 
marriage of certain gods and goddesses in accordance with the follow- 
ing table. 

God Atua Matariri and goddess Taporo produced thistle. 

God Ahimahima Marao and goddess Takihi Tupufenia produced 

God Aoevai and goddess Kava Kohekoe produced medicine. 

God Matua anua and goddess Kappipiri Aaitau produced the Miro 

God Augingieai and goddess Kia Humutoti produced the paper-mul- 
berry tree. 

God Hiti and goddess Kia beta produced the tea plant. 

God Atura and goddess Katei produced bunch grass. 

God Ahen and goddess Vaua produced fine grass. 

God Agekai and goddess Hepeue produced obsidian. 

God Viri Koue and goddess Ariugarehe Uruharero produced the 
morning-glory plant. 


God Atna Metua and goddess Kariritunaria produced cocoauuts. 

God Atua Metaa and goddess Ki te Vuhi o Atua produced the toro- 
miro tree. 

God Atua Metua and goddess Tapuhavaoatua produced Hibiscus. 

God A Heuru and goddess Hetomu produced the blue leaf plant. 

God A Taveke and goddess Pouhutuhututerevaimangaro, produced 
the white ash. 

God A Hahamea and goddess Hohio produced flies. 

God Aukiaand goddess Moremannga produced roaches. 

God A Via Moko and goddess Viatea produced boobies. 

God Tereheue and goddess Viaraupa produced leaves. 

God A Heroe and goddess Unhipura produced ants. 

God Tahatoi and goddess Kateapiairiroro produced sugar-cane. 

God Irapupue and goddess Irakaka produced arrowroot. 

God Mangeongeo and goddess Herakiraki produced yams. 

God Ahen and goddess Pana produced calabash. 

God Heima and goddess Kairni-hakamarui produced stars. 

God Huruan and goddess Hiuaoioi produced fowls. 

God A Hikua and goddess Hiuaoioi produced vermilion. 

God Tingahae and goddess Pararahikutea produced sharks. 

God A Hikue and goddess Hiuaoioi produced porijoise. 

God Tikitehatu and goddess Hihohihokiteturu produced rock-fish. 

God Tikitehatu and goddess Hiuapopoia produced life. 

God Tikitehatu and goddess Maea produced luck. 

God Tikitehatu and goddess Euruatikitehatu produced man. 

Atimoterae created brook-flsh and established them as the chosen 
food of the gods. 

God Takoua and goddess Tukouo produced milk-thistle. 

E Toto discovered the sweet taste of the jam and made it the prin- 
cipal food of the people. 

Bpuoko created the delicious banana food for the kings. 

God TJku and goddess Karori produced bullrushes. 

God Kuhikia and goddess Taurari produced small birds. 

God Kuhikia and goddess Euperoa produced sea gulls. 

God Taaria and goddess Taaria produced white gulls. 

God Haiuge and goddess Hatukuti produced wind. 

God Pauaroroko and goddess Hakukuti produced pain. 

God Hiuitirerire and goddess Kanohotatataporo produced (ireepiug 

Numia a Tangaire Turuhirohero was the founder of all things un- 
pleasant and bad smells. 

Turuki was the first builder of rock fences and barriers. 

Kuanuku created death by drowning, death in warfare, death by 
accident, and death by disease. 




(Plates XL and XLI.) 

1. Eaba to ran ariiki kete mahua i uta uei ? 

E tupu tomo a mata mea e rangi ran e tuatea to ran ariiki kete ma- 
hua i uta nei. 

Aue rato mani rata karata te tuatea, karata te rangi ran karata te 

2. Baha to ran ariiki kete mahua i uta nei ? 

B nra e poopoo e koiro e nohoe e to ran ariiki kete mahua i uta nei. 
Aue rato mani rata karata te ura ki kara te poopoo e nehe e riku e 
kava-kava atn. 

3. Baha to ran ariiki kete mahua i uta nei? 

E nehe e riku e kava atua to ran ariiki kete mahua i uta nei. 

Ane rato mani rata karata te nehe karata riku karata rain kava atua. 

4. Eaha to ran ariiki kete mahua i uta nei ? 
E a hao nei e kahi e atu e ature. 

Ane rato mani rata karata te kahi kaharta ahi rarata te ature ane rato. 

5. Kaha to ran ariiki kete mahua i uta nei ? 

E ufi etra e kumaro to ran ariiki mahua i uta nei. 

Aue rato karata te u& kumara toa e mahua i uta nei, ane rato maru. 

6. Baha to ran ariiki kete mahua i uta nei ? 

B honu e kea e pane te ran ariiki kete mahua i uta nei. 
Ane rato karata te honu te kea te pane. 

7. Eaha to ran ariiki kete mahua i uta nei ? 

E hetu e range e han e na e raa e mahua te ran ariiki kete mahua 

i irunga nei. 
Ane rato karata te rangi e hon e na e raa e mahua. 

8. Eaba te ran ariiki kete mahua i uta nei ? 

B anuga nei karata te hehun rangi han na raa mahua. 
Ane rato karata te hehuii rangi han na raa mahua. 

9. Baha to ran ariiki kete mahua i uta nei? 

E ariiki e tapairu to ran ariiki kete i mahua i mua nei. 
Ane rato karata to ariiki te tapairu. 

10. Baha to ran ariiki kete mahua i uta nei ? 

B oi e potupotu e ugarara e hata to ran ariiki kete mahua i uta nei. 
Aue rato karata main rata e oi e potupotu e ugarara e hata to ran 
ariiki kete maliua i uta nei. 


What power has the Great King on the land ? 

He has power to make the plants grow and to change the sky to 
different colors. 
All hail the power of the Great King who makes us lenient to the 


young plants, to admire the skies of differeut colors, aud to beliold tbe 
clouds that rise. 

Wbat power has the Great King on the laud? 

He has the power to create the lobsters, white-bait, eels, ape tish, and 
everything in the sea. 

All hail thepower of the Great King who gives us the knowledge of 
how to catch the lobsters, white-bait, eels, ape-fish, and all marine ani- 

What power has the Great King on the laud? 

He has the power to produce the ferns, creeping plants, grass, bushes, 
and all vegetation. 

All hail the power of the Great King who has taught us to love the 
ferns, creeping plants, and all green things. 

What power has the Great King over the sea? 

He has the power to create the mighty fish that swim in the deep 

All hail the power of the Great King who has given us the strength 
and skill to catch the fish of the mighty deep. 

What power has the Great King on the land 1 

He has the power to produce the yams, potatoes, aud sugar-cane. 

All had the power of the Great King who enables us to use as food 
yams, potatoes, aud sugar-cane. 

What power has the Great King on the laud ? 

He has the power to clothe the turtles in hard shell, the fish with 
scales, and protects every living thing. 

All hail the power of the Great King who enables us to overcome the 
defense of the turtles, fish, and all reptiles. 

What power has the Great King in the universe? 

He has the power to create the stars, the clouds, the dew, the rain, 
the sun, aud the moon. 

All hail the power of the Great King who enables us to appreciate 
the blessings of the bright stars, the lowering clouds, the gentle dew, 
the falling rain, aud the light of the sun and moon. 

What power has the Great King.upoii the land? 

He has the power to populate the earth, to create both kings aud 

All hail the power of the Great King who has created the human 
beings, given authority to kings, and created loyal subjects. 

What power has tbe Great King upon the land ? 

He has the power to create maggots, flies, worms, fleas, and all 
creeping and flying insects. 

All hail the power of the Great King who enables us to withstand 
the attacks of the maggots, tlies, worms, fleas, and all manner of insects. 

What power has the Great King 1 

All hail the unlimited power of the Great King. 

Report of National Museum, 1889, — Thomson, 

Plate XL. 

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Report of National Museum, 1 889.— Thomson. 

Plate XLI. 



(Plates XLII and XLIII.) 

Ka Phi uiga — te ki ati — 
Auwe te poki, e — 
Ite rnaki tana — Rii te hiva iua. 
Ka ilii uiga — uiai. 


Ka ihi uiga — te ki ati — 
Auwe te poki, e — 
Ite iiiaki tana — Hoiiiti ina. 
Ka ihi uiga — moa mai. 

Ha iiiin, — poki — e — ; 

Ta auwe rai — e; 
Viviri rai, iaage — o; 

I — ruga — i ; 

Te papare Iiinna 
Viviri rai — iuage — o! 

Haki— e! 
Avaliinua — ki tagu ata. 

Auwe poki — e! 
Ava rai — 
Ava mata — Iua hiva 

Auwe poki — o ! 
Ite renia o parapa moni 

Auwe poki — e! 

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 laud, from which tradition states the 
people migrated. 


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 victori/)us 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! 


" Ate-a-renga-liolan Hi polieraa" 

(Plates XLIV and XLV.) 

Ka tagi, Renga-a-manu — hakaopa; 

Cliiu ruuaraiue a ita mutua. 
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 foraui — O te hoa — e ! 
Auwe ka tagi ati — u — a — it.i iti. 

Eha ton tiena — e ta hoa — e. 

Ta hi tiena ita have. 
Horoaita have. 
Horoa moni e fahiti ; 

Ita ori miro ; 

Aua pill atu ; 

Ana piri atu ; 

Ana taga atn . 


Who is sorrowing? It is Renga-a-raauu Hakopa! 

A red branch descended from her father. 

Open thine eyelids, my true love. 

Where is your brother, my love ? 

At the feast iu the Bay of Salutation 

We "will meet under the feathers of your clan. 

She has long been yearuiug 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. 


The island was discovered by King Hotu-Matua, who came from the 
land iu the direction of the rising sun, with two large double Cfinoes 
and three hundred chosen followers. They brought with tlieni pota- 
-toes, yams, bananas, tobacco, sugar-cane, and the seeds of various 
plants, including the paper mulberry and the toroioiro trees. The first 
landing was made on the islet of Motu Nui, on the north coast, and 
there the first food was cooked that had been tasted for one hundred 
and twenty days. The next day the queen started in one of the canoes 
to explore the coast to the northwest, while the other canoe, in charge of 
the king, rounded the island to the southeast. At Auekena Bay the 

Report of National Museum, , 889,-Thomson. 


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Report of National Museum, 1889.— Tho 

Plate XLIII. 

Report of National Museum, 1889.— Thomson. 

Plate XLIV. 

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Report of National Museum, 1 889^Thomso 

Plate XLV. 

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Report of national Museum, I 889,_Thomson. 

Plate XLVI. 

Report of Nalional Museum, 1689— Thorr 

Plate XLVII. 

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Report of National Museum, 1£ 

Plate XLIX. 



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two caooes met aud, attracted by the smooth sand-beach, Hotu-Matua 
landed and named the island " Te-pito te-henua " or " the navel of the 
deep." The queen landed, and immediately afterwards, gave birth to a 
hoy, who was named Taamae-Keke. The landing place was named 
Anekena in honor of the month of August, in which the island was dis- 
covered. All the plants landed from the canoes were appropriated for 
seed, and the people immediately began the cultivation of the ground. 
For the first three months they subsisted entirely upoa fish, turtle, 
and the nuts of a creeping-plant found growing along the ground, 
which was named " moki-oo-ne." After the lapse of a number of 
unrecorded years, daring which the island had been made to produce 
an abundance of food, aud the people had increased and multiplied in 
numbers, Hotu-Matua at an advanced age was stricken with a mortal 
illness. Before his end drew near, the chief men were summoned to 
meet in council. The king nominated his eldest son as his successor 
(Tuumae-Heke), and it was ordained that the descent of the kings 
should always be through the eldest son. This important matter having 
been settled, the island was divided up into districts and portioned out to 
the children of the king as follows : Tl> Tuumae-Heke, the eldest, were 
given the royal establishment aud lands extending from Anekena to 
the northwest as far as Mounga Tea-tea. To Meru, the second sou, were 
given the lauds between Anekena aud Hanga-roa. To Marama, the 
third son, were given the lands between Akahanga and Vinapu. The 
land lying to the northward and westward of Mounga Tea-tea was the 
portion of the fourth son, Eaa, aud was called Hanga-Toe. To the 
fifth son, Korona-rouga, were allotted the lands between Anekena and 
the crater of Rana-Eoraku. To the sixth and the lastson were given the 
lands on the east side of the island. His name was Hotu-iti. 

The tradition here goes back before the advent of the people on the 
island, and states that Hotu-Matua aud his followers came from a group 
of islands lying towards the rising sun, and the name of the land was 
Marae-toe-hau, the literal meaning of which is " the burial place." lu 
this land, the climate was so intensely hot that the people sometimes 
died from the effects of the heat, and at certain seasons plants and 
growing things were scorched and shriveled up by the burning sun. 

The circumstances that led to the migration are related as follows: 
Hotu-Matua succeeded his father, who was a powerful chief, but his 
reign in the land of his birth, owing to a combination of circumstances 
over which he had no control, was limited to a very few years. His 
brother, Machaa, fell in love with a maiden famed for her beauty and 
grace, but a rival appeared upon the sceiie in the person of Oroi, the 
powerful chief of a neighboring clan. After the manner of the sex in 
all ages and climes, this dusky beauty trifled with the affections of her 
suitors and proved fickle-minded. When pressed to make a choice 
between the two, she announced that she would marry Oroi, provided 
he would prove his love by making a pilgrimage around the island, 


aud it was specified that lie slioald walk coutinually witlioufc stopping 
to eat, or to rest by day or night, until the tour of the island was 
completed. Eetaiuers were selected to carry food to be eaten on the 
route, and Oroi started upon his journey, accompanied for the first few- 
miles by his affianced bride, who promised upon parting, to permit her 
thoughts to dwell upon nothing but him until his return. The incon- 
stant female eloped with her other lover, Machaa, on the same evening. 
Oroi did not hear this news until he had arrived at the farther end of 
the island; then he returned directly to his home, where he prepared a 
great feast to which he summoned all the warriors of his clan. The 
indignity that had been put upon him was related, aud all present 
registered a vow that they would never rest until Hotu-Matua aud his 
entire family had been put to death. 

It appears that Machaa was a man of prudence, and seeing that a 
desperate conflict was imminent, he embarked with six chosen follow- 
ers and his bride, in a large double canoe, and with plenty of provisions 
sailed in the night for some more genial clime. The great spiiit 
''Meke-Meke" is supposed to have appeared to him and made it known 
that a large uuiuhabited island could be found liy steering towards the 
setting sun. The land was sighted after they had been out two months, 
aud the canoe was beached on the south side of the island. On the 
second day after their arrival they found a turtle on the beach near 
Auekena, and one of the men was killed by a blow of its flipper in try- 
ing to turn it over. Two months after they had landed on the island, 
the two canoes with Hotu-Matua and his followers, three hundred in 
number, arrived. 

The desertion of Machaa did not appease the wrath of Oroi, and war 
to the death was carried on until Hotu-Matua, after being defeated in 
three great battles, was driven to the last extremity. Discouraged by 
his misfortune, and convinced that his ultimate capture and death were 
certain, he determined to fiee from the island of Marae-toe-hau, aud 
accordingly had two large canoes, 90 feet ]ong and 6 feet deep, provis- 
ioned and xirepared for a long voyage. In the night, and on the eve of 
another battle, they sailed away, with the understanding that the set- 
ting sun was to be their compass. 

It appears that the intended flight of Hotu-Matua was discovered by 
Oroi at the last moment, aud that energetic individual smuggled him- 
self on board of one of the canoes, disguised as a servant. After ar- 
riving upon the island, he hid himself among the rocks at Orougo, and 
continued to seek his revenge by murdering every unprotected person 
who came in his way. This interesting state of affairs continued for 
several years, but Oroi was finally captured in a net thrown by Hotu- 
Matua aud was pounded to death. The tradition continues by a sudden 
jump into the following extraordinary condition of affairs: Many years 
after the death of Hotu-Matua, the island was about equally div, Jed 
between his descendaats and the " long-eared race," aud between tuem 


a deadly feud raged. Loug and bloody wars were kept up, and great 
distress prevailed on account of the destruction and neglect of the crops. 
This unsatisfactory state of affairs was brought to an end, after many 
years' lighting, by a desperate battle, in which the "loug ears" had 
planned the utter annihilation of their enemies. A long and deep ditch 
was dug across Hoto iti and covered with brush-wood, and int;0 this the 
"long ears" arranged to drive their enemies, when the brush-wood 
was to be set on fire and every man exterminated. The trap was found 
out, and the plan circumvented by opening the battle prematurely and 
in the night. The "long ears" were driven into the ditch they had 
built, and murdered to a man. 

After the defeat and utter annihilation of the "long-eared race," 
the tradition goes on to state that peace reigned on the island, and the 
people increased iu numbers and prosperity. In the course of time 
dissensions arose between the different families or claus, which led to 
opeu hostilities. Kaina, the chief of the Hotu-iti clan, and a descend- 
ant of the sixth son of the first king, proved himself a valiant warrior, 
and his possessions were increased by encroachments npon the domain 
of his neighbors. He died and was succeeded by his son, Huriavai, 
who inaugurated his introduction into the ofSce by a three days' en- 
gagement, in which the chiefs of two neighboring claus were killed. 
Several clans now combined forces, and after desperate fightiug the 
Hotu-iti people were defeated, half of them taking refuge in a cave on 
the face of the cliff on the northeast side of the island, and the rest 
on the islet of Marotiri. 

The besieged parties were watched night and day by their vigilant 
enemies, and were finally reduced to the verge of starvation. A chief, 
named Poya, had just finished a large double canoe at Hanga-roa, 
which he called Tuapoi. This was dragged across the island and 
launched at Anahava. Every day this canoe, filled with fighting men, 
cruised around the islet of Maroiri, making attacks upon the besieged 
Hotu-iti people whenever opportunity offered. As the peoi)le were 
reduced by privations, the number of prisoners captured increased day 
by day. The captives were taken to a place called Hangawi-aihi- 
toke-rau and portioned out to the different clans, and were immediately 
cooked and eaten. This is said to be the origin of cannibalism on the 
island, and is supposed to have been prompted by revenge. 

Cannibalism, however, proved a double-pointed sword that caused 
dissensions iu the ranks, and finally resulted in the liberation of a part 
of the besieged people. A chief named Oho-taka-tore happened to be 
absent upon one occasion, and upon his retui^u found the bodies had all 
been distributed and his claims completely ignored. He demanded 
his share of the spoils, and was informed that "a man who sleeps late 
in the morning can not expect to see the sun rise." Feeling degraded 
by the slight, Oho-taka-tore turned his feather-hat hind-side before, to 
H. Mis. 224, pt. 2 34 


indicate that the alliance was broken, and with his men marched off 
the field. 

On the roail he stopped at Vaka-piko, at the house of his daughter- 
inlaw, to inquire after his son. The " lady" received him with demon- 
strations of respect, and while listeniug to the story of his wrongs, 
stood behind him aud picked fleas out of his head, which, in accord- 
ance with the native customs, was the most delicate compliment that 
one individual could show another. 

Upon the return of her husband, whose name was Moa, the woman 
related the particulars of the visit of his father. Moa said nothing 
about the state of his feelings, but arose at sunrise aud dug up a lot 
of potatoes and yams, wliicli he baked in an oven. Towards evening 
he brought out his fish-net and employed himself in arranging the 
floats and sinkers. After dark he wrapped up his ])otatoes and yams 
in sugar cane aud leaves, shouldered his net, and started off, after in- 
forming his wife that he was going fishing. He hid his net in the 
rocks at Kahiherea and then went to Mounga-tea-tea, where a palm tree 
was growing, from which he cut and trimmed eight large branches. 
At Ngana Moa he found the camp of the men who guarded the cliff over- 
looking the cave where the Hotu-iti people were imprisoned, so he 
turned and went down by the sea-shore. The men stationed there to 
guard the approach were all asleep, and Moa managed by great cau- 
tion to pass them without being discovered. Having arrived near the 
cave he was challenged, and replied, " I am Moa, who seeks revenge 
while helping you." One of the besieged men, named Tokihai, de- 
scended from the cave and received the grip of friendship by being 
clasped around the belly. Moa took his food into the cave and dis- 
tributed it among the thirty famished and thoroughly discouraged 
men who remained alive. 

While the great canoe was making its predatory excursions to the 
islet, the combined forces had not neglected the people who had taken 
refuge in the cave. Every day a large net filled with men was lowered 
from the top of the cliff, and from it stones were hurled into the cave, 
killing and maiming the defenseless people. Moa produced his palm 
branches and instructed his friends how to make hooks from pieces of 
human bone, which could be fastened to the poles and used as grapples. 

Before daylight everything was in readiness, and when the net was 
lowered abreast of the opening, it was caught by the hooks and drawn 
in the cave, and the men in it dispatched almost without resistance. 
The prisoners got into the net and were hoisted to the top, where by rea- 
son of the surprise and the fierceness of their fighting their enemies 
were defeated and put to flight. 

It happened that on the night of Moa's visit to the cave, Huriarai and 
a man named Vaha, who were with the party on the small island of Ma- 
rori, became desperate from hunger and made an effort to capture one 
of the men guarding the sea-beach. The sentry saw one of the men 


swimming towards Lim ; it proved to be the chief Huriarai, who was so 
much exhausted that lie was clubbed to death without making much 
resistance. Vaha, however, landed some distance off, and creeping upon 
the sentry killed him while he was bending over the body of his victim. 
Vahahastily buried the body of his chief among the rocks and taking 
his victim upon his back swam back to his companions on the islet. The 
people there were without means of making a fire and the body had to 
be eaten raw. In the morning, when they saw the escape of their com- 
rades from the cave and the desperate fighting on the cliff, they all swam 
ashore and joined forces. 

The traditions, from this point, are a record of tribal wars, abounding 
in feats of personal braverj' and extraordinary occurrences, bat of little 
value to the history of the island. Tlie discovery of the island by Hotu- 
Matua and his band of tliree hundred, together with the landing already 
referred to, is probably correct and seems natural enough down to the 
division of the land and the death of the first king. The wars and 
causes that led to the migration of the people from that unknown land, 
called Marae-toe-hau, are no doubt based upon a foundation of facts. 
There is no good reason for doubting the description of the climate of 
their formerhome, which would, if accepted, locate it somewhere about 
the equator, or at all events in the tropics. The heat could not be the 
effect of volcanic action, or their legends would not state that the crops 
were burned up by the sun at certain seasons. 

The improbable, not to say impossible, part of the story comes in, 
where Machaa steals away and lands upon the same island which his 
brother's party reach two months later, by simply steering towards the 
setting sun. There is not one chance in a million, that two canoes could 
sail for thousands of miles, steering by such an uncertain and indefinite 
course, and strike the same little island. The tradition states that Ho- 
tu-Matua found the island uninhabited, and immediately contradicts 
this, by the ridiculous story of his brother and his followers having been 
there two months. It is not unlikely that the natives, anxious to main- 
tain the credit of the discovery of the island, attempt to account for 
the presence of an earlier people in this way. This might account for 
the killing of one of Machaa's men by the turtle, for it has no possible 
bearing upon the story, beyond the fact that it would account for Ho- 
tu-Matua finding a tomb or burial-place on the beach at Anekena, when 
lie first landed. 

The story of Oroi disguising himself as a servant and sailing for 
months in an open canoe, filled with naked savages, without his identity 
being discovered, is too absurd to be considered, beyond ascribing an 
origin to the enemy or enemies who murdered Hotu-Matua's people, and 
whose stronghold was on the rocky cliffs near Orongo. One pecaliar 
feature of the tradition is the allusion to the fighting-net, which must 
have been something after the fashion of those used in old Roman times. 
These nets are represented to have been square and weighted at the 


corners with stoues. A lanyard was fastened to the center, and the net 
was thrown over an antagonist, who was beaten to death while en- 
tangled in its meshes. It is worthy of remark that nothing of this sort 
has been discovered among the Polynesians or their contemporaries on 
the coast of America. 

The suddenness with which the tradition jumps into the warfare be- 
tween the descendants of the first king and the "long eared race" is 
startling, because no previous reference has been made to such a race on 
the island. It is hardly possible that the " long-ears " were descended 
from jjeople who landed with them on the island, for those that came 
with Hotu-Matua were of the same clan, and it is fair to presume that 
the same customs obtained among them all. Besides, the legends all 
make a distinction between the "long-eared" race and the descendants 
of the first king. The "long-ears" appear to have been a power in the 
land at an early period in the history of the island, though they were 
eventually defeated and exterminated by the others. 

It is possible that there has been more than one migration of people 
to the island, and that their traditions have been mingled together, but 
there can be no reasonable doubt about the progenitors of the pres- 
ent islanders being of the Malayo-Polynesian stock. It is difficult to 
account for the statement, so frequently repeated throughout the legends, 
that Hotu-Matua came from the eastward and discovered the laud by 
steering towards the setting sun, because the chart shows no islands in 
that direction which would answer the description of " Marae-toe-hau." 


The implements of warfare brought to the island by King Hotu- 
iVIatua and his followers were few in number, and in the course of time 
became broken, lost, or destroyed. The clans wore continually at war 
with each other, but from the want of proper weapons the most desper- 
ate encounters resulted in little loss of life. Spears were improvised 
with heacls made of the sharp edges of the calabash, but they proved in- 
efficient weapons and did little execution. During the reign of Atura- 
ugi, the sixth king, a man living near the crater of the Eaua Kau, while 
returning to his home after sundown from Temanevai, where he and his 
companions had been engaged in a useless struggle, stepped in the 
darkness upon a sharp stone that cut his foot like a knife. lie carried 
the stone home with him, and in the morning found it to be black vol- 
canic glass, which upon being broken showed vitreous edges such as 
had cut his foot. Believing he had discovered an effective material for 
the manufacture of spear-heads, he substituted the obsidian for the 
calabash points and went forth to meet his enemies. The new weapon 
proved more puissant than he had hoped for, and havoc was created in 
the ranks of his opponents. Armed with spearheads obtained from 
the obsidian mountain Orito, the discoverer and his clau swept every- 
thing before them until the new material became known to all the 


people. Since the time of this discovery the encounters of the island- 
ers are characterized as more sanguinary. 


In the time of Atua Ure Rangi, the seventeenth king, the image- 
makers were exempt from all other kinds of work, and the fishermen 
were taxed for their chief support. The fish-hooks in use were made of 
stone, so hard that many months of chi])ping- and grinding were re- 
quired to fashion one fit for service, and the most perfect hooks, even 
in the hands of expert fishermen, permitted the escape of a large pro- 
portion of the fish. A youth named Urevaiaus, who was descended 
from a long line of fishermen, living at HangaPico, became prominent 
as one of the most skillful fishermen on the island. His outfit con- 
tained hooks bequeathed to him by his forefathers, but he became 
discouraged by the want of success which he thought his labors de- 
manded, and much time was devoted to a consideration of the subject. 
One day, after a number of large and choice fish had escaped from his 
hooks, he determined to spend the entire night in the worship of the 
god Mea Kahi. About midnight, while he was still at his devotions, 
the spirit of an ancient fisherman named Tirakoka appeared, and made 
known the fact that his want of success was due to the inefficiency of 
the hooks. The spirit directed him to go to the cave in which his 
father's remains had been interred, and secure a piece of the thigh- 
bone, out of which a proper hook might be constructed. Urevaiaus 
became so much frightened by his interview with the spirit, that he 
failed to remember fully all the instructions that had been given, but he 
went to the cave the next day and secured the thigh-bone of his pater- 
nal parent. For many days he went out in his canoe regularly, but in- 
stead of fishing, his entire attention was devoted to the manufacture of 
an improved hook. During this j)eriod his boat returned empty every 
evening, and his want of success excited the open ridicule of his com- 
panions and the concern of his friends, but he persevered until he had 
fashioned a bone-hook with barbed point. 

When ready to test his new invention, a place was selected at a dis- 
tance from his companions, and his boat was quickly filled with the finest 
fish. The extraordinary success of the young fisherman, in time excited 
the envy and jealousy of his companions, and his persistent refusal of 
all inducements to part with the secret led to a serious quarrel and 
bitter enmity. A sudden attack was finally planned upon Urevaiaus 
while at work upon the fishing-grounds; in the effort to preserve his 
secret the youth lost his life, but the new form of hooks was found in 
his boat and the invention became known to the fraternity. 


Hotu-Matua, driven from his kingdom to the eastward by the rebell- 
ion of his subjects, landed with a chosen band of followers at Easter 



Islands, in the month of August 
fathoms loug ami 1 fathom deep. 

Pirst. HotuMatua. 
Second. Tuumaelieke. 
Tliird. Nuku. 
Fonrtli, Mira. 
Fifth. Hinarirn. 
Sixth. Atliraugi. 
Seventh. Raa. 
Eighth. Ataranga. 
Ninth. Hakapuna. 
Tenth. Oihu. 
Eleventh. Ruhoi. 
Twelfth. Tukanga te Mamaru. 
Thirteenth. Takahita. 
Fourteenth. Oiiaraa. 
Fifteenth. Koroharua. 
Sixteenth. Mahuta Ariiki.* 
Seventeenth. Atna Ure Raugi. 
Eighteenth. Teriri Turkura. 
Nineteenth. Korua-Rougo. 
Twentieth. Tiki-Tehatn. 
Twenty-first. Urukenu. 
Twenty-second. Ternruatilii te Hatu. 
Twenty-third. NauTaMahiki. 
Twenty-fourth. Terika Tea. 
Twenty-fifth. Teria Katitahito. 
Twenty-sixth. Kotepu Ite Toki. 
Twenty-seventh. Koto Hiti Ruauea. 
Twetty-eighth. Turna Ki Keua. 
Twenty-ninth. Tuterkimanara. 

(Aneliena), in two canoes, each 15 

Thirtieth. Kote Kura Tahoua. 
Thirty-first. Taoraha Kaihahauga. 
Thirty-second. Tukuma. 
Thirty-third. Tekahui te Hunga. 
Thirty-fourth. Tetun Hunga Nni. 
Thirty-fifth. Tetun Hunga Roa. 
Thirty-sixth. Tetu Hunga Mare Kapeau.t 
Thirty-seventh. Toati Rangi Hahe.t 
Thirty-eighth. Tagaroa Tatarara. 
Thirty-ninth. Hariui Koro. 
Fortieth. Puuahako. 
Forty-first. Puna Ate Tnu. 
Forty-secoud. Puna Kai te Vaua. 
Forty-third. Teriri Katea. 
Forty-fourth. Haumoana. 
Forty-fifth. Tupaarii Ki. 
Forty-sixth. M.ahiki Tapuakiti. 
Forty-seventh. Tuu Koiho. 
Forty-eighth. Anekena. 
Forty-ninth. Nui Tupahotu. 
Fiftieth. Re Kauu. 
Fifty-first. Terava Rara. 
Fifty-second. Tehitehuke. 
Fifty-third. Terahai. 
Fifty-fourth. Kaimokoi. 
Fifty-filth. Ngaara. 
• Fifty-sixth. Kainaakoi Iti. 
Fifty-seventh. Maurata. 

ivlaurata, the last king, only reigned three years. He was carried 
away by the Peruvians iu 18G4, and it is supposed to have died in the 
guano mines of the Ohiuchi Islands. 


Wooden image. 
niiro wood, with 

Wooden image. 
miro wood, with 
sharply defined. 

Wooden image. 
miro wood, with 

These figures 
shipped, though 
spirits. Similar 

— Called Moai Tangata. Male figure made of toro- 

eyes of bone and obsidian. (Plate L, fig. 1.) 

— Called Moai Kva-kva. Male figure made of toro- 

eyes of bone and obsidian, and breast-bone and ribs 

(Plate L, fig. 2.) 

— Called Moai Papaa. Female figure made of toro- 

eyes of bone and obsidian. (Plate L, fig. 3.) 

have been called household gods, and were never wor- 

they were regarded as the representations of certain 

figures were made to represent deceased chiefs and 

* Mahuta Ariiki had a eon named Tuu-Koiho, who made the first stone image ou 
the Island. This son died before his father. 

t These two kings reigued at the same time. The son rebelled against his father, 
and finally killed him. 

Report of National Museum, 1 889, — Thomson. 

Plate L. 



O D tH 




r-H-; III 


E E 

Report of National Museum, 18 

Plate LI. 

Stone Gods, Bulrush Wallet, etc 

Figs. 1, 4, fi, 6. Stone Gods. ICM. No.s. I'JSrTO-iairr.S, U. S. N. M. Easter Island. C'ollectt'd by Pay-'r W. J. Tlinni.son, U. S. N.) 
Fig. 3. Bulrush Wallet. (Cat. No. r»l7(iO, U. S. N. M. Easter Island. Collected liy Paymaster W 

J. Thomson, U. S. N.) 
Fig. 3. Knife. (Cat. No. 1J;)7:K, U. S. N. M. Easter Island. Collected by Paymaster W. J Tbunison 

U. S. N.) '" ' 

Fig. 7. TAPoA-fLoTH. (Cat, No. la<173!l, U. S. N. M. Easter Island. Collected by Paymaster W J 

Tbomsou, U. S. N. 1 

Report of National Museum, 1 889— Thomson. 

Plate LII. 

Wooden Clubs and Paddle. 

Figs. 1, 2, Wooden Clfbs. (Cat. No. Ijil761, U. S. N. M. Easter Island. Collected by Paymaster W. 

.T. Thomson, U. S. N.) 
Fig. 3. Paddle, (Cat. No. 129749, II. S. N. M. Easter Island. Collected hy Paymaster W. J. Thomson- 
U. S. N.) 

Report of National Museum, 1 889.— Thomson. 

Plate Llll. 

-■r•i.»iS8^^> , *« 


o =: 
Da P_: 













i^ Eh 

Report of National Museum, 1 889.— Thcmson. 

Plate LIV. 


persons of note, and were given a place of honor at feasts and cere- 

Stone image. — Called Moai Maea. Male figure; held in the same esti- 
mation as those made of wood. (Plate LI, iig. 1.) 

Wooden clubs. — Called Ua. Made of toromiro wood, G feet long, the 
point slightly widened and the handle ornamented with a bifronted 
head with eyes of bone and obsidian. These clubs were only used as 
batons of of3ace by the chiefs, and the handle was supposed to represent 
the effigy of the owner. (Plate LII, figs. 1 and 2.) 

Wooden club. — Called Poa. Made of heavy wood, about 30 inches 
long, gradually widened from the handle to a broad blade, rounded 
at the end. These were used for fighting and were handled with great 

Wooden club. — Called Ao. Made of light wood, used as wands in 
dancing. Tlie flattened ends are sometimes ornamented with heads 
supposed to represent females noted for skill and grace in this accom- 
plishment. (Plate LIU, figs. 1 and 2.) 

Wooden club. — Called Ariiki. Made of toro-miro wood, the end 
being turned at right angles from the short handle. The club is orna- 
mented all over with heads. This was the baton of the king and used 
only by him. Obtained with much difficulty and expense. 

Calabash. — Called Hue Vai. Opened at the small end only, used as 
a water vessel, and for domestic purposes. 

Calabash.— CaUed Epu Moa. Known as the fowl gourd, and a super- 
stition ascribes a beneficial influence over the chickens fed and watered 
from it. 

Calabash — Called Tata. Used chiefly in boats for bailing. 

Calabash. — Very old specimen obtained from an ancient tomb, 
covered with hieroglyphics similar to those found on the incised tab- 
lets. These calabashes grow in profusion on the island, but are worthy 
of note on account of the prominent place they occupy in the traditions, 
and because the seed was introduced by the original settlers. 

Fish-net. — Called Kupenga Maito. This form of net has been in use 
from an early period, and is made from the fiber of wild hemp. Nets 
of different sizes nsed in fishing, as well as those for fighting and other 
purposes, were of similar material and mesh. (Plate XIII.) 

Feather hat. — Called Yana-vana. Head-dress made of black and 
green variegated feathers, used only in delivering a challenge to com- 
bat for revenge. (Plate LIV, fig. 1.) 

Feather hat. — Called flan Kura-kura. Small head-dress of brown or 
red feathers worn by soldiers in time of wnv. (Plate LIV, fig. 2.) 

Feather hat.— Galled Han Pan-ten-ki. Head-dress of long, black, 
green, and variegated feathers worn by dancing-peo:)le. (Plate LIV, 
fig. 3.) 

Featherhat.— Galled Han Tara. Small head-dress of trimmed feath- 


ers ornameTited by long tail feathers bebind ; used bj' chiefs on occa- 
sions of ceremony, (Plate LIV, flg. 4.) 

Feather hat. — Called Han Vaero. Head-dress used iu dancing, and 
formerly at marriage feasts. (Plate LV, fig. 1.) 

Feather hat. — Called Han Hiehie. Large and heavy headdress 
made of black feathers worn by chiefs as insignia of office. These 
liats are made of chicken feathers secured by the quill ends to a founda- 
tion of knitted hemp, intended to fit the head closely. They are fre- 
quently referred to in the traditions. (Plate LV, fig. 2.) 

Wallet. — Called Kate. Made from bullrushes taken from the crater 
of RanaKau. (Plate LI, fig. 2.) 

Mat. — Called Moenga. Made of bullrushes and used for sleeping 

Obsidian spear-points. — Plate LVI. — Large collection showing the nine 
classes into which they are divided by the natives. Fig. 1, narrow leaf- 
shaped spearhead, called Mataa Nutakuku. Fig. 2, wide round-pointed 
spear-head, called Mataa Eei-pure-pure rova. Fig. 3, narrow and long- 
])ointed spearhead, called Mataa Neho-mango. Fig. 4, narrow spade- 
shaped spear-head, called Mafaa Hikutiveva. Fig. 5, broad straight- 
edged spear-head, called Mataa-hae. Fig. 6, smooth round-edged spear- 
head, called Mataa Aro-kiri. Fig. 7, broad fan-shaped spearhead, 
called Mataa Nutu-kuku. Fig. 8, concave and convex sided spear-head, 
called Mataa Roa. Fig. 9, long sharji, irregular pointed spear head, 
called Mataa Hai-haerve. These spearheads were fastened to poles 
about 8 feet long, by lashings of hemp, and formed the chief weapon 
used by the natives in their frequent strifes. They were thrown to 
a distance, as well as a thrusting weapon, much after the manner in 
which the Zulus use their assagais. The volcanic glass of which 
the points were made, crops out at many places on the island, but was 
chiefly obtained at the obsidian mountain of Orito. Spear-heads of 
different shapes and sizes were dependent upon iudividual taste and 
skill. The best samples in the collection were purchased from Mr. Sal- 
mon ; others were found in the tombs and burial-places; and some were 
picked up on the old battle-grounds. 

Fetish-board. — Called Timoika. Broad, flat paddle made of whale- 
bone, 30 inches long and 14 inches wide. This wand is used in working 
a charm against an enemy. The injured individual wliile performing a 
sort of convulsive dance, makes mystic movements with the paddle, 
meanwhile muttering incantations in a monotonous tone. The result is 
believed to be the speedy death of the person against whom the fetish 
is invoked. (Plate LllI, fig. 3.) 

Potato /e^is/t.— Called IJapa. Small, light paddle double bladed, 
about 24 inches long, painted light red in color. It was used with ap- 
propriate ceremonies at times when the potato crop was in danger from 
insects or drought, and was believed to ward off and guard against evil 
spirits. (Plate Llll, flg. 4.) 

Report of National Museum, 1 889.— Tho, 

Plate LV. 

Report of National Museum, 1889. — Thomson. 

Plate LVI. 

Obsidian Spear-heads. 
(Cat. Nijs. 129732-120730, U. S. N. M. Easter Islaod. Collected by Paymaster W. J. Thomsou, U. S. N.) 

Report of National Museum, 1889.— Thomson. 

Plate LVII. 



o ._^ 

■S H 

O ffl 

O ^ 

Report of National Museum, 1889— Thomson. 

Plate LVIII. 



Fig. 1. Fi.=;nHooK of Hcman Bone. (Cat. No. laflTSfi, U. S. N. M. Eaister Island. Collected by 
Paymaster W. J. Thomson, U. R. N.) 

Fig. 2. Fishhook OF HfMAN Bone. (Cat. No. 120737, U. S. N. M. Easter Island. Collected by- 
Paymaster W. J. Thomson, U. S. N.) 

Fig. 3. Fishhook op Stone. 


Stone adzes. — Called Toki. The collection comprises twenty-five dif- 
ferent sizes, called by distinctive names which signify the use for which 
they are designed. Tools of this class were always used in a wooden 
handle. (Plate LVII.) 

Stone Jcnife. — Called Hoe. Ground down to a knife-blade with a 
point and cutting edge, used principally for fashioning the eyes and 
faces of the images. (Plate LI, fig. 3.) 

Axhandles. — Miro Toki. Hard-wood, 'with natural joint, used for 
holding stone implements. (Plate LVII.) 

Fish god. — Called Mea Ika. This rough, ill-shaped stone was one of 
the objects really worshipped by the natives. Some of them bear evi- 
dences of tool marks, but it does not appear that any effort was made to 
carve them into shape or decorate them. These gods were never com- 
mon, and were possessed by communities or clans, and not by individ- 
uals. The legends claim that they were all brought to the island by 
Hotu "Matua and the first settlers. (Plate LI, fig. 4.) 

Bonito god. — Called Mea Kahi. A stone with apparently no distin- 
guishing characteristics, and nothing to merit the profound religious 
homage paid to it. It is not clear why the bonito should have the dis- 
tinction of a separate god from the other fish, unless it be for thereasou 
that it appears in great numbers in these waters, and has always been 
highly esteemed as an article of food. Fish always constituted an im- 
portant diet with the natives, and the abundance in which they were 
found was ascribed to the faithful and constant adoration of these stone 
gods. (Plate LT, fig. 5,) 

Fold god. — Called Mea Moa. A beach pebble with slight traces of 
tool-marks, but it might readily be passed among other stones without 
attracting attention. To the fowl god is ascribed the custody of chick- 
ens, and its beneficial influence was secured by being placed under a 
setting hen for a short time before the eggs were hatched. (Plate LI, 
fig. 6.) 

Stone Fish Hook. — Called Mugai Kihi. These primitive hooks, now 
very rare on the island, wore made of the hardest rock to be obtained, 
and were ground into shape by long and constant rubbing. (Plate 
LVIII, fig. 3.) 

Bone fish hoohs. — Called Mugai Iri. In accordance with an ancient 
sfiperstition. these hooks were manufactured from the thigh-bones of 
deceased fishermen. The curve was fashioned with a small barb which 
prevented the escape of the fish. The form is so perfectly adapted to 
the purpose that the natives still use their old bone hooks in preference 
to those of European make. A fish-hook of similar design was used 
by the Indians of Santa Cruz Island. (Plate LVIII, figs. 1 and 2.) 

Incised tablets. — Called Hokau Eongo Rongo. Two specimens in ex- 
cellent state of preservation, showing the hieroglyphics used in the 
written language. (Plates XXXVIII-XLL) 

Double paddle. — Called Mata Kao-kao. Made of heavy wood, bal- 


anced by wide blades ornamented with outlined faces. Used iu the 
ancient canoes in a similar manner to that practiced by the Indians of 
America. (Plate LII, fig. 3.) 

Ancient scull oars — Called Mata Kao. Angular float of peculiar 
shape and unique design attached to a long handle. Used for steering 
and sculling very large canoes. Very old and highly prized by the 
islanders as the only specimen of the scull-oar used by their ancestors. 
(Plate LIX.) 

• Human slcttlls. -^GaWed Puoko Iri. An examination of these skulls 
shows very little difference between the crania of the present people and 
those found in the most ancient tombs. Three specimens obtained from 
the King's platform have hieroglyphics engraved upon them, which sig- 
nify the clan to which they belonged. (Plate L.) 

Native cloth. — Called Hami Nua. Made of the inner bark of the hi- 
biscus and paper-mulberry trees. The manufacture of the " tappa " has 
now ceased altogether. (Plate LI, fig. 7.) 

Tattooing implements. — Called Ta Kona. Tools used for puncturing 
the skin. Made of bird bones. 

Needles. — Called Iri. Both bone and wooden needles used for sewing 
tappa cloth, and other varieties for knitting mesbes of nets. (Plate 
LX, fig. 1.) 

Fetish stones. — Called Atua Mangaro. A collection obtained by dig- 
ging beneath the doorposts of the ancient dwellings. The majority are 
simply beach pepples; others have been formed by rubbing; and one is a 
triangular-shaped stone with a face outlined upon it. These were placed 
beneath the houses, with much ceremony, and were supposed to ward 
off evil influences. (Plate LX, fig. 2.) 

Neclc ornaments. — Called Hoko ISTgao. Carved wood in fanciful de- 
signs worn during the dance. 

Pigments. — Called Penetuli. l^Tatural j^aints used by being ground 
down in the heated juice of the sugar cane. 

Frescoed slabs. — Taken from the inner walls and ceilings of the stone 
houses at Orougo. (Plate XXIII.) 

Fetish stones. — Buried under the corner-stones of the houses. 


The most ancient monuments of Polynesia are the lithic and mega- 
lithic remains, coincident in style and character with the Druidical 
circles of Europe, and the exact counterpart of those of Stonehenge and 
Carnac iu Brittany. These earlier eflbrts of the human art are invaria- 
bly the remains of temples, places of worship, or of edifices dedicated 
in some way to the religion and superstitions of extinct generations, 
whose graves cover every island and reef. The most numerous, and 
perhaps the most ancient structures, are quadrangular in shape, and 
are composed of loose lava stones, forming a wall of great firmness and ' 
strength. These temples frequently exceed 100 feet in length, with a 

Report of National Museum, 1 889,— Thomson. 

Plate LIX. 

Ancient Scull-oars. 
(Cat. No. 129746, U. S N. M. Easter Island. CoUected by Paymaster W. J. Thomson, U. S. N.) 

Report of National Museum, 1889.— Thomson. 

Plate LX. 

Netting-needles and Fetish-stones. 
,r.t No I'^nrSR U. S. N. M. Easter Island. Collected hy Paymaster W. J. 
Fig 1 Netting-needles. (Cat. ivo. i...^-, 

Thomson, U. S. N.) .,Q-.,-_i.xr-o u S N M Easter Island. Collected by Pa3'master 

Fig. 3. Fetish-stones. (Cat. Nos l-a.oo - "., 
W. J. Thomson, U. S. N.) 


proportionate width, and were designed to be roofless. They contain 
remains of altars composed of the same materials as the wall of the 
main inclosure, generally located at one end, and in shape resembling 
parallelograms. In many cases, these edifices are in as perfect a state 
of preservation as when countless numbers of human victims were im- 
molated upon their altars, though time has obliterated all traces of 
everything perishable. 

In the search for prehistoric remains, the diversified character of the 
many islands that dot the South Sea should be borne in mind. Coral 
groups and atolls, these wonderful formations produced by the ceaseless 
work of zoophytic animals, being of comparatively recent creation, 
were perhaps merely tide-water reefs, when the islands of purely vol- 
canic character were peopled by lawless and turbulent tribes, constantly 
engaged in warfare and in making depredations upon each other. Even 
where there is sufQcient evidence of antiquity to warrant the search, 
the absence of monuments upon the low-lying islands of coral formation, 
may be accounted for by the lack of suitable material for their construc- 
tion, or to the destroying hurricanes that occasionally sweep across 
this part of the Pacific, which are accompanied by a furious sea that 
breaks completely over the narrow atolls, carrying death and devasta- 
tion to all things animate and inanimate. 

The height of the atolls, in many cases, does not exceed 5 or 6 feet 
above the normal level of the sea surrounding them, and instances are 
unfortunately abundant, of islands that have been transformed in a few 
hours, from a scene of tropical luxuriance and with a contented people 
surrounded by nature's most bountiful gifts, to one of utter barrenness 
and desolation. The largest and most important islands of Polynesia 
are of volcanic character, and bear evidences of having been inhabited 
from a remote period. Here may be duplicated the Teocallis of Palen- 
que, Copaii, and Uxmal. In some islands these ancient monuments 
were searched out with great dilficulty, having been so completely 
overgrown with dense tropical vegetation that their existence was not 
suspected by the indifferent people of today. 

While the islanders never advanced to a high civilization, and their 
best efforts consist in cromlechs, dolmens, and elevated platforms or 
truncated pyramids, their handiwork is still preserved, and points with 
abundant interest to the history of a rude and early age. 

The primitive Polynesians, like their contemporaries, the Incas of 
Peru, may be judged in regard to their condition and history, by the 
monuments they have left, for with the exception of Easter Island, 
there is no trace of their having possessed a written language. Tribes 
flourished, were conquered and passed out of existence, without leaving 
a trace behind them except perhaps, a shadowy tradition. The natives 
in this genial climate have always dwelt in rude structures of thatch and 
cane, which after a few years of abandonment would decay and leave no 
sign behind, unless it be a few broken implements lying about. Among 


them, traditions Lave always been preserved with care, and it is wou- 
derfal to find how the history of a people can be followed in this way 
for hundreds of years. The Samoaus claim a complete chronicle dating 
through twenty-two generations of the reigning family of Malietoa, and 
extending over a period of eight hundred years, while the Tongaus can 
chronicle a fairly accurate history of their priesthood through twelve 

The priests have usually been the custodians of the national tradi- 
tions, and there is sufficient evidence to show that every precaution was 
taken to have them handed down from one generation to another, pure 
and unchanged, for oral record was their only means of committing to 
posterity the deeds of their ancestors. 

To be intrusted with the traditions, constituted of itself an office of 
high dignity, and the holder was afforded the protection of a taboo of 
the most rigorous character. 

Family records were perpetuated with the national history, but as 
might be expected, there was a tendency to embellish them when ex- 
tended back beyond a reasonable limit, with mythological personages 
and improbable occurrences. Still the extraordinary power of these 
keepers to preserve unimpaired for centuries, events and facts or even 
the geneaology of important families, would astonish those who are fa- 
miliar only with written history, and whose memories depend upon arti- 
ficial aids. Except in a few cases, the traditions of the natives do not 
extend back far enough to throw much light upon the ancient monu- 
ments found upon the islands. This is due in a measure to the fact, that 
in only isolated localities have the people lived unmolested for any 
great length of time. The tribes were continually at war with one an- 
other. From love of conquest, and jealousy, no tribe was safe from the 
depredations of its neighbor, although living upon terms of supposed 
friendship. The love of war induced frequent expeditions planned for 
the destruction of the tribes of adjacent islands, while occasionally a 
combination was made for more extensive operations against the unsus- 
pecting natives of a different group. The visitors usually put to death 
the fighting men of the conquered tribes and absorbed the others. The 
traditions of both parties were preserved separately for a time, but they 
naturally tended to merge together, and in this state, a combination of 
the glories of both tribes were handed down never to be unraveled to 
their succeeding generations. The monuments of antiquity scattered 
throughout Polynesia, with the exception of Easter Island, increase in 
importance as we advance to the westward, commencing with the cir- 
cles of uncut stones, and advancing by regular steps until we arrive 
at the more elaborate sculptures. This fact indicates the decline that 

* These genealogies, altbongb widely kuowu and generally admitted to be true, 
have receive<l tlie special investigation of some of tlie missionaries. Tlie Rev. Shir- 
ley Baker, now premier of Tonga, asanres us that there is no reason to doobt them, 
and that on the other hand there are many reasons for accepting them as absolute 


cook place in the social and mental culture of the people as tliey rami- 
fied eastward through the various islands of the Pacific. Detachments 
arriving at the different groups separated into distinct communities as 
accident or fancy directed ; here they became segregated, and rapidly 
degenerated in knowledge and in the arts. 

Starting with the Sandwich Islands, we find that the Hawaiian pre- 
historic remains are confined to the most primitive forms of structures, 
such as the remains of the pagan temple at Waikiki, and the enormous 
lieiau at Punepa near lole, both of which are notable types of walled 
in closures, and also the catacombs of Waimea, which do not greatly 
differ from some of the places of sepulture in other islands. 

Farther to the South and West, the Marquesas and Society groups 
show nothing beyond the primitive works of people who have passed 
away ages ago, leaving no other signs of their having existed. 

The island of Eapa-titi, in mid Pacific and just outside the tropics, 
contains evidences of a numerous population at some remote period. 
The island is remarkably mountainous, though quite small, with pinna- 
cles rising to the height of 2,000 feet, and precipitous cliffs jutting into 
the sea. Massive forts command all the principal valleys ; they are 
constructed of stone; built in terraces; and furnished with towers for 
observation and rallying points.* 

In the Friendly Islands are found some interesting relics of antiquity. 
Near the ancient metropolis of Moa, on the island of Tongatabu, and 
about 12 miles from Nukualofa, the present capital of the group, are 
the graves of the Tui-Tongas. 

These embrace nineteen truncated pyramids, measuring about 100 feet 
square on the base lines, and rising in three terraces to a height of 25 
feet. The stones used in their construction are of coral concrete, and 
many of the huge blocks are 18 feet long by 5J feet high and 3 feet 
thick, and weigh fully 20 tons each. 

The labor of building these tombs was enormous, and when it is con- 
sidered that the great blocks were cut from 'the coral reef about 3 miles 
distant, and transported to the spot by savages who were ignorant of the 
laws of mechanics, and who were without appliances, we can not fail to 
be lost in wonder at the magnitude of the work accomplished. These 
pyramids are of various ages, extending over a period of twelve hun- 
dred and fifty years. They are overgrown by a dense forest of fao and 
banyan trees, of immense size and great age, the roots of which have dis- 
lodged and thrown down some of the largest stones. The Tui-Tongas 
were high-priests and their genealogy has been carefully preserved- 

* In 1867, the Freuch purchased the aovereiguty of this little island for a gallon of 
mm and some old clothes, thus cutting out a, prospective American Steam-ship Com- 
pany that bad fixed upon it for a coal depot. Coal is found here in small quantities, 
and this fact has been adduced in support of the theory of a submerged continent in 
the Pacific, a fallacy evident to the geologist. Although there are several bays, a 
lauding maj' be made at any point owing to the remarkable sraoothuess of the sea. 
The people bear a close resemblance to the New Zealaudera. 


The priesthood was hereditary, descending from father to son. Under 
the laws of Tonga the high-priests could marry only the daughters of 
the king. Their sons became priests, and the daughters occupied a 
position analogous to that of the Vestal Virgins and were not permitted 
to marry. This long line is now extinct, thelastof theTui-Tongas hav- 
ing been laid with his fathers in 1863. 

About 6 miles beyond these tombs, on the eastern shore, stands an 
ancient cromlech, or more properly speakinga dolmen. This interesting 
monument is composed of three blocks of coral concrete. The two up- 
rights are 14 feet high, 8 feet wide and nearly 4 feet thick, and weigh 
over 15 tons each, while the cross-piece is somewhatsmaller and weighs 
about 10 tons. The native tradition is that these larger masses of stone 
were cut from the coral reef about 2 miles distant, and that the vertex 
was brought by one of their large canoes from Wallis Island. While it 
is possible for this legend to be founded upon fact, there is room for 
strong doubt, since the same formation exists upon both islands; but 
the difficulty of handling a stone of that size and weight, and of carrying 
it a distance of 600 miles by sea, would hardly be warranted when it ■ 
could be quarried ontheirown shores. Viewed, however, as a trophy, 
and the cromlech as a sort of triumphal arch to commemorate a victory, 
(for the Tongans were perhaps the most successful of the ocean rovers 
of the Pacific) the legend of the stone seems entitled to greater credence 
thaa the neglected pile would at first warrant. The traditions do not 
go back far enough to tell us by whom this cromlech was erected, but 
simply assert its erection by one of the early kings on the advent of his 
dynasty, a fact which the disintegration of the stone, due to age, would 
seem to corroborate. The Samoans formerly erected stone pillars to the 
memory of their chiefs, but the most interesting relic of former ages, in 
this group, is the ruins of a heathen temple located in the mountains 
near the center of the island of Opolu. Secreted in an almost in- 
accessible gully, this temple was built in the form of an ellipse, meas- 
uring 57 feet one way by 39 feet the other. The roof was evidently 
thatched with pandanus leaves, as is the custom to the present day, but 
three large columns of basaltic rock formed the center supports, while 
the eaves rested upon the pillars of the same stone placed at intervals 
of 3 feet apart around the ellipse. Many of these stones are still stand- 
ing, .but the site has been almost obscured by a dense tropical growth. 

Within a few feet of the old temple is an ancient tomb covered with 
a large block of stone and marked by an upright basaltic column. Sa- 
moau legends do not give much information about this ruin, but the 
Tongan traditions hold that the temple was built by them, after they had 
conquered the Samoans, aud that the tomb is that of one of the Tui- 
Tougas who accompanied the successful expedition, aud who died and 
was buried alongside of the temple. This couquest took place at least 
eight hundred years ago, for it was about this tiuie that Malietoa I. was 


made kiug, for his bravery and success in freeing bis country from the 
Tongan yoke. 

Plans were made to open this tomb, but for the lack of time could not 
be carried out, and the observations on this interesting relic were con- 
fined to one hasty visit. 

Continuing still farther to the westward, to the island of Tiniau, one 
of the Ladrones, are found two ranges of stone columns, over a dozen 
in number, and somewhat similar in size and shape to those of the 
cromlech at Tongatabu ; but the curious feature of this ruin is that 
each column is surmounted by a large semi-globe, flat surface upward, 
weighing 4 tons. Freycinet supposes them to be supports of wooden 
ceilings to houses, that long ago have fallen into ruin, but other author- 
ities assert that they are sepulchral urns. The natives call them " the 
houses of the ancients." 

Upon the adjacent islands are numerous remains of a similar charac- 
ter, but in most cases the columns are smaller. 

In the island of Pouape, Caroline group, are found remains of a 
higher grade of stone work and which are a puzzle to ethnologists.* 
Upon the bank of a creek that empties into Metalanien harbor is an 
inclosure with massive walls built of basaltic prisms 300 feet long and 
35 feet high. There is a gateway opening upon the creek composed of 
enormous basaltic columns laid flat, inside of which is a court inclosed 
by walls 30 feet high. There are terraces against the wall inside, also 
built of basaltic prisms 8 feet high and 12 feet wide. The inclosure is 
nearly square and is divided into three parts by low walls running north 
and south. 

In the center of each court is a closed chamber 14 feet square, orna- 
mented with basaltic columns and roofed with the same stone. On the 
central ridge of the opposite side of the island, 10 miles distant, are a 
large number of very fine basaltic columns, and this must have been the 
quarry for the structure just described, for the configuration of the land 
is such that roads would have been impracticable, and the only deduc- 
tion is that the material must have been taken down to the coast and 
thence by water to the location on the creek. 

This is reported to have been the home of the buccaneers, but it is 
impossible that they could have put up works of such magnitude. 
There are other ruins on the island, and also some mounds of consider- 
able size, 12 feet high and a quarter of a mile long. On Kusai, and other 
islands of the group are found ruins, but those of Ponape are by far the 
most remarkable. 

Though not properly in the province of the work, a short description 
by Mr. Wallace of sdine of the architectural wonders of Java is in- 
serted. He estimates the date of their construction at five hundred 
years ago when the island was under the sway of the Hindoos. 

* l^'roin Wa^Uace's " Austrnlia." 


The road to Wonosalem led through a maguificent lorest, in the 
depths of which we passed a fine ruin of what appeared to have been 
a royal tomb or mausoleum. It is formed entirely of stone, and elabor- 
ately carved. Near the base is a course of boldly projecting blocks, 
sculptured in high relief, with a series of scenes which are probably in- 
cidents in the life of the defunct. These are all beautifully executed, 
some of the figures of animals in particular being easily recognizable 
and very accurate. The general design, as far as the ruined state of 
the upper part will permit of its being seen, is very good, the effect be- 
ing given by an immense number and variety of projecting or retreat- 
ing courses of squared stones in place of mouldings. The size of the 
structure is about 30 feet square by 20 feet high, and as the traveler 
comes suddenly upon it on a small elevation by the road side, over- 
shadowed by gigantic trees, overrun with plants and creepers, and 
closely backed by the gloomy forest, he is struck by the solemnity and 
picturesque beauty of the scene, and is led to ponder on the strange 
law of progress, which looks so like retrogression, and which in so many 
distant parts of the world has exterminated or driven out a highly 
artistic and constructive race, to make room for one which, as far as we 
can judge is very far its inferior. The number and beauty of the archi- 
tectural remains in Java have never been popularly illustrated or de- 
scribed, and it will therefore take most people by surprise to learn that 
they far surpass those of Central America, perchance those of India. 
To give some idea of these ruins, perhaps to excite wealthy amateurs 
to explore them thoroughly, and to obtain by photography on accurate 
record of these beautiful sculptures before it is too late, I will enum- 
erate the most important as briefly described in Sir Stanforns Raffle's 
History of Java. 

Near the center of Java, between the native capitals of Djoko-Kerta 
and Sura-Kerta, is the village of Brambanam, not far from which are 
abuodance of ruins, the most important being the temples of Loro- 
Jongrau and Ghandi Sewa. At Loro-Jongran there were separate 
buildings, six large, and fourteen small temples. They are now a 
mass of ruins, but the largest temple was supposed to have been 90 
feet high. They were all constructed of solid stone, everywhere 
decorated with carvings and bas-reliefs, and adorned with numbers 
of statues, many of which remain entire. At ChandiSewa, or the 
" thousand temples," are many fine colossal figures. Captain Baker, 
who surveyed these ruins, said that he had never in his life seen 
such stupendous and finished specimens of human labor, and the 
science and taste of ages long since forgotten, crowded together in so 
small a compass as in this spot. They cover a span of nearly 600 feet 
square, and consist of an outer row of eighty-four temples; a second row 
of seventy-six; a third row of sixty-four; a fourth of forty -four; and a 
fifth forming an inner parallelogram of twenty -eight; in all two hun- 


dred aaid niuetysix small temples disposed in five regular parallelo- 
grams, la the center is a large cruciform temple surrounded l)y forty 
flights of steps, richly ornamented with sculpture and containing many 

The tropical vegetation has ruined most of the smaller temples, but 
^some remain tolerably perfect, from which the effects of the whole may 
'be imagined. About half a mile off is another temi)le, called Ohandi 
Kali Bening, 72 feet scpiare and 60 feet high, in fine preservation, and 
covered with sculptures of Hindu mythology surpassing any that exists 
in India. Other rums of palaces, halls and temples, with abundance of 
sculptured deities, are found in the same neighborhood. 

About 80 miles eastward, in the province of Kedu, is thegreat temple of 
Borobods. It is built upon a small hill, and consists of a central dome 
and seven ranges of terraced wall, covering the slope of the hill, 
forming open galleries, each below the other, and communicating by 
steps and gateways. The central <lome is 50 feet in diameter; around 
it is a triple circle of seventy-two towers; and the whole building is 620 
feet square and about 100 feet high. In the terraced walls are niches 
containing cross-legged figures larger than life, to the number of about 
four hundred; both sides of the terraced walls are covered with bas- 
reliefs crowded with figures carved in hard stone, which must there- 
fore occupy an extent of nearly 3 miles in length. 

The amount of human labor and skill expended upon the great pyra- 
mids of Egypt, sink into insignificance when compared with that re- 
quired to complete this sculi)tured hill temple in the interior of Java. 

About 40 miles southwest of Samarang, on a mountain called Junong 
Prau, an extensive plateau is covered with ruins. To reach the temples, 
four flights of stone steps were made up to the mountain from opposite 
directions, each flight containing more than a thousand steps. Traces 
of nearly four hundred temples have been found here, and many (per- 
haps all) were decorated with rich and delicate sculptures. The whole 
country between this and Brambanam, a distance of 00 miles, abounds 
with ruins, so that fine sculptured figures maybe seen lying in ditches, 
or built into the walls of iuclosuces. 

In the eastern part of Java, at Kediri, and in Melang, there are 
equally abundant traces of antiquity, but the buildings themselves 
have been mostly destroyed ; sculptured figures, however, abound, and 
the ruins of forts, palaces, baths, aqueducts, and temples can be every- 
where traced. 

The ruins of the ancient city of Majapahit cover miles of ground 
with paved roads, walls, tombs, and gateways, while sculptures of Hindu 
gods and goddesses of hard trachytic rock are found in the forests or 
in situ in temples. Some of the buildings are of brick of curious con- 
struction ; the bricks are burned and built together without cement, 
and yet adhere incomprehensibly. 
H, Mis. 224, pt. 2 35 




The natives reckoned their time, and in fact do so still by moons or 
months, comraenciug the year with August, which was, according to 
the traditions, the time when Hotu-Matua and his followers landed upon 
the island. 

The following corresponds nearly to the English months set oppo-' 

Anekena August. 

Eora-iti (little summer) September. 

Hora-nui (big summer) October. 

Tangarouri part of November. 

Kotuti November and December. 

Euti December and January. 

Koro January. 

Tuaharo February. 

Tetnupu ...March. 

Tarahao April. 

Vaitu-nui (big winter) May. 

Vaitu-poto (short winter) ...June. 
Maro or Temaro July. 

The natives have recently divided the months into weeks, giving to 
the days the names of First day (Raa-po-tahi), Second day (Raa-po-rua), 
Third day (Eaa-po-toru), etc. The week is commenced on Monday in 
order to bring the seventh day on Sunday. 

The month is divided into two equal portions, the first beginning 
with the new moon, and the second with the full moon. The calendar 
at the time of our visit to the island ran about as follows, the new 
moon being full on November 26 : 

Kokore tahi (first Kokore). -November 27 
Kokore ru a ( second Kok ore ) . No vember 28 
Kokore torn (third Kokore) .November 29 
Kokore ha (fourth Kokore) . . November 30 
Kokore rima (fifth Kokore) -December 1 
Kokore ono (si-x;th Kokore).. December 2 

Maharu, first quarter December 3 

Ohua December 4 

Otua December 5 

Ohotu December 6 

Maure December 7 

Ina-ira December 8 

Ea Kau December 9 

Omotohi, full moon December 10 

Kokore tahi (first Kokore) ..December 11 
Kokore riia (second Kokore). December 12 

Kokore tora (third Kokore) .December 13 
Kokore ha (fourth Kokore) .December 14 
Kokore rima (fifth Kokore).. December 1.5 

Tapnme December 16 

Matua December 17 

Orongo, last quarter December 18 

Orongo taane December 19 

Mauri uui December 20 

Marui Kero December 21 

Omutu December 22 

Tueo December 23 

Oata December 24 

©ari, new moou December 25 

Kokore tahi (first Kokore) ..December 26 
Etc., etc., etc. 

The natives of Easter Island speak a dialect of the Malayo-Polynesian 
language, which is so widel.y spread in the South Sea and Malay Archi- 
pelago. Any one who will take the trouble to conipare the accompany- 
ing vocabulary with the same words used by the natives of New Zea- 
land, Tahiti, Rorotonga, Samoa, and any of the islands of Polynesia, will 
see that many of the words are identically the same, and others show a 
slight variation. 

Not only do the words of this language resemble those spoken 
throughout the South Sea, but all the dialects possess, in common, the 



peculiarity of having a dual uumber of the personal pronouus in addi- 
tion to the singular and plural. For example, he or she is, "Koia," in 
the Maori it is, " ia ;" they two, on this island is " rana-a," in the Maori 
it is " raua;" they, in tbis dialect is " pouro," in the Maori, it is "ratou." 
Words are frequently reduphcated to denote the plural of collectives 
in nouns, the comparative, or superlative degree in adjectives, and re- 
peated action in verbs. "Iti" signifies little, " iti-iti," expresses very 
little, and the word for small child is " poki iti-iti." Food, or to eat, is 
" Kai," to eat much or heartily is expressed by " kai-kai." The names 
of several of the colors are usually duplicated, as red, "mea-mea;" 
black, "uri-uri;" white "tea-tea;" vermillion " ura-ura." 

An interesting feature of the language is the native name for pig, 
" Oru," which differs from the corresponding term in ail of the other 
Polynesian dialects. It is i^robably derived from the grunting sound 
made by the animal. In nearly all of the kindred dialects the name for 
liig is "puaka," a word which is also applied by some of them to all 
quadrupeds except the rat. The Easter Islanders have given this name 
to cattle, calling a cow "puaka tamahine" (female puaka), and a bull 
" j)uaka tamaroa" (male puaka). This tends to show that although 
pigs had probably been introduced on theislands from which the ances- 
tors of the present inhabitants came, they took none with them in their 
migration, and only preserved the word puaka in a vague sense, as sig- 
nifying a large animal with four legs. When cattle were introduced, 
they consequently applied the term to them, and coined the new one 

Fingers are called "manga-manga" and toes, " mangamauga vae," 
or literally the fingers of the foot. " Kiri " means covering, and to ex- 
press the wood shoe they say "Kiri vae," or covering, forthefoot. "Ivi" 
is the name applied to both needle and bone, which probably indicates 
that the original needles were made of bone. 

In the pronunciation of words of two syllables, the accent is on the 
first; in words of three syllables it is generally on the second, and in 
polysyllabic words it is on the penultimate. Modern articles recently 
introduced on the island are called by their English names, or some- 
thing that has a similar sound. 

It is worthy of note that the word " Atua" is used to signify both 
god and devil. 










All (whole) 










A or aud 










Mata hi. 


Kari-kari vae. 



TTa noho toto. 








Battle (war) 





Bird (tropic) 






Bring uie 


Brother (elder) 















Boobies (birds) 
















Club (short) 

Clulj fdanciuj;) 

Club (loDg) 



Cooking place 



Pi a. 





Vaha. . 






Vaka Poe-poe. 


Manga luiro. 


Hangu potu. 


Iliku vera. 


Pnaka tamaroa. 

Miro taka-taka. 


Oru tamaroa. 

Tua iri. 


Tana mimi. 




Eve taki-eve. 





Ilecki keho. 

Kai tangata. 






Poki iti-iti. 

Maita Kia. 




Raugi tea-tea. 







Elva niao k. 

Puaka taniahini. 

C ure 


C ut-graas 



Come here 



Cattle . 


Calf of leg 




















Drink (water) 

Dry • 

Dry, V. 









Eat (food) 

Eat (heartily) 





Eye (or face) 














Oone vai. 




















Hami Kaufa. 




Kaunu taa-vai. 


Haka paka-paka. 




Te maro. 










Turi rima. 




Tutu Mata. 


Haka kemo. 











Ika kato omai. 
























House (hnt) 















Titi ,1. 

He, sbe, it 






En fa. 








Tae nengo-neugo. 







Fore- arm 





Manga- manga. 


Poki porekoibo 

Finger (index) 

Rinia tnhi benua. 


Toto Ohio. 

Finger (middle) 

Roaroa tahanga. 

I or me 



Riuia tnhi ii hana. 


Peka^peka va,e. 

Finger (little) 

Ko nninaroa. 



For, or to 







Haka reka. 


Poki tamabini. 



Give me 





Mata ni. 







Go away 

Rari kau. 







Gold coin 







Hera parapa. 







Lau gb 



Topa tangi. 


Po-o-te taugata 
M aeh a. 


Han go. 

Light ( weigbt) 






Get out 




Gonrd vine 



Hoko tahi. 

Gras.s (iiue) 


Long (far) 

Kouni roa. 

Grass (hunch) 


Lose, V. 
Limpet (Cbiton 


Good -by 



Hem am a. 


























Ura. ■ 



















Physilia ntriculus 

Papa Ki. 



Palm (of hand) 

Paraha Rima. 




Kiko te ivi tika. 






Kin a. 


Vaha takitua. 




Kiri ure. 








Ua naiei. 


Oone heke-heka. 








Hon anei. 








Vere ngutn. 


Vai tahe. 






Kiko na-na. 


Maka motu. 



Roll, V. 















Hoa kona. 

















See, V. 







Anei ril. 



Nail (finger) 

Mai kuku. 






Kiri vai. 



Shoot, V. 





Hango pakakina. 






Poko-poko ihn. 


Kapu hivi. 





Oar (paddle) 



Rangi uri-uri. 












An umu. 









Path (trail) 



Anei ra nei. 




Tangi toka-tangi 




Paran vangana. 







Spirit (soul) 




Spring (season) 

Vaha bora. 



Steal (thief) 



Mea tupn. 

Stand up 



Kona oka kai. 






Stone (tool) 

Stouo ax 






Swallow, V. 

Satchel (valise) 



Sit down 





Stop (halt) 





Small univalve 






Sole (of foot) 




Sea- weed 
















Trunk of tree 



















Koro iti. 





Hakanoho hia. 

Mea popo. 


Oru tamahine. 



Kiri puoko. 

Kiri maripu. 


Kapu bivi. 

Pararaha vae. 

Tua papa. 


Kopu raau. 








T4 Kona. 

Ko viti. 


Paki roki. 

Mate vai. 

Hatu tiri. 



Miro tnpu. 





Eana 4. 










Toe (great) 

To, or for 



To fight 

To throw away 

To awake 

To smoke 

To cough 









Vecsel (water) 


Vine (fern) 







Water (fresh) 

Water (salt) 




Whole (all) 
















Na na. 


Papa Kona. 

Rimametua nea-nea. 


Manga-manga vae. 


Mauga-manga tnmn. 







E Olio. 





Na niimi. 


Ava mounga. 











Tangata Matan. 




Tea- tea. 






Na via. 







Motu rongo-rongo. 






Waist Kakari manara. 

Wrist Kakaii rima. 

White-bait (fish) Poopo. 

Year Tau. 

Yellow Pava. 

lu counting the natives use the fingers of both Iiands but never tbe 




Kope tungn-tunga 







1 = Ka-tahi. 

2 = Ka-nia. 

3 = Ka-toTii. 

4 = Ka-ba. 

5 = Ka-rima. 

6 = Ka-ono. 

7 = Ka-hitn. 

8 = Ka-varu. 

9 = Ka-iva. 

= Aaugbiirii. 

10 = Ka tabi te aangburn. 

11 = Ka tabi te aaiigbnru Ka tabi. 

12 = Ka tabi te aaDglinrn Ka riia. 

13 = Katabi te aaiigbnrn Katorn, etc 

20 = Ka ma te aangburn. 

21 = Ka rua te aangbnru Ka tabi. 

22 = Ka rna te aangburu Ka rua. 

23 = Karuateaaugliuru Katoru, etc. 

30 = Ka toru te aangbnru. 

31 = Ka torn te aangburn Ka tabi. 

32 = Ka torn te aaugbnrn Ka rua. 

33 = Ka toru te aangburu Ka torn, etc. 
40 - Ka b a te aangburn. 

.')0 - Ka rima te aangburu. 
GO = Ka ono te a.angbnrn. 
70 = Ka bitu te aangbnru. 
80 = Ka raru te .aangburu. 
90 = Ka ira te aangburu. 

100 = Ka rail. 

101 = Ka tabi te ran ma tabi. 

102 = Ka tabi te ran ma rna. 

200 = Ka rna te ran, 

201 = Ka rna te ran nia tal;i. 

300 = Katoru te ran. 

301 = Ka torn te ran ma tabi. 

400 = K.a ba te ran. 

401 = Ka ba te ran ma. tabi. 
300 = Ka rima te ran, etc. 

1,000 = Piere. 
2,000 = Ka rna te piere. 
3,000= Ka torn te piere. 
4,000 = Ka ba te piere. 
10,000 = Ka mano. 
100,000 = Ka peka. 
,000,000 = Ha ra. 
Over one million, mingoi-ngoi. 

From 1 to ]0 tbe syllables are pronounced as one word, in a multiple 
of ten tbe words are distinctlj' separated. A record of numbers was 
kept by stringing pieces of bulrush together.