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Te Pito Te Henua, or Easter Island, by William J. Thompson, [1891], at


Wooden image.--Called Moai Tangata. Male figure made of toromiro wood, with eyes of bone and obsidian. (Plate L, fig. l.)

Wooden image.--Called Moai Kva-kva. Male figure made of toromiro wood, with eyes of bone and obsidian, and breast-bone and ribs sharply defined. (Plate L, fig. 2.)

Wooden image.--Called Moai Papaa. Female figure made of toromiro wood, with eyes of bone and obsidian. (Plate L, fig. 3.)

These figures have been called household gods, and were never worshipped, though they were regarded the representations of certain spirits. Similar figures were made to represent deceased chiefs and

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persons of note, and were given a place of honor at feasts and ceremonies.

Stone image.--Called Moai Maea. Male figure; held in the same estimation as those made of wood. (Plate LI, fig. l.)

Wooden clubs.--Called Ua. Made of toro-miro wood, 6 feet long, the point slightly widened and the handle ornamented with a bi-fronted head with eyes of bone and obsidian. These clubs were only used as batôns of office 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 dexterity.

Wooden club.--Called Ao. Made of light wood, used as wands in dancing. The flattened ends are sometimes ornamented with heads supposed to represent females noted for skill and grace in this accomplishment. (Plate LIII, 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 ornamented all over with beads. This was the batôn 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.--Called Epu Moa. Known as the fowl gourd, and a superstition 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 tablets. 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 used in fishing, as well as those for fighting and other purposes, were of similar material and mesh. (Plate XIII.)

Feather hat.--Called Vana-vana. Head-dress made of black and green variegated feathers, used only in delivering a challenge to combat for revenge. (Plate LIV, fig. l.)

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

Feather hat.--Called Han Pan-ten-ki. Head-dress of long, black, green, and variegated feathers worn by dancing-people. (Plate LIV, fig. 3.)

Feather hat.--Called Han Tara. Small head-dress of trimmed feathers

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ornamented by long tail feathers behind; used by chiefs on occasions of ceremony (Plate LIV, fig. 1.)

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

Feather hat.--Called Han Hie-hie. Large and heavy head-dress made of black feathers worn by chiefs as insignia of office. These hats are made of chicken feathers secured by the quill ends to a foundation of knitted hemp, intended to fit the head closely. They are frequently referred to in the traditions. (Plate LV, fig. 2.)

Wallet.--Called Kare. Made from bulrushes taken from the crater of Rana-Kau. (Plate LI, fig. 2.)

Mat.--Called Moenga. Made of bullrushes and used for sleeping mats.

Obsidian spear-points.--Plate LVI.--Large collection showing the nine classes into which they are divided by the natives. Fig. 1, narrow leaf shaped spear-head, called Mataa Nutakuku. Fig. 2, wide round-pointed spear-head, called Mataa Rei-pure-pure-rova. Fig. 3, narrow and long. pointed spear-head, called Mataa Neho-mango. Fig. 4, narrow spade-shaped spear-head, called Mataa 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 spear-head, called Mataa Nutu-kuku. Fig. 8, concave and convex sided spear-head, called Mama Roa. Fig. 9, long sharp, irregular pointed spear-head, called Mataa Hai-haerve. These spear-heads 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 individual taste and skill. The best samples in the collection were purchased from Mr. Salmon; 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 whalebone. 30 inches long and 14 inches wide. This wand is used in working a charm against an enemy. The injured individual while 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 LIII, fig. 3.)

Potato fetish.--Called Rapa. Small, light paddle double bladed, about 24 inches long, painted light red in color. It was used with appropriate 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 LIII, fig. 4.)

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Stone adzes.--Called Toki. The collection comprises twenty-five different 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 knife.--Called Roe. 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.)

Ax handles.--Miro Toki. Hard-wood, with natural joint, used for holding stone implements. (Plate LVII.)

Fish god.--Called Mea Ika. This rough, in-shaped stone was one of the objects really worshipped by the natives. Some of them bear evidences 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 common, and were possessed by communities or clans, and not by individuals. 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 distinguishing characteristics, and nothing to merit the profound religious homage paid to it. It is not clear why the bonito should have the distinction or a separate god from the other fish, unless it be for the reason that it appears in great numbers in these waters, and has always been highly esteemed as an article of food. Fish always constituted an important 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 LI, fig. 5.)

Fowl 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 chickens, 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, were made of the hardest rock to be obtained, and were ground into shape by long and constant rubbing. (Plate LVIII, fig. 3.)

Bone fish hooks.--Called Mugai Iri. In accordance with an ancient superstition, 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 Rongo Rongo. Two specimens in excellent state of preservation, showing the hieroglyphics used in the written language (Plates XXXVIII-XLI.)

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

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by wide blades ornamented with outlined faces. Used in 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 skulls.--Called Puoko Iri. Art 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 signify the clan to which they belonged. (Plate L.)

Native cloth.--Called Hami Nua. Made of the inner bark of the hibiscus 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 meshes of nets. (Plate LX, fig. 1.)

Fetish stones.--Called Atua Mangaro. A collection obtained by digging beneath the door-posts of the ancient dwellings. The majority are simply beach pebbles; 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.)

Neck ornaments.--Called Hoko Ngao. Carved wood in fanciful designs worn during the dance.

Pigments.--Called Penetuli. Natural paints 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 Orongo. (Plate XXIII.)

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


534:1 Mahuta Ariiki had a son who made the first stone image on the Island. This son died before his father.

534:2 These two kings reigned at the same time. The son rebelled against his father, and finally killed him.

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