Rapa Nui love poem
He hopelʻa ʻo toʻoku haga rahi.
E horuo koe, o garo
E haga rahi, o te poema
Tuʻu a ta, ʻa roto i te hiʻo
→ Poem the mirror ←
Here my little love poem translated into Rapanui (Rapa Nui, Easter Island, Pascuense), with the rongo-rongo, a really unusual writing system, and i am very proud of this translation.
The term Rapa Nui (great Rapa), designates both the language and the people, who are undoubtedly Polynesians who arrived on the island over a thousand years ago, presumably originally from the Marquesas. Rapa Iti (small Rapa), designates an island in French Polynesia.
Pascuan is the Austronesian, Central-Eastern Malayo-Polynesian language of the natives of Easter Island, which count about 6,000 people, half of them are from the island, and almost all of them live in Hanga Roa.
There are barely 800 speakers who will be able to understand this translation. It is to say if this Polynesian language of the East is in real danger.
The rongo-rongo is not the normal writing of pascuan, but I am amused to write it like this, to talk about this system of glyphs discovered on Easter Island in the 19th century.
The rongo-rongo writing system, must be read in starting with the last line, then in the other direction by returning the support ... And so on.
To read it, rewrite it as it is there, of course put yourself in front of your mirror, start with the bottom line, then you will have to do a little exercise and "do a handstand" to read the line just above (the third) or simpler turn your paper over to read this third line which becomes the second. Return to your original state (not handstand), or flip your paper again to read the line just above. Another effort for the last one, do the handstand again or turn your paper over to read this fourth line in the right direction, which will be at the very bottom.
The word "poema" is in Spanish, my translator does not know it; moreover, in many languages the words "ice" and "poem" simply do not exist. The translator also points out to me that he does not have on his computer certain crossed out signs, in particular certain e.
Modern Rapa Nui, of course comes from the ancient language form influenced by Tahitian and Spanish. It is considered a language in real danger, because of its contamination by other languages and the hegemony of Spanish.
Pascuan and rongo-rongo
Easter Island is known for its stone giants: the moai, and its isolation; the Sala y Gómez islands are 400 km away, and the nearest inhabited island is over 2000 km away.
Despite this isolation, the Rapa Nui had to reach the mainland and continued to have relations with some distant Polynesian islands, since the sweet potato from South America was present in Polynesia before the arrival of the Europeans.
The internal struggles, and the deforestation of the island (covered with palm trees), will have got the better of this civilization, which will have patiently lifted all these enormous statues. For lack of materials, the wooden statuary was much more modest there than elsewhere.
The name of Easter Island is linked to its discovery by the Dutch in the 18th century on Easter Day 1722. Later expeditions led by Spain, Great Britain and France (La Pérouse 1786) will stop there; then the island will become a crossing point for whalers and a workforce for the mines of Peru.
All these passages and displacements will bring diseases which will decimate the population. The few survivors will leave for other Polynesian islands (Tahiti), and the island will become a gigantic sheep field operated by a French. Expats will come back and the island will become Chilean.