Rongorongo: The Easter Island Script: History, Traditions, Text

Overview

This book is the first comprehensive documentation of Rongorongo, Easter Island's enigmatic script and Oceania's only known pre-twentieth-century writing system. The author tells the full history of rongorongo's exciting discovery and the many attempts at a decipherment and provides full transcriptions of all the 25 surviving rongorongo inscriptions along with detailed photographs of nearly every incised artifact.

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Overview

This book is the first comprehensive documentation of Rongorongo, Easter Island's enigmatic script and Oceania's only known pre-twentieth-century writing system. The author tells the full history of rongorongo's exciting discovery and the many attempts at a decipherment and provides full transcriptions of all the 25 surviving rongorongo inscriptions along with detailed photographs of nearly every incised artifact.

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Product Details

Meet the Author

Institute of Polynesian Languages and Literatures, Auckland
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Table of Contents

List of Figures
Pt. I History
1 The "Signatures" of 1770 3
2 The "Great Death" 8
3 Discovery 11
4 Destruction 14
5 Rediscovery 21
6 The Search Begins 26
7 Miklukho-Maklai 32
8 Growing European Interest 40
9 Bishop Jaussen and Metoro Tau'a Ure 47
10 Croft, Harrison, and Palmer 58
11 Into the 1880s 70
12 William Judah Thomson and Ure Va'e Iko 85
13 The Close of the Nineteenth Century 104
14 "How Can the Riddle Be Solved?" 116
15 Katherine Pease Routledge 125
16 Fantasts and Speculators 140
17 The Franco-Belgian Expedition and Alfred Metraux 158
18 From von Heine-Geldern to Heyerdahl 172
19 The St. Petersburg School 190
20 Thomas S. Barthel 210
21 Pebbles and Pearls 240
Pt. II Traditions
22 The Informant Problem 267
23 Nomenclature 271
24 Categories of Inscriptions 281
25 Songs 301
26 Tapu 314
27 The Experts and Nga'ara 319
28 Rongorongo Rites 331
29 The "Rongorongo Schools" 340
30 Reading 348
31 Language 355
32 Whence and When? 363
Pt. III Texts
33 Material Resources 379
34 Production 384
35 Naming the Rongorongo 392
36 Statistics 396
37 Reproductions and Facsimiles 398
38 The Rongorongo Inscriptions 403
39 The Epigones 509
40 The "Lost Inscriptions" 519
41 Ta'u 528
42 Mama 538
43 Other Inscriptions 543
Conclusion 552
Notes 561
Glossary 663
References 669
Index 710
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