Rongorongo – Rapanui: Incised for Chanting Out

The ancient Easter Island glyphs carved on the handful of remaining wooden tablets reveal a mystical language. As rare as the incised wood planks, the language itself is one of the very few independent languages in human history and is yet to be deciphered. The unique system of characters are incised in shallow channels running horizontal across organic shaped planks.

The glyphs contain about 120 basic elements – human figures in a variety of positions, birds, animals, plants, celestial objects, and geometrical shapes. These are combined to form between 1500 and 2000 compound signs.

To read the text, start at the bottom row left to right. Each line is reversed so one must turn the tablet 180º to chant to the next line. Inheriting the ancestral Rongorongo mobility, the sculptures invert freely into various poses as they step from 2 to 3 dimension.

The Rongorongo shout out a once diverse abundance and interdependence of man and nature. The thriving Rapanui culture and its lush landscape fell to devastating deforestation. With restoration at work today centuries later, the island of Rapanui in all of its mystery- shares a clear and profound message.

The ceramic Rongorongos are shown in White as well as Pit Fired which are painted 100% by the flame and fume of a primitive pit firing.


revealing rows of glyphs
Rongorongo Tablet: revealing rows of glyphs