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Reimiro

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Title: Reimiro  
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Reimiro

An old rei miro, with human heads on each end. This is the inner side, which was once filled with chalk.

A reimiro is a decorative crescent-shaped pectoral ornament once worn by the women of Easter Island. The name comes from the Rapanui rei 'stern' or 'prow' and miro 'boat'. Thus the crescent represents a Polynesian canoe.

Each side of the reimiro ended in a human head. The outer, display side had two small pierced bumps through which a cord was strung for hanging it. The inner side contained a cavity that was filled with chalk made from powdered seashells.

A reimiro provides the image of the Flag of Rapa Nui (Easter Island). It also appears to feature in the rongorongo script of Easter Island (as glyph 07: ), and one reimiro is preserved with a long rongorongo text.

Although the human heads on the reimiro are unique to Easter Island, the pectoral itself is part of a wider tradition. In the Solomon Islands, for example, women wear shell pectorals which resemble reimiro.

Gallery

References

  • Chauvet, Stéphen-Charles. 1935. L'île de Pâques et ses mystères ("Easter Island and its Mysteries"). Paris: Éditions Tel. (An online English version translated by Ann Altman and edited by Shawn McLaughlin is available www.chauvet-translation.com here.)

External links

  • Splendid Isolation: Art of Easter Island, an exhibition catalog from The Metropolitan Museum of Art (fully available online as PDF), which contains material on Reimiro
  • at the Indiana University Art MuseumreimiroA
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