Home    Previous     Next     Contents     Rapanui-English dictionary

Legends and Traditions of Easter Island

translated from Sebastian Englert's Leyendas

The "Hanau Eepe", their Immigration and Extermination
Told by Arturo Teao
Ina Hotu Matu'a, i-ai-ai te hanau eepe i te kaíga nei. Te Ariki onei i-ai-ai te hanau eepe, Ko Tu'u Ko Iho.     It was not [in the days of] Hotu Matu'a that the hanau eepe lived in this country. The King when the hanau eepe lived here was Tu'u Ko Iho99.
I-ai-era te hanau eepe, he-kî te hanau momoko:     When the hanau eepe came the hanau momoko said:
"Ohé te tagata era? Ai te epe, hanau eepe o epe roroa!".     "What people are these? Such earlobesl00, stout people with long earlobes!
Ina he vî'e hanau eepe, he tagata nó; ka-rau, ka-rau, ka-piere, kapiere.     There were no female hanau eepe, only males; lots and lots of them100a.
Te kona noho o te hanau eepe i Poike.     The staying place of the hanau eepe was in Poike.
Te hanau eepe tagata rava keu-keu i te pureva.     The hanau eepe were men keen to work [at removing] the stones [from the ground].
I-kî ki te hanau momoko mo hoa i te pureva oruga o te kaíga nei kihaho ki te tai.     They told the hanau momoko to throw out to the sea the stones on top of the ground.
He-kî te hanau momoko:     The hanau momoko said:
"Ina kai haga matou".     "We do not want to."
O te hanau eepe he-hoa i te pureva mai Poike ki tai mo haka-titika o te kaíga.     The hanau eepe threw out to the sea the stones from Poike in order to level the ground.
Te haga o te hanau eepe moona te kaíga nei.     The intent of the hanau eepe was to have this land to themselves.
He-kî te hanau momoko:     The hanau momoko said:
"Ina, amatou i-tikea te kaíga nei, tomatou Ariki Ko Hotu Matu'a he hanau momoko.     "No, we are the ones who discovered this land, our King Hotu Matu'a was a hanau momoko.
Ina o korua Ariki, o te hanau eepe.     You have no King, of the hanau eepe.
Ina matou ekó vaai-atu i tomatou kaíga nei".     We will not give you this our island."
He-kava te manava o te hanau eepe, he-pae te táû'a.     The hanau eepe were angry, the war started.
He-keri i te rua mai Te Hakarava ki Mahatua.     They dug a grave from Te Hakarava to Mahatua.
He Ariki o te hanau eepe Ko Iko.     Ko Iko was the hanau eepe's Chief101.
He-to'o-mai i te hahîe, he-hoa kiraro ki te rua, he-tutu.     They took tree roots, threw them down in the ditches101a, set them alight.
O te hanau eepe i-keri-ai i te rua mo te hanau momoko, mo patu-mai, mo hoa kiraro ki te rua, mo pae o te hanau momoko, ki noho e hanau eepe nó, ki noho te kaíga ki a ráûa.     The hanau eepe had dug the ditches for the hanau momoko, to round them up, to throw them into the ditches, for ending the hanau momoko, that only hanau eepe would remain, that the country would remain for them.
Etahi hanau momoko vî'e i-to'o e te hanau eepe mo ta'o o te kai o te hanau eepe e-noho-era iruga i Poike.     There was a hanau momoko woman who had been taken by a hanau eepe as a cook for the hanau eepe who lived up on Poike.
Etahi tapa o te ahi i te hanau eepe, tapa ruga; etahi tapa o te ahi i te hanau momoko, tapa raro.     One side of the fire was in hanau eepe [territory], the upper side; one side of the fire was in hanau momoko [territory], the lower side.
He-tagi tau vî'e era, Ko Moko Pige'i te igoa, mo toona tagata, mo tagata, mo te hanau momoko.     That woman, whose name was Moko Pinge'i, was crying, for her men, for the men, for the hanau momoko.
He-piko-mai i te pó a te tahataha o te tai, he-ea mai kiruga, he-piri ki te hanau momoko; he-aroha, he-tatagi.     She came hiding in the night by the coast, she climbed, she joined the hanau momoko; she greeted them, she lamented.
He-kî te hanau momoko ki A'Moko Pige'i:     The hanau momoko said to Moko Pinge'i:
"Pehé ana rava'a-mai i te hanau eepe?".     "How could we take the hanau eepe [by surprise]?"
He-kî Moko Pige'i ki te hanau momoko:     Moko Pinge'i said to the hanau momoko:
"E-û'i-atu te mata ki a au; ana noho-mai au, ana raraga-mai au i te kete, ku-haúru-á (te hanau eepe); ka-oho-atu te táû'a".     "Let [your] eyes observe me; if I sit down to weave a basket, they have fallen asleep; attack immediately."
He-kî te hanau momoko: "Ku-mao-á".     The hanau momoko said: "Fine!"
He-hoki Moko Pige'i ki te hare o te hanau eepe, he-noho.     Moko Pinge'i returned to the houses of the hanau eepe and stayed there.
I te rua raá he-û'i-atu te hanau momoko, ku-noho-mai-á Moko Pige'i, ku-raraga-mai-á i te kete.     The next day the hanau momoko saw that Moko Pige'i had sat down and was weaving a basket.
He-oho-atu te hanau momoko a tai-á, he-vari-mai ki Te Hakarava, he-puru i te ara.     The hanau momoko went by the ocean side, went around Te Hakarava, and secured the passage.
He-noho-atu te tahi hanau momoko i-mu'a mo haka-tikera ki te hanau eepe.     Some hanau momoko stayed up in front to be seen by the hanau eepe.
He-ea-mai te hanau eepe, he-táû i te táû'a ki te hanau momoko hakatikera-atu amu'a o te ahi.     The hanau eepe rose up, they engaged in battle with the hanau momoko showing themselves in the front of the fires.
He-ea-mai te táû'a otu'a, o te kaokao, o te rua kaokao;     The combatants rose up behind, from the side, from both sides.
kai tikera e te hanau eepe, ai ka-táû-nó te táû'a ki te hanau momoko omu'a.     They went unnoticed by the hanau eepe, who were just attacking the hanau momoko in front.
I-ka-harui-atu-ena te hanau eepe, ku-puru-á te ara o te táû'a, ko te hanau momoko.     But as the hanau eepe turned around, the war path had been secured, the hanau momoko were already there.
He-rori te ariga ki te hanau momoko atu'a;     They turned around to face the hanau momoko behind [them];
ina kai hakarogo te hanau momoko, kai mâtaku, he-patu-mai;     the hanau momoko did not yield, they did not fear, they came on.
ka-oho-mai te táû'a atu'a,     the warriors from behind move in,
ka-oho-mai te táû'a o te kaokao, o Te Hakarava,     the warriors from the side move in, from Te Hakarava,
ka-oho-atu te táû'a o te rua kaokao, o Mahatua;     the warriors from the other side move in, from Mahatua;
vaega i-piri-ai.     they meet in the middle.
He-pahupahu te hanau eepe a oho-ga-mai era;     Coming thus, they threw the hanau eepe into the holes101b
pa he tuna-á he-hoa kiroto ki te ahi, ki Ava o Iko.     They threw them into the fires, into the crevices of Ikol02, like rolling stones.
He-pae ananake, he-mamate te hanau eepe; he-titika rivariva te ava;     The hanau eepe were all finished, dead; the ditches were nice and full;
he-pukou te nehe o te hanau eepe mamate.     the sweet smell [of roasted flesh] of the hanau eepe rose up.
Etoru-nó i-teki aruga a te hanau momoko, i-ora-ai.     Only three [of them], who had jumped over the hanau momoko, survived.
He-tetere-mai, he-tutute-mai e te hanau momoko.     They fled, pursued by the hanau momoko.
He-o'o kiroto ki te ana atotoru gagata hanau eepe, Ko Vai, Ororoine...     The three of them, Vai, Ororoine and... 103 entered a cave.
He-okaoka e te hanau momoko hai akáûve, he-mate etahi.     The hanau momoko pierced them with stakes, one died.
He-okaoka-hakaou, he-mate karua tagata.     They pierced them again, a second man died.
Etahi hanau eepe i-ora, Ko Ororoine, he-hakarere.     One hanau eepe survived, they let him be.
E-okaoka-atu-era te hanau momoko, he-ragi-mai te hanau eepe mai roto mai te vai ki te hanau momoko: "Orro, orro, orro!".     As the hanau momoko were jabbing away at him, the hanau eepe shouted at the hanau momoko from under the water 104: "Orro, orro, orro!"
He vânaga o te hanau eepe.     It was the hanau eepe's way of speaking.
He-hakarere e te hanau momoko, he-kî te hanau momoko:     The hanau momoko left him, the hanau momoko said:
"Ka-hakarere-atu te ho'ou mo hakarahi o toona o te mahigo!".     "Let us spare this recently arrived stranger105, that he may have many descendants."
He-hakarere.     They spared him.
I-pó-era, he-ea mai roto mai te vai te hanau eepe, he-tere ki Ma'uga To'ato'a,     When night came, the hanau eepe rose out of the water and ran to Ma'unga To'ato'a
he-tu'u ki te hare o te hanau momoko, te igoa Ko Pipihoreko i-noho-ai A'Ororoine.     and reached the house of a hanau momoko named Pipihoreki, and there lived Ororoine.
He-moe ki te vî'e hanau momoko, he-tupu te poki tamaaroa oroto o te vî'e hanau momoko, o te ure o Haoa.     He married a hanau momoko woman, a boy was born of the hanau momoko woman, of the Haoa lineage.
He-rahi te mahigo, ka-kauatu, ka-kauatu, ka-rau, ka-rau.     There were many offspring, tens and hundreds of them.
He-oho-mai te tahi mahigo hanau eepe ki Tahai. I-iri-noho-ai.     One of the hanau eepe offspring came to Tahai, where he settled.
He-tomo-mai te miro o Kape (Cook), he-tikea e te Kape i te hanau eepe, he-vaai i te kaha ava, i te kai ki te kai ki te hanau eepe;     Captain Cook's boat landed106, the Captain saw the hanau eepe, he gave him a glass of wine and some food for the hanau eepe to eat;
ina kai kai, ina unu i te ava.     he did not eat, he did not drink the wine.
I-to'o-nó-mai, he-hopu, he-huri ki te puoko i te ava.     He just took the glass, washed [with it], poured the wine on his head.


Home    Previous    Next        Contents    Rapanui-English dictionary


Note 99 According to this version, the hanau eepe, who have often been incorrectly called "Long Ears", did not arrive in the days of Hotu Matu'a, but when Tu'u Ko Iho, who had come with Hotu Matu'a, was still living. The expression is "Ariki Henua" i.e. reigning Ariki, which was not that referring to this Tu'u Ko Iho. There might be a confusion of names here, and it could be one the successors of Hotu Matu'a. According to one reliable genealogy there was an Ariki Henua with the same name of Tu'u Ko Iho, but he lived in the 18th century, probably between 1740 and 1780, when the hanau eepe had already been exterminated.

Note l00 Ai te epe: the narrator accompanies these words with a movement of his hands, showing the exceedingly long size of their ears.

Note 100a Literally: a hundred, a hundred, a thousand, a thousand.

Note 101 The hanau eepe had no Ariki in the proper Polynesian sense, that is, a ruler of noble descent, but they had a chief, improperly called an Ariki.

Note 101a Englert had translated rua by "grave (singular)" ("fosa" in Spanish). Here he translates it this time by "ditches (plural)" ("fosos" in Spanish).

Note 101b This is a literal translation of what Englert wrote: "Llegando así, echaron a los hanau eepe a los hoyos", but his dictionary gives pahupahu as meaning "to dig a hole".

Note l02 "The Crevices of Iko" was the ancient name of the ditches. Nowadays they are called umu o te hanau eepe "the ovens of the hanau eepe". Until a few years ago the 26 ditches were still visible. Nowadays they are mostly filled with dirt and barely recognizable since grass has grown in them.

Note 103 The narrator does not remember the name of the third.

Note 104 The tradition says the the cave where Ororoine took refuge, in the region of Rano Aroi, is one constantly flooded.

Note 105 ho'ou: upstart, new, meaning here a recent immigrant

Note 106 This is a mistake. The episode took place in April 1722 when the Dutch navigator Jacob Roggeveen discovered the island. But the islanders knowing only the name of Captain Cook it is natural that they should have misattributed the story to his arrival. Compare this story with what Karl Friedrich Behrens wrote when he came in 1722 with Jacob Roggeveen: "One of the islanders came in a canoe from two miles away. We signalled to him to board the ensign vessel where we received him well... His body was covered in the most diverse tattoos, his ears were exceedingly long and hung down to his shoulders... He was offered a glass of wine but, instead of drinking it, he poured it on his eyes. Personally, I believe that he thought that we wanted to poison him."


Home    Previous    Next        Contents    Rapanui-English dictionary