Rongorongo text J
J is the standard designation, from Barthel (1958). Fischer (1997) refers to it as RR20.
A prototypical two-headed Rapanui reimiro, or ceremonial crescent-shaped gorget/epaulet, 73 × 13.2 cm, of unknown wood. There are a few worm trails, but it is in excellent condition. The two holes top center were used to hang it from clothing.
Two glyphs are cut into the top center of the front, between the two holes used to hang it.
The British Museum catalog states:
- Presented by [Augustus] W. Franks Esq. Aug. 2. 1870. Obtained by Dr Comrie from the master of a vessel which brought it from Easter Island.
A label on the back reads:
- 6847. Easter Id. Pres. by A. W. Franks Esq. 8.8.70. Comrie [Collection].
Fischer says that the phrase "the master of a vessel" suggests that it was acquired before the Chilean slaving raids of 1862-63, probably during the 1820s to 1840s, the most active whaling period in the South Pacific.
Inscribed reimiro were evidently rare: An elder told Routledge that he had never seen a reimiro with glyphs.
Despite its poor provenance, there are no doubts as to its authenticity.
One compound glyph, the shortest of Barthel's 26 texts.
- BARTHEL, Thomas S. 1958. Grundlagen zur Entzifferung der Osterinselschrift (Bases for the Decipherment of the Easter Island Script). Hamburg : Cram, de Gruyter.
- FISCHER, Steven Roger. 1997. RongoRongo, the Easter Island Script: History, Traditions, Texts. Oxford and N.Y.: Oxford University Press.