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: 12px), 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.
A reimiro is the emblem of the Flag of Rapa Nui.
Reimiro without faces.jpg
A large (61 cm) reimiro with very stylized heads. It may be that pectorals of this size were worn by men.
Rongorongo L rei miro 2.jpg
A reimiro inscribed with rongorongo glyphs.
Woman with rei-miro.jpg
A Solomon Islands woman wearing a shell pectoral resembling a reimiro.
- 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.)
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