Reimiro

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An old rei miro, with human faces 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 face. 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: RR 07.png), and one reimiro is preserved with a long rongorongo text.

Although the human faces 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.

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