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: ), 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.
A reimiro is the emblem of the Flag of Rapa Nui.
- Stéphen-Charles Chauvet. 1935. L'île de Pâques et ses mystères ("Easter Island and its Mysteries"). Paris: Éditions Tel. (An online English version is available www.chauvet-translation.com here.)
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Rei Miro.|
- 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
- A reimiro at the Indiana University Art Museum