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This is Easter Island if you don't know. As the Chilean colonisation of it in the real world (1888) was largely influenced by the Chilean victory in the Great Pacific War (and the desire to get colony afterwards), which as I understand never happened in IB (after all, Atacama is not Chilean), the island would probably be not colonized by Chile. As for the history 1888-2006 its up for discussion. Abdul-aziz 23:48, 26 March 2006 (PST)

2 questions: why "oregonian" english in particular and how did they avoid getting colonised ? --Marc Pasquin 23:30, 16 September 2007 (PDT)
I just filled those parts in under "History". Benkarnell 09:22, 17 September 2007 (PDT)



A few proposals for a national flag

--Marc Pasquin 00:23, 17 September 2007 (PDT)

I like prop 1 and 2, but am leaning towards 2. Seth 08:19 17 september 2007

I'm entirely with Seth here! —IJzeren Jan Uszkiełtu? 02:08, 17 September 2007 (PDT)
I like both number 1 and 2. I tend to prefer number 2 as number 1 looks more to me as a logo (nice one indeed) than a flag.--Pedromoderno 08:26, 17 September 2007 (PDT)
Perhaps it's the logo of Rapa Nui Ecotours, Ltd.? Elemtilas 08:51, 17 September 2007 (PDT)
I was going to suggest the same thing; I think it looks spectacular as a tourism logo. I've actually been doodling a flag with a neat turtle, canoes, and sun motif. I'm not much of a graphic artist, but maybe I can create a crude rendition of one and put it here. Benkarnell 09:17, 17 September 2007 (PDT)

The turtle comes from an old rock carving on Easter Island. It's a sacred animal throughout Polynesia and might make a nice symbol for the island. The green circle is the island, and the blue is the Pacific Ocean. The white circle is the sacred beach of Anakena, and the yellow sun shows the sun's importance in Henua religion, highlights Henua's location as the easternmost Pacific nation, and the rays spreading from the center might evoke the "navel of the world". Together, the yellow and white circles are reminiscent of a twin-hulled Polynesian canoe. The proportions are all wrong (just a crude sketch). Still, just because I've worked out some symbols doesn't mean it's a good flag. Benkarnell 09:46, 17 September 2007 (PDT)

I think it a very cool flag, actually. Numbers 1 and 2 above are very cool, and I'd hate to toss them. Maybe 1 could be the logo of a tourist agency or some such? And 2 could be the royal banner maybe? Zahir 12:10, 17 September 2007 (PDT)
Yes, I like it too. Well, using Flag no. 1 as a tourist agency flag sounds like a good idea to me. As for the Birdman flag... Yes, it's definitely too cool to toss it away. So, one possible solution could be replacing the turtle from #4 with the birdman from #2. If #2 would be some sort of royal banner, as David suggests, I feel tempted to believe, that "Birdman" has somehow grown into a title for the ruling head of state, who still may be elected or otherwise selected for a period of one year.
Another way to preserve all three flags would be to use them as flags for the different towns. —IJzeren Jan Uszkiełtu? 13:55, 17 September 2007 (PDT)
NB What does flag #3 depict?
I totally agree; #1 for tourism office, #2 for ruling head of state, and new one (#4?) for official flag. Seth 10:44 17 September 2007
The Birdman flag seems to be traced from this one at FOTW. It's actually the flag of a rather megalomaniacal Frenchman who claimed Easter Island as his personal fief in 1870. But I very much like the idea of the king taking the title of Birdman. It's not on the page yet, but I know that the Make-Make ritual continues today. Maybe part of the ritual involves the winner of the contest ceremonially giving the king his egg and the title of Birdman. So what was originally a ritual to choose a ruler has become a way to reinforce royal authority. So I think it would make a very nice royal flag. According to FOTW, Flag #3 depicts a remeiro or pectoral, a carved wooden thing that men wear over their chests. Nice symbol, but I think it makes an ugly flag. Benkarnell 16:06, 17 September 2007 (PDT)
By the way, I'm also imagining an Air Force roundel consisting of a turtle outline, filled in green, inside a gold circle. The emblem is displayed on the side of both of Henua's patrol blimps. Benkarnell 16:12, 17 September 2007 (PDT)

I like Ben's design, if I could just make one suggestion it would be to reduce the colours used to 3 something like this.--Marc Pasquin 21:54, 17 September 2007 (PDT)

That does look nice. What do you think of the proportions? Benkarnell 12:59, 19 September 2007 (PDT)
1:2 and 3:5 a the most popular so, up to you --Marc Pasquin 00:41, 20 September 2007 (PDT)

Well, I think this one will work. Again, I don't have the know-how to fiddle with the design. But I like it. Benkarnell 16:51, 20 September 2007 (PDT)

Note on language

I've been using this glossary of Old Rapanui for terms in the Arero Henua language. It was compiled by some German in the late 1800s and is now part of an online project called If someone who knows a lot about Polynesian languages (long shot) wants to explore how the language has evolved since then, be my guest, but I want to get the first shot at creating the modern Rongorongo letters :) Benkarnell 16:10, 17 September 2007 (PDT)

If you're on UniLang, get in touch with Riki. If you're not, go to and get in touch with Riki. He lives in New Zealand, is an official Māori interpreter, and generally knows a lot about Polynesian languages. He moderates the Rapa Nui subforum. Sectori 18:43, 17 September 2007 (PDT)


From all that I've read, there's little evidence of Rongorongo existing prior to European contact. I'm also a bit unsure whether we should simply declare that it was a writing system *there*, despite the controversy *here*. Henua has enough to be proud of without adding a possibly divergent-from-*here* writing system. Perhaps Rongorongo *there* could be a 19th century creation, similar to the Cherokee script Nik 11:42, 24 September 2007 (PDT)

(Has been a while.) For what it's worth, I have decided to follow scholarship and decide that it was an 18th century creation inspired by Spanish writing. Benkarnell 18:42, 13 January 2008 (PST)


Just to let you know: communism dóes exist in IB! Cheers, —IJzeren Jan Uszkiełtu? 10:55, 19 September 2007 (PDT)

Yes, I know. I had thought that the anti-imperialist ideas of Marxism would appeal to some Henua. But I think that the intense anti-monarchy and anti-tradition ideas would not fit in well in Henua or Polynesian culture in general. Benkarnell 12:58, 19 September 2007 (PDT)
their version of communism could be based on the one practice in Bavaria or hunan. basicaly what *here* we would call a stalinist state.--Marc Pasquin 00:41, 20 September 2007 (PDT)


*There*, the primary point of divergence is that one king seized dictatorial power and instituted a system of harsh, draconian rationing laws to manage the depleting forests. This doesn't seem very plausible. How did this king manage to defeat his rivals? How did he have the foresight to understand what people *here* did not?

Also, you have Japan defending the island before they even opened up. 1868 is too early for Japan to be making diplomatic connections with Henua. Nik 22:23, 23 September 2007 (PDT)

Well, regarding the strong, far-sighted king, I guess all I can say is it's a point of divergence, and the IB community will have to take it or leave it. It's an essential POD if the indigenous Henua civilization is to survive into modern times. I think that the IB Industrial Revolution has a comparable POD (according to the Ecotopism, the early IB industrialists showed similar foresight that they didn't show *here*). But, if it's too implausible I can always withdraw the request.
Regarding the participation of Japan, I noticed that too. In my original Conculture post, I had a situation where the Castilians occupied the island for 30 years, but lost control during the 1898 War, after which Japan made its intervention. Abdul-aziz, who wrote the first (short) version this article, said he prefered that the island never be colonized, so I moved the intervention back 30 years. I wanted to keep it to one POD, so slavers had to come in 1862, and the IB Henua would have resisted, and Castile would have retaliated. Is there any other plausible way that Castile would not have occupied the island? Was there, perhaps, an anti-slavery movement in New Granada at the time that would have objected to the kingdom annexing an island in order to protect the slave trade? Then Henua would remain uncolonized without any Japanese intervention. Benkarnell 07:15, 24 September 2007 (PDT)
That is a good point about Ecotopianism (sometimes it seems as if the true POD for IB was during human evolution, producing a slightly different human nature ...). However, I'm not entirely sure that king would've had the power to take control of the entire island. Most cases *here* of similar unifications were after contact with foreigners brought superior weapons. Could the Unifying King have acquired superior weapons from some place else (I can't think of any plausible contacts at the moment, though)?
Actually, in retrospect, I realized I had Japan extending a protectorate to Maui in 1869, so a little later than that could work (maybe around 1875 or so?). I think there'd probably have to be an actual protectorate for some time, if not a vassalage. There'd probably remain close relations between Japan and Henua Nik 09:58, 24 September 2007 (PDT)
Ha, I see what you mean about human nature; a lot of IB seems to be wishful thinking. However, the pivotal king (who needs a name) need not be a primitive Ecotopian. His rationing could have come from very selfish motives (save the forests for Me). At any rate I imagine him as something of a tyrant, certainly not remembered fondly at all in the archives or oral traditions. As for how he came to power, the oral traditions *here* seem to say that the earlier kings were absolute rulers, and later clan tensions caused the kingdom to fracture. His coming to power would in this scenario be a restoration, and could be accomplished through politicking and patronage, manipulating people's religious beliefs, monopolizing the remaining resources, or some combniation thereof. As for Japan, I'd be OK with a period as a protectorate, but I think the Henua would try to break away as soon as possible, maybe with a provision that Japan could use the island as a base as needed, since it has few exploitable resources. In this case, the Japanese are probably kicking themselves now for letting them go before the tourist money started flowing in. Benkarnell 12:07, 24 September 2007 (PDT)
A naval base makes sense. I think a lot of Japan's actions in the Pacific *there* were largely a matter of prestige, rather than resources per se, so Henua would've retained internal autonomy during the protectorate. Nik 14:42, 24 September 2007 (PDT)
Let's see how Abdul aziz feels about the idea of a protectorate. As I see it the Henua wouldn't even be required to acknowledge the Emperor as Sovereign, just as Protector. And the Japanese may have considered Easter Island's location as potentially strategic, since it faces South America and is farther east than the rest of Oceania. Benkarnell 16:11, 24 September 2007 (PDT)
Sounds good to me. I don't really have any investment in the idea of a protectorate, I just don't think the currently-stated situation where Japan intervenes to protect Henua's independence without seeking some advantage themselves is plausible. Perhaps some uninhabited islands in the area might've been annexed as well by Japan. Nik 17:28, 24 September 2007 (PDT)
The only other island for a thousand miles is Sala y Gomez (Motiro Hiva), which sort of "comes with" Easter Island. Benkarnell 07:10, 25 September 2007 (PDT)

As for the withdrawal of protection, in the early 20th century *there*, Japan was concerned with the threat of China, so they wouldn't've been very interested in protecting Henua, so that date works. In fact, it might've even been earlier. Perhaps in the late 1910's, Japan might've ended the arrangement themselves, withdrawing troops to the homeland. At the very least, they likely would've reduced their garrison to a nominal force prior to Henua's withdrawal from the relationship. Nik 08:34, 25 September 2007 (PDT)

Oh! I like that even better, and it's more in line with the original short version. Just to make sure, are you OK with the primary point of divergence, then? Benkarnell 09:12, 25 September 2007 (PDT)
Well, I still think it seems a bit unlikely, but I can accept it, yeah. *nods* Nik 11:18, 25 September 2007 (PDT)
Maybe as unlikely as Latin-speaking British Celts :). I really like your changes. Fishing and whaling rights for Japan makes sense. I'd say the rights are "limited" but not severely so. Probably they can't fish there during ritual fishing seasons for the Henua people. Thanks for helping out! Benkarnell 12:23, 25 September 2007 (PDT)
No problem. It was fun working all this out.  :-) I wonder if there might've been a Henua craze in the 1880's in Japan ... one thought I had - what if, in addition to erecting a moai in Meidji's honor on Henua, Henuan craftsmen were invited to Japan to build a replica in Tòquiò? (Though, I imagine it would've been destroyed during the Civil War) Nik 20:43, 25 September 2007 (PDT)

Modern moai

An idea that just occured to me: Could there be a mini-moai field where famous people are exposed ? something like Mme Tussauds's Wax museum--Marc Pasquin 21:56, 25 September 2007 (PDT)

I think that going to Japan to build a moai would definitely be a good thing. Since the moai are so religious, probably it would be a one-time thing and would have to be put in a place of respect. As for a mini-moai field... if it exists, there are definitely some traditionalists who think it's pretty crass. It would be like a gallery of Orthodox icons depicting the Beatles. But I guess it's one of those difficult social changes that comes with tourists. Benkarnell 03:50, 26 September 2007 (PDT)
I wonder if religious symbolism could've been combined with the moai that were erected to celebrate the protectorate. Like, adding a torii above the moai? Nik 11:24, 26 September 2007 (PDT)
Yes, that's exactly what I was thinking. Benkarnell 11:56, 26 September 2007 (PDT)

Note on Birdman

I've been reading a little more about the Birdman rituals that makes the 19th-century royal takeover much smoother. The Hotu (swimmers) competed to get the egg not for themselves, but for contestants whom they represented. The contestants themselves were determined by prophets. In 1808, then, once the seven 'ariki had selected the new 'ariki 'ao, they manipulated the prophets into selecting the new king as the 'only' contestant. Since then the king has remained the Tagata Manu and has worn a feathered cloak as part of his regalia. Benkarnell 10:07, 28 September 2007 (PDT)


I think that for simplicity's sake I'm going to render [ŋ] as "ng" rather than "g" as in Toga. Scholarly work on Arero Henua probably uses a g alone (one consonant sound, one grapheme), but I'm sure that popular works and the foreign press use ng for a more intuitive pronunciation. (Can you imagine "rogorogo"?) Benkarnell 09:15, 11 October 2007 (PDT)


I believe that's the term. I proposed this about 5 weeks ago; has it been enough time to officially adopt it?
Let me add that I've loved my first encounter with IB and I hope I can continue playing around here. Benkarnell 08:31, 29 October 2007 (PDT)

About Moai

just out of curiousity, is it normal for a moai to be painted ? if yes, is it just some part like on the picture or is it all over ?--Marc Pasquin 11:14, 12 February 2008 (PST)

That's not paint-- it's white and black coral inserted into the eye sockets. This was the way they looked originally, and of course on Henua they have been well maintained. The brooding, eyeless moai ruins that we are used to *here* can be seen on Henua *there* in the Rano Raraku quarry. They are the statues that were left unfinished in the XVIth century when the ban on moai building was put in place. Benkarnell 13:44, 12 February 2008 (PST)

The Undeciphered Language

Here when Spain went there they found carved with a strange language on it. Some natives said they could understand it, but when the Spainish asked them to do it, they couldn't. This is because earlier, all people not nobles or priests were illiterate, much like medeival Europe. Can anyone read it in IB's Henua? Misterxeight 03:21, 26 June 2008 (UTC)

Of course! Actually, the best sources I could find said that the modern consensus is that the Easter Islanders invented the language after the arrival of the Spanish: that after seeing the power of writing someone devised a way to achieve the same power with their own glyphs, which had previously been a system of artistic symbols carved in rocks, but not writing. The "smoking gun" IMO is this treaty that the Spanish had them "sign". The signers first scrawled a couple of stray marks, then finally someone drew a sooty tern glyph, a common symbol in both the rock art and the later writing. You can almost see the light bulb coming on and the signer of the treaty beginning to devise Rongorongo writing then and there.
Notice that the man who wrote the webpage in the link believes that Rongorongo did exist before the Spanish came. Some people do still believe that the Easter Islanders invented writing entirely on their own with no outside inspiration, but modern scholarship disagrees with that based on the evidence. For a while I tried to make it work that Rongorongo was a very ancient script, but Nik left a comment further up on this page that sort of brought the idea back to reality. The whole thing is on the Henua website now: Benkarnell 04:13, 26 June 2008 (UTC)
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