Although all translations at this early stage of the investigation are
bound to be inadequate, or worse quite misleading, I anyhow think it is
necessary to try it. Because such effors will certainly show where there
are important missing pieces in the puzzle.
Here I will therefore repeat the very preliminary ideas about what the
text in Mamari has to say about the cycle of the moon.
is what I call the 1st period:
I think that these events (time + space = events) are
connected with the first appearance of the moon after the phase of new
(dark) moon. The 6th
glyph - I think - shows signs of night and sprout.
The moon-like signs in glyphs nos. 6 and 7 seem to indicate that the
1st period has 2 nights.
The moon-like signs in glyphs nos. 1 and 3 are oriented in the
opposite direction. I believe that means something else than nights,
probably the moon itself.
Perhaps the four glyphs starting the period should be read together
as 'birth' (hatching) = waxing moon, followed by waning moon and 'finished moon',
the 4th glyph showing the old moon in a way quite similar to
the tired old bird in Sunday.
The 3rd glyph is - in this interpretation - determining that the
subject is the moon. The 2nd glyph is more complicated. Why is this person looking
backwards? And why the right hand towards the mouth? In
Wednesday we saw a similar person,
standing up and hand towards the mouth. But he was looking forwards
and he used his left hand. And here we have in addition a sign of command,
I suggest that Waning Moon (backwards looking because He is a
mirror-image of Waxing Moon) is taking command at some point in time
between the birth of the Waxing Moon and the disappearance of the tired
is what I call the 2nd period:
Now the person in the 2nd position is sitting down, and will
be so through the rest of the periods. I also think this person is a
she, because of the pouting stomach - which I believe is a sign of
The sitting position perhaps has something to do with
'seating' of a period to
come. But which period, the month, part of the month (Waxing Moon?)
or the '2nd period'?
Logic tells me that it should be the '2nd period'. Otherwise why
repeat this sitting person so many times, once for each of the seven
periods. The 1st period perhaps does not need a 'seating' because there
is a major 'seating' for the whole month
in the 8th period of the preceding month.
The six moon-like signs at the right I believe to show six taboo-free
nights. That might explain why the 4th glyph from the left is showing such signs of
vitality when all the seven corresponding glyphs in the other periods
are 'tired old birds'. Freedom it shouts!
The 5th glyph ought to show a sun, a fish and a sign from the sun to
the moon, probably indicating a stream of light. But I cannot se any
sign of a fish. And the sun is shown only by its central disc and one
flame upwards, which looks as a diamond. From this fact and other
indications in other texts I think this diamond might be a sign
for the moon.
is what I call the 3rd period:
The 1st glyph to the left is identical with those in the 1st and 2nd
periods, as far as I can see. But the 2nd glyph differs by having what looks
like a wing in front of the right arm. This is not, I believe, a
'misprint' but an intentional sign. What is its meaning? As wings are
used for flying it perhaps means that the Moon now is flying up in the
sky instead of being at the horizon. The Moon has lifted.
And the 4th glyph from the left might show the same thing, its round
eye bringing to mind the Moon now beginning to look round (instead of
earlier looking like a canoe sailing in the eastern sky). The theme of
roundness is affirmed by the 7th glyph indicating
hua and by the 9th glyph which
looks as pregnant as the 2nd glyph.
But the eye might also mean alertness. From its sleep in the darkness
of the New
Moon phase the Moon now is thoroughly awake. Even the 'tired old bird'
is fully awake. And its stomach is bulging with the new life.
In the 5th glyph there is a sign showing that the 'flame' downwards
is bigger than the others (and also bigger than in all the other seven
periods). I cannot see its full significance, but I am certain that it
has something to do with the
diamond-shape, which also - I believe - is connected to
the triangular shape.
And the gods, atua, seems
to be gathering (glyph no. 8) in expectation of the coming Full Moon. We
now are in a period of tapu.
is what I call the 4th period:
Now we arrive at the midpoint of the month, Full Moon, which I
imagine is an event worth feasting (as I also read from the little sitting figure
inside the oval in the 8th glyph of this period). Even the 1st glyph,
the little newly hatched chicken, for once is awake although it is
When the moon is at its maximum this also means a turnpoint, from now
on it goes downwards. Not only in light but also towards the western
horizon. At 'birth' the moon is visible as a canoe-shape on the eastern
horizon, at 'death' the moon is visible as a canoe-shape on the western
horizon. That is - we can see this if we use the horizon as a reference.
By changing the reference from the eastern to the western horizon we can still see the
canoe right side upwards. However, if we keep the eastern horizon as a
reference, the Waning Moon will be seen as an upside-down canoe.
But now, at the time of full moon, the moon is high in the sky, in
the middle between the eastern and western horizons. Perhaps the
uplifting of the moon-sign onto the back of the 'tired old bird' (glyph
no. 3 from the left) - instead of being a separate glyph - is intended
to show this. Also the 7th glyph might have something to do with this
sailing high in the sky, as this unusual moon-sign looks like a canoe.
The power of the Waxing Moon now is finished and I believe that is
shown in the 8th glyph where below the sitting feasting person it looks
like a staff has been broken.
Perhaps this can also be seen as the apex of the triangular shape in
the tail of the 'moon-fish' (glyph
no. 4). And the 5th glyph perhaps indicates that this maximum is an
inversion. Instead of growth we now
will have diminishing and the sun will shine on the moon from the
opposite direction. The sign to the left in the 5th glyph looks like an
upside down version of the similar sign in the 4th glyph.
is what I call the 5th period:
We have just passed the apex of the month, full moon. Now we are
going downwards. The 'face' of the moon has changed as the sun now
shines on it from the opposite direction. And in the 4th glyph (from the
left) the 'tired old bird' has also reversed its direction. The
'moonish' appearance of the tail in the fish (5th glyph) is now more
pronounced than before and the fish is hanging upside down compared to
its earlier direction, also a sign of inverson. Exhausted as we are from
the intense Full Moon period there is now - as I read the text - 5
tapu-free nights, all 5 being glyphs (right) of ordinary
In the 1st glyph the bird has grown up which we can see from its
beak, the experiences of the 4th period having taken its toll. And the
inverted tired old bird (glyph no. 4) does also show signs of old age.
Its beak is longer than ever. May we not from this assume that a long
beak indicates 'long' age and a short beak 'short' age? Even the
'Clara-knife' (in glyph no. 2) seems longer than usual.
The strange 3rd glyph is basically a moon, that is quite clear. And
this moon is divided into two parts, the upper part hatched which (I
imagine) means darkness (or rather shadow). The word 'hatch', though,
also means to get out from the darkness inside the egg. Is the full moon
a sort of egg? The 3rd glyph contains many signs. The hatched area is
not limited downwards by a horizontal short line, but by a line which is
oblique. And the hatching lines are also oblique, though in another
direction: But the one at the top seems to have the same direction as
the line of demarcation between dark and lighth.
On the outside of the perimeter of the moon (in the 3rd glyph) there
are 3 half-suns and 1 half-moon, as I read it. And the half-moon is
connected to the shadowy part. Two of the half-suns are also connected
to the shadowy part, one to the light part. I guess this means that the
dark part represents the Waxing Moon, now in the shadow and 'dead'
(shown by the half-moon = a broken
canoe). The 3 half-suns and the complex hatchmarks I will not
comment for the moment.
is what I call the 6th period:
Still the moon is flying high, that is shown in the 3rd glyph from
the left by the sign of the moon high above the wing of the tired old
bird. It seems even to be flying higher than in the 4th period. This
effect is due to both the tired old bird and the canoe of the moon being
smaller than in the 4th period, which explains the gap between canoe and
The canoe in the 1st glyph is also smaller and higher placed than
usual. Probably this indicates that the moon now appears smaller than in
the 4th period. In the 6th period the moon is more near the western
horizon than when the moon is near the eastern horizon in the 4th period. Close to the
horizon the moon looks like a canoe and in the 3rd glyph in the 6th
period the canoe has come closer to the horizontal direction than in the
3rd glyph in the 4th period. The explanation for this assymetry is - I
believe - due to the fact that the Waning Moon must include the dark
period of the moon (as the Waxing Moon in this calendar seems to start
with the first visibility of the moon).
In the 4th glyph only four of the usual six flames of the sun are
seen. The explanation is probably that the stream of light from the sun
now has shifted so that the moon will be illuminated from another
direction. Reasonably this means that the flames used for illuminating
the moon now are those placed to the left rather than those placed to
the right (as in the Waxing Moon period). The flames from the right are
The enigmatic extra sign towards the left in glyph no. 7 I will not
comment on for the moment.
is what I call the 7th period:
The moon is now not longer flying high above the earth and in glyph
no. 3 from the left the moon is back in its normal position. Also in glyph no.
1 it is back to normal.
In the 5th glyph light now is streaming from the last upwards looking
flame of the sun. Does this mean that only the three upwards oriented
flames are used to illuminate the moon? Should we think of the period of
the moon as 4, i.e. dark moon and three phases illuminated by the sun?
In the 2nd glyph the sitting person no longer is filled with new
life, she has evidently given birth. I guess that the new life must mean
the coming next month. The new month is being seated. Like the cock in
the 2nd period the sitting person seems to be shouting with mouth agape.
In the 6th glyph the sun bird has arrived. He has strangely bent
wings, a sign of courtship?
is what I call the 8th period:
Now she is pregnant again, the sitting lady in glyph no. 2. Birth
is however not imminent. If we compare the bulging stomach in this the
8th period with how the stomach looks in the other periods, the
conclusion clearly is that birth is not scheduled to happen here but in the 3rd or
4th period. The baby seems to be the full moon. An egg?
The 3rd glyph shows the moon smaller than usual. Probably this means
that it is invisible as we are in the last period of the month, i.e. at
the time of the new moon. The new moon is not yet visible, but
presumably it is like a little chicken, glyph no. 4.
The 1st and the 5th glyphs appear as in the 7th period, which
ought to mean that they do not carry any signs.
The 'Janus-figures' (glyphs nos. 7-8) are showing that we will tread
through a door into a new month. They are however not mirror-images of
each other. Several details show that they are not the same. I leave
this problem to be solved later. The same goes for glyph no. 6.