Text R of the rongorongo corpus, the smaller of two tablets in Washington and therefore also known as the Small Washington tablet, is one of two dozen surviving rongorongo texts.
R is the standard designation, from Barthel (1958). Fischer (1997) refers to it as RR15.
This piece is commonly known as Atua Mata Riri, after the first name in a chant that Ure Va‘e Iko sang to a photograph of one of Jaussen's tablets, probably A or B. The error is due to a misattribution in the Smithsonian publication of Thomson's book.
There is a reproduction in the Musée de l'Homme, Paris.
A short, curved, unfluted tablet, 24 × 9 × 1.8 cm, pitted and with one end broken off, made of unknown wood. There is a hole in the middle of the straight edge, probably for hanging. Short segments of the four middle lines have been obliterated on the right side of side b.
In December 1886, Thomson bought both Washington tablets on Easter Island with the mediation of his Tahitian aide Alexander Salmon "after a great deal of trouble and at considerable expense". He gave both to the Smithsonian on 30 April 1890.
Nearly all of R consists of sequences found in other texts (Pozdniakov and Pozdniakov 2007).
Side a has eight lines (Fischer suspects there may once have been nine), and side b nine lines, for ~ 460 glyphs in all.
- Archivo:Barthel Ra.jpg
- Side a, as traced by Barthel. The lines have been rearranged to reflect English reading order: Ra1 at top, Ra8 at bottom.
- Archivo:Barthel Rb.png
- Side b: Rb1 at top, Rb9 (destroyed) at bottom.
- BARTHEL, Thomas S. 1958. Grundlagen zur Entzifferung der Osterinselschrift (Bases for the Decipherment of the Easter Island Script). Hamburg : Cram, de Gruyter.
- FISCHER, Steven Roger. 1997. RongoRongo, the Easter Island Script: History, Traditions, Texts. Oxford and N.Y.: Oxford University Press.
- POZDNIAKOV, Konstantin and Igor POZDNIAKOV (2007). "Rapanui Writing and the Rapanui Language: Preliminary Results of a Statistical Analysis". Forum for Anthropology and Culture 3: 3–36.
- THOMSON, William J. 1891. "Te Pito te Henua, or Easter Island". Report of the United States National Museum for the Year Ending June 30, 1889. Annual Reports of the Smithsonian Institution for 1889. 447-552. Washington: Smithsonian Institution. (An online version is available www.sacred-texts.com/pac/ei here)