Boustrophedon


In Ancient Greece, the boustrophedon, meaning literally “to turn like oxen”, was the writing of alternate lines in opposite directions, one line from left to right and the next from right to left, like the oxen would do when ploughing a field.

Common styles of boustrophedon writing include:

  • Inversion of every other line, but not the words themselves.

E.g. So again we have learned something,
Greek the about joke cheap a making of instead
civilisation upon which everything around us depends

  • Inversion of every other line, as well as the words themselves, but not each individual letter.

E.g. gnihtemos denrael evah ew niaga oS
daetsni fo gnikam a paehc ekoj tuoba eht keerG
sdneped su dnuora gnihtyreve hcihw nopu noitasilivic

  • Inversion of every other line, the words themselves as well as each individual letter.

Some Etruscan texts have also been written in boustrophedon style, as have some early Hungarian and Polynesian scriptures.

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Pitcairn Island


Pitcairn Island, in the South Pacific about midway between Australia and South America, consists of the island of Pitcairn and the three uninhabited islands of Henderson, Duicie, and Oeno. Its closest neighbours are the Gambier Islands and Tahiti to the West, but even these are several hundred miles away.

“Islands are metaphors of the heart, no matter what poet says otherwise.” – Jeanette Winterson, Sexing the Cherry

The island, which is the last remaining British territory in the Pacific, has a standing population of some fifty people, many of whom are descended from crew members of the famed HMS Bounty.

Pitcairn Island

In 1789, the Bounty was the setting for a now-legendary mutiny, when crew members enchanted by the idyllic life of the native Pacific islanders overthrew their commander, burned their ship in a nearby bay, and settled on Pitcairn.

The descendants of First Mate Fletcher Christian, the eight other mutineers, and the dozen or so Tahitians who accompanied them still inhabit the island. In addition to English, the residents of Pitcairn speak a dialect that is a mixture of Tahitian and 18th-century English.

Today, the descendants of those sailors mostly make their living off of farming, fishing, and selling their extremely rare postage stamps to collectors, but even with modern transportation they still remain one of the most isolated communities in the world.

There is no airstrip on the island, and getting there from the mainland requires hopping a ride on a shipping boat out of New Zealand, a journey that can take as long as ten days.

“No man is an island, entire of itself.”
– John Donne, No Man Is An Island

In 2014, only 48 people live on the island. According to some sources, the entire population is listed as Seventh-Day Adventist. If all 48 people are indeed practising Christians, it would make Pitcairn Island the most religious nation in the world, with a religiosity of an absolute 100%.

Reimiro


The rei miro (also spelled reimiro) was a breastplate worn by the men and women of the Rapa Nui people of Easter Island.

Bandera de la Isla de Pascua/Easter Island/Rap...

Flag of Rapa Nui flag, Easter Island, depicting the Reimiro

It served as an insignia of high rank, and the paramount chief of the island was said to have worn two of them as pectorals and two others on his shoulders on special occasions.

The crescent shape may refer to the moon, an association found throughout Polynesia. The significance of the heads is unknown, though they may relate to ancestors.

Each side of the crescent reimiro ended in a human head. 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 red reimiro provides the image of the flag of Rapa Nui, better known as Easter Island.

“It amazes me that there are Christians against the death penalty. If it wasn’t for capital punishment, there’d be no Easter.” – Bill Hicks