Gorget (Rei Miro)

Rapa Nui people

Not on view

Elegant symbols of chiefly authority, the crescent-shaped gorgets known as rei miro reputedly were used primarily by chiefly women. Worn around the neck on important occasions, they signified the wearer's noble birth. The gorgets also formed part of the ceremonial attire of the island's paramount male chief (ariki mau), whose regalia reportedly included six rei miro, two worn on the chest and two hanging from each shoulder.
Rei miro typically consist, as in this example, of a flat wooden crescent adorned at each end by an anthropomorphic head depicted in profile. The central portion is decorated with a shallow intaglio crescent, whose form echoes the curve of the ornament. Rapa Nui artists also created a number of variants on the rei miro image, in which other forms, such as the tails of whales, are substituted for the human heads.

Gorget (Rei Miro), Wood, Rapa Nui people

Due to rights restrictions, this image cannot be enlarged, viewed at full screen, or downloaded.

Open Access

As part of the Met's Open Access policy, you can freely copy, modify and distribute this image, even for commercial purposes.


Public domain data for this object can also be accessed using the Met's Open Access API.