The undeciphered Easter island script Rongorongo may be one of the very few writing systems created ex nihilo, without outside influence. Alternatively the islanders' brief but very visible exposure to Western writing during the Spanish visit in 1770 inspired the ruling class to establish Rongorongo as a religious tool. Rongorongo was first reported by a French missionary Eugène Eyraud in 1864. At that time, several islanders still claimed to be able to understand the scripture, but all attempts to read them were unsuccessful. According to traditions, only a small part of the population was ever literate, Rongorongo being a privilege of the ruling families and priests. This contributed to the total loss of knowledge of how to read Rongorongo in the 1860s, when the island's elite was annihilated by slave raids and disease.
Of the hundreds of wooden tablets and staffs reportedly having Rongorongo writing carved on them, only 26 survive, all in museums around the world and none remaining on Easter Island. Decades of numerous attempts to decipher them have been unfruitful. The scientific community doesnt even agree on whether or not Rongorongo is truly a form of writing.