Roger Duff

Last updated

Roger Shepherd Duff CBE FRSNZ (11 July 1912 – 30 October 1978) was a New Zealand ethnologist and museum director.

Duff was born in Invercargill, Southland, New Zealand in 1912. [1] He is the son of Oliver Duff [1] and helped raise his nephew, writer Alan Duff.[ citation needed ] He started work at Canterbury Museum in 1938 and became its director ten years later. Duff excavated skeletons of moa, an extinct flightless bird, at Pyramid Valley in north Canterbury and at the Wairau Bar in Marlborough.

Duff brought proof through his scientific papers of the existence of Moa-hunters as an early and distinct form of Māori culture. He developed and defended one of three major theories as to the origins of the Polynesian people: he believed, on the basis mainly on the physical differences, that the ancestors of the Polynesians could not have come from Asia via the Melanesian island. His main idea was that they had moved south from the area around Taiwan, through the Micronesian islands (mainly coral attols) to Fiji, Tonga and Samoa. From here they radiated out into the Pacific through Tahiti and the Society Islands: north and east to Hawaii; east and south to reach the Marquesas and Easter Island, and south and to the West to New Zealand.

He was highly critical of the hypothesis of American origins promoted by Thor Heyerdahl which was popularised by the voyage of the Kon Tiki Over the years with accumulation of evidence (both pro and contrary) these three theories have all been modified to various degrees, but no one hypothesis has ever found universal acceptance (see Māori people).

Especially for his work on the Wairau Bar, Duff received many honours and awards, including the Percy Smith Medal (1948), a Doctor of Science from the University of New Zealand (1951), election to fellowship of the Royal Society of New Zealand (1952), and the Hector Memorial Medal (1956). [1] In the 1977 Silver Jubilee and Birthday Honours, he was appointed a Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (CBE) for "services as Director of the Canterbury Museum since 1948". [2]

Duff collapsed at his museum on 30 October 1978 and died. [1]

Related Research Articles

Moa Extinct order of birds

Moa were nine species of now-extinct flightless birds endemic to New Zealand. The two largest species, Dinornis robustus and Dinornis novaezelandiae, reached about 3.6 m (12 ft) in height with neck outstretched, and weighed about 230 kg (510 lb). It is estimated that, when Polynesians settled New Zealand circa 1280, the moa population was about 58,000.

Māori culture Customs, cultural practices, and beliefs of the indigenous Māori people of New Zealand

Māori culture involves the customs, cultural practices, and beliefs of the indigenous Māori people of New Zealand. It originated from, and is still part of, Eastern Polynesian culture. Māori culture also forms a distinctive part of New Zealand culture and, due to a large diaspora and the incorporation of Māori motifs into popular culture, is found throughout the world. Within Māoridom, and to a lesser extent throughout New Zealand as a whole, the word Māoritanga is often used as an approximate synonym for Māori culture, the Māori-language suffix -tanga being roughly equivalent to the qualitative noun-ending -ness in English. Māoritanga has also been translated as "[a] Māori way of life."

Hāngi

Hāngi is a traditional New Zealand Māori method of cooking food using heated rocks buried in a pit oven, called an umu. It is still used for large groups on special occasions.

Te Koko-o-Kupe / Cloudy Bay bay

Te Koko-o-Kupe / Cloudy Bay or simply Cloudy Bay is located at the northeast of New Zealand's South Island, to the south of the Marlborough Sounds and north of Clifford Bay. In August 2014, the name Cloudy Bay, given by Captain Cook in 1770, was officially altered to Te Koko-o-Kupe / Cloudy Bay, with the Māori name recalling the early explorer Kupe scooping up oysters from the bay.

Canterbury Museum, Christchurch museum in Christchurch, New Zealand

The Canterbury Museum is a museum located in the central city of Christchurch, New Zealand, in the city's Cultural Precinct. The museum was established in 1867 with Julius von Haast – whose collection formed its core – as its first director. The building is registered as a "Historic Place – Category I " by Heritage New Zealand.

Sir Gilbert Edward Archey was a New Zealand zoologist, ethnologist, World War I officer, and museum director. He wrote one of the major works on the moa, based on his own field work and collection. He also published numerous articles and described many new animal species.

Edward Tregear New Zealand public servany

Edward Robert Tregear (1846–1931) was a New Zealand public servant and scholar.

Roger Curtis Green American born New Zealand archaeologist

Roger Curtis Green was an American-born, New Zealand-based archaeologist, Professor Emeritus at The University of Auckland, and member of the National Academy of Sciences and Royal Society of New Zealand. He was awarded the Hector and Marsden Medals and was an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit for his contributions to the study of Pacific culture history.

Scarlett's duck is an extinct duck species from New Zealand which was closely related to the Australian pink-eared duck. The scientific name commemorates the late New Zealand ornithologist and palaeontologist Ron Scarlett who discovered the holotype in 1941. However, previously undescribed bones of the species found in 1903 were rediscovered in the Otago Museum in 1998. At least 32 fossil remains from deposits in Pyramid Valley, at Ngapara in the South Island, and at Lake Poukawa in the North Island are in museum collections.

Pyramid Valley is a limestone rock formation near Waikari in the North Canterbury region of New Zealand, 80 km north-west of Christchurch. On the foot of the valley is a swamp which became notable in 1939 as New Zealand's largest paleontological site for moa fossils. In 1938 the landowners Joseph and Rob Hodgen found three large bones of Dinornis giganteus while they buried a dead horse in the swamp. They opened this area for excavations and in the early 1940s fossil hunters like Robert Falla, Roger Duff, Robert Cushman Murphy, Jim Eyles, Ron Scarlett and many others began their research work at this site and unearthed the remains of long extinct birds including more than 183 complete moa skeletons and tens of thousands of fossil bone fragments from about 46 species of Modern birds. The swamp was formed around 18,000 BC and became drained c. 2,000 years ago. It provided a lush vegetation which attracted five different moa species. Pyramid Valley is also well known for its vineyards where Riesling is produced.

Wairau Bar

The Wairau Bar, or Te Pokohiwi, is a 19-hectare (47-acre) gravel bar formed where the Wairau River meets the sea in Cloudy Bay, Marlborough, north-eastern South Island, New Zealand. It is an important archaeological site, settled by explorers from East Polynesia who arrived in New Zealand about 1280. It is the earliest known human settlement in New Zealand. At the time of the occupation it is believed to have been a low scrub-covered island 2 to 3 metres high, 1.1 kilometres (0.68 mi) long and 0.4 kilometres (0.25 mi) wide.

James Roy Eyles was a New Zealand archaeologist.

Māori people Indigenous Polynesian people of New Zealand

The Māori are the indigenous Polynesian people of New Zealand. Māori originated with settlers from eastern Polynesia, who arrived in New Zealand in several waves of waka (canoe) voyages somewhere between 1320 and 1350. Over several centuries in isolation, these settlers developed their own distinctive culture whose language, mythology, crafts and performing arts evolved independently from other eastern Polynesian cultures.

Bruce Grandison Biggs was an influential figure in the academic field of Māori studies in New Zealand. The first academic appointed (1950) to teach the Māori language at a New Zealand university, he taught and trained a whole generation of Māori academics.

According to Māori mythology Ngahue was a contemporary of Kupe and one of the first Polynesian explorers to reach New Zealand. He was a native of the Hawaiki and voyaged to New Zealand in “Tāwhirirangi”, his waka (canoe). No time has been fixed for these voyages, but according to legend he discovered pounamu (Greenstone) and Ngahue killed a Moa. Pounamu was sometimes called Te Ika-o-Ngāhue and they took several boulders back to Hawaiki.

Oliver Duff was a New Zealand writer and editor. In 1939 he was founding editor of the New Zealand Listener, a widely read magazine with a national monopoly on publishing radio and television programs.

Polynesian Dog Breed of Dog

The Polynesian Dog refers to a few extinct varieties of domesticated dogs from the islands of Polynesia. These dogs were used for both companionship and food and were introduced alongside poultry and pigs to various islands. They became extinct as a result of the cross-breeding that occurred after other breeds of dogs were introduced. Modern studies done on the DNA of the Polynesian dogs indicate that they descended from the domesticated dogs of Southeast Asia and may have shared a remote ancestor with the dingo.

The 1959 New Year Honours in New Zealand were appointments by Elizabeth II on the advice of the New Zealand government to various orders and honours to reward and highlight good works by New Zealanders. The awards celebrated the passing of 1958 and the beginning of 1959, and were announced on 1 January 1959.

Archaeology of New Zealand

New Zealand's archaeology started in the early 1800s and was largely conducted by amateurs with little regard for meticulous study. However, starting slowly in the 1870s detailed research answered questions about human culture, that have international relevance and wide public interest. Archaeology has, along with oral traditions, defined New Zealand's prehistory and has been a valuable aid in solving some later historical problems. Academically New Zealand's human prehistory is broadly divided into Archaic after c. 1300 AD and Classic (~neolithic) after c. 1500 AD periods, based on Māori culture. Eurasian labels do not perfectly fit as some level of horticulture was always present in northern New Zealand, even existing at the same time as megafauna. More simply it can also be divided into time periods of pre and post European contact. Large poorly documented sections of New Zealand's more recent history have also been supplemented by archaeological research, such as at old battle sites or early urban centres.

Māori history

The history of the Māori began with the arrival of Polynesian settlers to Aotearoa New Zealand, in a series of ocean migrations in canoes starting from the late 13th or early 14th centuries. Over several centuries of isolation, the Polynesian settlers formed a distinct culture that became known as the Māori.

References

  1. 1 2 3 4 Davidson, Janet. "Roger Shepherd Duff". Dictionary of New Zealand Biography . Ministry for Culture and Heritage . Retrieved 1 December 2011.
  2. "No. 47237". The London Gazette (Supplement). 10 June 1977. p. 7128.