Thursday, September 22, 2011

New Evidence on New Zealand's First Contact Violence

Georgetown University’s Center for Australian and New Zealand Studies invites the public to “Lost in Transition: New Research into Iconic, First-Contact Violence between Europeans and Indigenous New Zealanders,” with Dr. Ian Barber, University of Otago, New Zealand. The session will be held on Tuesday, October 4, 2011 from 12:00pm to 1:00pm in the Intercultural Center, Room  450.  Lunch will be available.  RSVP to to

Here is the Center’s description of the event.
The first recorded encounters between Europeans and indigenous Maori and Moriori of the New Zealand islands were characterized by violent outcomes. In the first case, the 1642 contact events involving Dutch Europeans and local Maori in Golden Bay, northern South Island, have been reinterpreted and incorporated into the national collective memory. Recent historic and archaeological research is reported on, and compared between, the 1642 Dutch-Maori encounter and the first 1791 contact with Chathams Island Moriori. This research considers new explanations for these events in their original cultural landscape settings. It also challenges the cultural logic by which indigenous contact violence has become an iconic, foundation theme of the New Zealand nation.

Ian Barber is currently Senior Lecturer in the Department of Anthropology, University of Otago. He was formerly Senior Archaeologist with the NZ Historic Places Trust. He has directed archaeological survey and excavation projects in northern, central and southern New Zealand and undertaken research visits to Easter Island/Rapa Nui, Hawaii and the North American continent.