ROCK, Joseph Francis

ROCK, Joseph Francis Charles (Josef Franz Karl). Vienna 13.1.1884 — Honolulu 5.12.1962. Austrian-born U.S. Botanist, Geographer and Central Asian Scholar. Son of the steward of a Polish count. In 1905 emigrated to the U.S.A. (naturalized 1913). He settled in Hawaii in 1907 for 13 years, studied and taught botany and struggled with serious health problems (tuberculosis). In 1920 started Asian exploration initially financed by U.S. Department of Agriculture. Studied on the Nakhis many years since 1922, during his long residence in Sino-Tibetan borderlands in 1922-44 (with some intervals) and 1946-49 (now for Harvard-Yenching Institute). Finally forced by communists to leave China. Unmarried. Several plants are named after him.

Publications: “Studies in Na-khi literature”, BEFEO 37, 1937, 1-120; “The Birth and Origin of Dto-mba Shi-lo, the Founder of the Mo-so Shamanism, According to Mo-so Manuscripts”, Art. As. 7, 1937, 5-85; “The Romance of 2K’a-2mä-1gyu-3mi-2gkyi”,BEFEO 39, 1939, 1-152.

The Ancient Na-khi Kingdom of Southwest China. 1-2. 20+554 p. 256 fig. on pl. Harvard-Yenching Inst. Monogr. 8. Cambridge, MA 1947.

– The Na-khi Nāga cults and related ceremonies. 1-2. 10+806 p. 56 pl. S.O.R. 4. Rome 1952.

– “Excerpts from a History of Sikkim”, Anthropos 48, 1953, 925-948; “Contributions to the Shamanism of the Tibetan-Chinese Borderland”, Anthropos 54, 1959, 796-818.

The 2Zhi 3mä Funeral Ceremony of the 1Na-2khi of Southwest China. Described and translated from 1Na-2khi manuscripts. 15+228 p. 10 pl. Studia Instituti Anthropos 9. Wien-Mödling 1955.

The Amnye Ma-chhen Range and adjacent regions. 10+194 p. 80 pl. 5 maps. S.O.R. 12. Rome 1956.

A 1Na-2khi–English Encyclopedic Dictionary. 1-2. 42+512+582 p. 57 pl. S.O.R. 28. Rome 1963-72.

The Life and Culture of the Na-khi Tribe of the China-Tibet Borderland. V.O.H.D. Suppl. 2. Wb. 1963 (the part by Rock on pp. 9-45).

Na-khi Manuscripts. Edited by K. L. Janert. 1-2. 20+196+102 p. 32+6+104 pl. V.O.H.D. 7:1-2. Wb. 1965.

Lamas, princes, and brigands: Joseph Rock’s photographs of the Tibetan borderlands of China. Ed. by M. Aris. 141 p. N.Y. 1992 (catalogue).

J. F. R. (1884–1962): Berichte, Briefe und Dokumente des Botanikers, Sinologen und Nakhi-Forschers mit einem Schriftenverzeichnis. Hrsg. von H. Walravens. 452 p. V.O.H.D. Suppl. 36. Wb. 2002.

– Botanical works; articles.

Sources: A. K. Chock, Taxon 12, 1963, 89-102 with photo, bibliography and many details about his work as botanist; *B. Führer, Vergessen und verloren. Die Geschichte der österreichischen Chinastudien. Bochum 2001, 189-197; *Hopkirk 1987, 231-234; *Lopez 2008, 187; *S. B. Sutton, In China’s Border Provinces: The Turbulent Career of Joseph Rock, Botanist Explorer. N.Y. 1974; *Bibliography and two photos in Na-khi Manuscripts. 1, 1965; Wikipedia with photo and further references.

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