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Chapter 11

Anthropology 2272F/G Chapter Notes - Chapter 11: Plaintext, General Idea, Historic Preservation

Course Code
ANTH 2272F/G
Sherry Larkin

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Week 8
Tourism, Power and Culture Chapter 6: Tourists and Indigenous Culture as Resources:
Lessons from Embera Cultural Tourism in Panama
Embera have realised that their cultural identity as a people indigenous to the Americas,
who still respect and practise their cultural traditions, can provide them with new and
rewarding economic possibilities
For the Embera, indigenous culture is a valuable economic and symbolic resource that
has the potential to transform Embera identity and shape the politics of self-
Both the tourists and the Embera appear content with this type of engagement: the
tourists consume a digestible amount of indigenous culture and enhance the cultural
dimension of their holiday, while the local hosts make a good living without having to
leave their community or compromise their indigenous identity
It can hide from our view a set of social relations that are symptomatic of the wider
economy of cultural tourism
Embera settlements in inaccessible locations remain deprived of the benefits of tourism
and perceive the tourists themselves as yet another valuable resource that remains
beyond their reach
It is not just indigenous culture that is a valuable resource, the flow of tourists is too
Cultural Tourism in Chagres
A Community of Tourism Professionals
The appearance and spatial organisation of the community is designed to pass a clear
message to the visitor: Parara Puru is first and foremost an Embera community, where
Embera culture is made available to outsiders to be consumed visually
Work in tourism allows them to continue practising their traditions and remain closely
connected with their Embera identity, but without having to migrate to the city or
confine themselves to poverty
Indigenous Culture as a Valuable Resource
The associated regular contact with foreign visitors, has made the Embera visible
internationally: more people outside Panama are now familiar with Embera culture
This change in Embera status is recent and directly linked with the economy and politics
of tourism
Tourists as a Resource
The Embera of Parara Puru can earn a living from tourism simply by being themselves,
by practising their distinctive cultural identity and traditions
The great majority of Embera settlements lie outside the affluent zone of tourism and
can benefit from it only indirectly, by producing artefacts sold to villagers in the
communities where tourists go
Tourism, Power and Culture Chapter 7: On Black Culture and Black Bodies: State
Discourses, Tourism and Public Policies in Salvador da Bahia, Brazil
Blackness for Tourism
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