American Aloha

American Aloha

Cultural Tourism and the Negotiation of Tradition

eBook - 2008
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Baker & Taylor

At the 1989 Smithsonian Folklife Festival, throngs of visitors gathered on the National Mall to celebrate Hawai‘i’s multicultural heritage through its traditional arts. The "edu-tainment" spectacle revealed a richly complex Hawai‘i few tourists ever see and one never before or since replicated in a national space. The program was restaged a year later in Honolulu for a local audience and subsequently inspired several spin-offs in Hawai‘i. In both Washington, D.C., and Honolulu, the program instigated a new paradigm for cultural representation.

Based on archival research and extensive interviews with festival organizers and participants, this innovative cross-disciplinary study uncovers the behind-the-scenes negotiations and processes that inform the national spectacle of the Smithsonian Folklife Festival. Intersecting the fields of museum studies, folklore studies, Hawaiian studies, performance studies, cultural studies, and American studies, American Aloha supplies a nuanced analysis of how the carefully crafted staging of Hawai‘i’s cultural diversity was used to serve a national narrative of utopian multiculturalism—one that collapsed social inequities and tensions, masked colonial history, and subordinated indigenous politics—while empowering Hawai‘i’s traditional artists and providing a model for cultural tourism that has had long-lasting effects. Heather Diamond deftly positions the 1989 program within a history of institutional intervention in the traditional arts of Hawai‘i’s ethnic groups as well as in relation to local cultural revivals and the tourist industry. By tracing the planning, fieldwork, site design, performance, and aftermath stages of the program, she examines the uneven processes through which local culture is transformed into national culture and raises questions about the stakes involved in cultural tourism for both culture bearers and culture brokers.



Book News
The astounding success of the 1989 Smithsonian Folklife Festival, which focused on Hawai'i's multicultural heritage through its traditional arts, provides the focus of this title. Diamond (English and American Studies, University of Hawai'i) examines the behind-the-scene negotiations and processes that informed the program, analyzing how the staging of Hawai'i's cultural diversity was used to serve a national narrative of utopian multiculturalism. A brief glossary of foreign words is included. Annotation ©2008 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Publisher: Honolulu : University of Hawai°i Press, Ă2008
ISBN: 9781441619716
1441619712
9780824861414
0824861418
9780824831714
0824831713
Characteristics: 1 online resource (xv, 261 pages)
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