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Emberá indigenous tourism and the trap of authenticity: beyond in-authenticity and invention.

Theodossopoulos, Dimitrios (2013) Emberá indigenous tourism and the trap of authenticity: beyond in-authenticity and invention. Anthropology Quarterly, 86 (2). pp. 397-426. ISSN 0003-5491. (doi:10.1353/anq.2013.0023) (KAR id:34014)


Prompted by tourist commentary that describes an Emberá community in

Panama as “inauthentic” or “invented,” I examine the limitations of these

concepts when used to refer to cultural practices of indigenous communities.

To escape from a limiting, singular vision of authenticity, I argue,

attention should be paid to the multiple and overlapping meanings of the

authentic as these are negotiated in particular contexts. In the case of

Emberá indigenous tourism, the tourists’ search for an authenticity uncorrupted

by modernity inspires indigenous articulations of the authentic

related to diverse sets of cultural practices not only in the past, but also in

the present. Acknowledging this complexity can set us free from the trap

of a singularly conceived authenticity.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1353/anq.2013.0023
Additional information: [Special Collection Laying claim to authenticity: anthropological dilemmas, ed. D.Theodossopoulos]
Uncontrolled keywords: Authenticity, invention of tradition, culture revitalization, indigenous tourism, Emberá
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GN Anthropology
H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Human and Social Sciences > School of Anthropology and Conservation
Funders: Organisations -1 not found.
Depositing User: Dimitrios Theodossopoulos
Date Deposited: 29 May 2013 17:11 UTC
Last Modified: 09 Mar 2023 11:32 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

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