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Cultural Revival, Tourism, and the Recrafting of History in Vanuatu
300 pages, 55 illus., bibliog., index
ISBN 978-1-78920-042-3 $135.00/£99.00 Hb Published (November 2018)
eISBN 978-1-78920-043-0 eBook
“Artifak will be relevant to larger parts of the Pacific and will certainly be illuminating to a broader audience than just those interested in Vanuatu. DeBlock’s accessible writing style and treatment of specialized knowledge areas have resulted in an anthropological study of material culture containing accessible insights for everyone.” • Journal of Pacific History
“A fine piece of work… This book addresses a range of important areas that anthropologists and art historians will find fascinating, including issues around repatriation, the art trade, concepts of property and ownership, and cultural revivalism.” • Graeme Were, University of Queensland
“A useful case study of the development of ‘customary’ art in northern Vanuatu.” • Lamont Lindstrom, University of Tulsa
In Vanuatu, commoditization and revitalization of culture and the arts do not necessarily work against each other; both revolve around value formation and the authentication of things. This book investigates the meaning and value of (art) objects as commodities in differing states of transit and transition: in the local place, on the market, in the museum. It provides an ethnographic account of commoditization in a context of revitalization of culture and the arts in Vanuatu, and the issues this generates, such as authentication of actions and things, indigenized copyright, and kastom disputes over ownership and the nature of kastom itself.
Hugo DeBlock is a Guest Professor at Ghent University and The Royal Academy of Fine Arts, Ghent, Belgium. He has carried out extensive fieldwork in Vanuatu, and his most recent research focuses on visual anthropology, film, and representation in Vanuatu, Zanzibar, and Tanzania.
Subject: General Anthropology General Cultural Studies Museum Studies
List of Illustrations
Introduction: Art and Commodity in Vanuatu
Chapter 1. Art, Anthropology, and Tourism
Chapter 2. Arts of Vanuatu
Chapter 3. Making Authenticity
Chapter 4. Selling Authenticity
Chapter 5. Commodities and Authenticity
Chapter 6. Museums
Conclusion: Artifak: The Value of Art in Vanuatu
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