Hegemonic Exchange Systems in Heritage Tourism

A. Livingston vs Ewing (601 F.2d 1110 1979)
1. Native Americans have a unique legal position in the United States
2. In the State interest to support Native Americans as independent political and cultural entities
3. Museum role to stimulate and protect authentic Indian crafts;
4. The Portal market of Indians and only Indians is an important tourist attraction
5. The Portal policy is cultural not racial, discrimination.
6. In appeal the Native American’s lawyer successfully argued that the Indians were technically employees of the Museum, complying with a New Mexico law giving preference to Native peoples living within a distance to the reservation.
B. Issue of Authenticity
1. Indian only policy of Museum was the only way to maintain Museum standard of authenticity and historical relevancy.
2. Co-mingling is destructive because it fails to clarify the lines of historical development.
3. Court held, only Indians can make Indian goods, if others sell goods that are non-ethnic then the Portal becomes just a commercial venture.
C. Is it a case of racial discrimination or authenticity?
1. Contextual factors confer apparent authenticity on craft items.
2. How shall we judge?
a. Quality of the item
b. Ethnicity of the artist
c. Degree of traditionality
d. Purpose for which the item was produced.
D. Contested space and meaning
1. If the Native Americans at the Portal are a “living exhibit” does that make the hispanic artists, “dead exhibits”?
E. Creating boundaries
1. What does “Indian” mean — enrolled member of an Indian tribe by tribal records or the BIA.
2. “Authentic Indian arts and crafts are “any product which is Indian handcrafted and not made by machine or from unnatural materials, except stabilized and treated turquoise.”

F. Tourist expectations:
1. Dress Indian fashion
2. Those who look like Indians are selling Indian products.

G. When is an industry not an industry?
1. Does price distinguish the authentic from the imitation?
2. Authenticity is an ascribed status that depends on who is looking at it, in what context, for what purpose.

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