The Invention of Tradition
I. What are the ingredients of tourism we’ve mentioned to this point.
- 1. Prior knowledge of heritage
2. Expectations of experience
- 1. Statement of Significance
2. Making the destination accessible
A. Heritage tourists as consumers in an experience economy
B. Heritage destinations
C. Interpreters-Facilitators (often called hosts)
2. Expected benefits
D. Heritage Tourism as an industry
1. Investigates using metaphor of production and consumption
II. What is an invented tradition in our discussion of a tourist-related experience?
A. A destination that lacks a priori authenticity.
1. A destination whose historic activities are selected and adjusted to be more attractive to a tourist audience.
B. An invented tradition is not necessarily total fabrication, but choices are consciously made selecting, modifying, and infusing with meaning objects, sites and activities that had no previous connection
III. Recreated villages
A. Buildings moved to a site from multiple other locations and made to resemble and be interpreted as a whole.
1. Connor’s Prairie, Connorsville, Indiana
a. In the tradition of rich men and women funding a personal interest (and judging their interest to be congruent with many other people’s interest).
b. Winterthur, Colonial Williamsburg, Cooperstown, ??
2. The Frontier Culture Museum of Virginia , Staunton, Virginia
a. Bridging the unfortunate distances between rural estates.
B. Four stage model
1. Initial preservation stage
2. Museum Presentation stage
3. Community Involvement stage
4. Commerical Tourism stage
IV. Living History
A. Staged Symbolic Communities (Barthel)
1. Questions about authenticity remain, but “the reality is that these sites have become important destinations for heritage tourism.
B. In 1954 Paul Mellon funded a $30,000 grant to support a “reappraisal of the basic principles which underlie the program of nature and historical interpretation in the national park system. Undertaken by Freeman Tilden, the result was Interpreting Our Heritage, published by the University of North Carolina Press in 1957.
Tilden based his interpretation on six principles:
1. Any interpretation that does not somehow relate what is being displayed or described to something within the personality or experience of the visitor will be sterile.
2. Information, as such, is not Interpretation. Interpretation is revelation based on information. But they are entirely different things. However, all interpretation includes information.
3. Interpretation is an art, which combines many arts, whether the materials presented are scientific, historical, or architectural. Any art is to some degree teachable.
4. The chief aim of Interpretation is not instruction, but provocation.
5. Interpretation should aim to present a whole rather than a part, and must address itself to the whole man rather than any phase.
6. Interpretation addressed to children (say, up to the age of twelve) should not be a dilution of the presentation to adults, but should follow a fundamentally different approach. To be at its best it will require a separate program.
ALHFAM is an organization of people who bring history to life. ALHFAM enables its members to make history a valuable part of the lives of museum visitors. It achieves this purpose through the exchange and sharing of ideas, information, tools and experiences centered around accurate, active, participatory, object-based historical interpretation. ALHFAM, through its membership, is committed to leading museum interpreters, educators, researchers, administrators, curators and volunteers in these fields:
1. Historical agriculture
2. Historical trades and manufacturing
3. Historical clothing and foodways
4. Living history programming
5. Historic site administration, care of collections, and program delivery within the above specialties