SEARCHING THE ROOTS OF PATRIMONY

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SEARCHING THE ROOTS OF PATRIMONY

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Title: SEARCHING THE ROOTS OF PATRIMONY
Author: kORSTANJE, MAXIMILIANO
Abstract: In XIX century many anthropologists left their homes in quest of exotic customs and habits to discover. In parallel with the colonialism process, anthropology played a pivotal role in providing to politicians valuable information about the natives. The ethnographies not only were read by academicians in the continent but also by colonial officials who were strongly concerned in knowing further about aborigines. Let us reminds that this does not mean anthropology worked necessarily as an instrument of hegemony but in this slippery matter the boundaries seem to be blurred. One of the concerns characterized the first ethnologist was the compulsory need to protect the non-Western cultures of the inevitable disappearance due to capitalism advance. Enrooted in the belief that exotic cultures will decline at the time industrialism advances, Europe paternalism triggered an uncanny obsession in academicians for protecting and collecting devices and artifacts of remote Australia, Africa and even South America. In the continuum of development and civilization, Europe must save the rest of the globe from their backwardness. This romantic sentiment associated to a wider colonization process give as a result the rise of anthropology as a discipline. Concepts such as patrimony or heritage, coined originally by lawyers, were present in the first exponent of this academic wave. Of course, this point is well known by historians and anthropologist, the fact is that not only these beliefs survive in anthropology nowadays but also were replicated to tourism fields. Under such a context, the present critical essay is aimed at debating in detail what we really understand when refer to patrimony? KEYWORDS: Tourism, Anthropology, Protection, Patrimony.
Date: 2009-07


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