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Mixing Past And Present In Papua New Guinea

Papua New Guinea, once home to cannibals, still has an exotic aura. The local tourist economy caters to those notions, and visitors may see a hybrid of the traditional and the modern.

 

This story is an intriguing blend--we see traditional cultures engaging in the global economy. They have created two villages: a traditional one designed for tourism filled with emblems of their folk cultures, and another one where people work, live eat and play with various markers of outside cultural and technological influence.

 

"Tourists are taking pictures. They don't want to take pictures of those who are in Western clothes.  People who are in Western clothes are not allowed to get close to people who are dressed up in the local dressings."

 

Questions to Ponder: Which village do you see as the more "authentic" one? How can culture also be a commodity?

 

Tags: folk culture, tourism, indigenous, culture, economic, rural, historical, unit 3 culture, Oceania.


Via Seth Dixon
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Kristin Mandsager San Bento's curator insight, May 4, 2015 12:38 PM

I believe these indigenous people found a way to survive.  They were smart!  Globalization and tourism were gonna happen with or without them.  Now they found away to keep on existing.  Authentic?  How do they live their lives now, thats authentic.  The past history is just that, the past.  Its a commodity because they've found a way to exploit their culture to benefit them.  

Matt Ramsdell's curator insight, December 14, 2015 8:47 PM

This podcast talks about two different areas of the same area. One section living in the past and one living in the present. I believe that the section that is living in the past is more authentic. This is a group of people who have had to learn their way of life. The present would have had to learn to adapt to new ways in life and this new way would be truly authentic to their religion.

Alexis Rickey's curator insight, April 20, 4:52 PM
Papua New Guinea has learned how to provide its tourists with an excursion designed for them to understand their cultural and historical background, while having it blend in within a modernizing society today. They have created two villages: one that represents its traditional and exotic heritage, and the other village is modern. The modern village is were people work, eat, live, etc and is part of the rest of the world and it's global markets and technology.   
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