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Exoticisation UndressedEthnographic Nostalgia and Authenticity in Emberá Clothes$
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Dimitrios Theodossopoulos

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9781526100832

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9781526100832.001.0001

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Representational self-awareness

Representational self-awareness

(p.109) 6 Representational self-awareness
Exoticisation Undressed

Dimitrios Theodossopoulos

Manchester University Press

Focusing on the community of Parara Puru (at Chagres National Park), the chapter examines the involvement of the Emberá with tourism, and their increasing representational self-awareness. Until the last quarter of the twentieth century, the Emberá avoided the world of the non-Emberá. It is only in the past twenty years that some Emberá communities have started reaching out to the world, taking advantage of new representational opportunities. The Emberá who work for indigenous tourism are now concerned with how best to represent their culture, what aspects of it to make available for viewing, and in what form. The renewed interest of the Emberá in the details of their culture signals an emerging representational self-awareness; they have started to look for new or forgotten information about one’s own cultural distinctiveness, and a more confident articulation of indigenous knowledge is developing. The Emberá of Parara Puru consider their role in tourism as more akin to that of a teacher than tourist entertainer.

Keywords:   indigenous tourism, representational self-awareness, indigenous knowledge, Parara Puru, Chagres

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