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American Aloha: Cultural Tourism and the Negotiation of Tradition

Heather Diamond

Softcover, 288 pp.

Based on archival research and extensive interviews with festival organizers and participants, this innovative cross-disciplinary study uncovers the behind-the-scenes negotiations and processes that inform the national spectacle of the Smithsonian Folklife Festival. Intersecting the fields of museum studies, folklore studies, Hawaiian studies, performance studies, cultural studies, and American studies, American Aloha supplies a nuanced analysis of how the carefully crafted staging of Hawaiʻi's cultural diversity was used to serve a national narrative of utopian multiculturalism one that collapsed social inequities and tensions, masked colonial history, and subordinated indigenous politics while empowering.

Hawaiʻi's traditional artists and providing a model for cultural tourism that has had long-lasting effects.


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