Culture on Tour: Ethnographies of Travel / Edition 1

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Overview

Recruited to be a lecturer on a group tour of Indonesia, Edward M. Bruner decided to make the tourists aware of tourism itself. He photographed tourists photographing Indonesians, asking the group how they felt having their pictures taken without their permission. After a dance performance, Bruner explained to the group that the exhibition was not traditional, but instead had been set up specifically for tourists. His efforts to induce reflexivity led to conflict with the tour company, which wanted the displays to be viewed as replicas of culture and to remain unexamined. Although Bruner was eventually fired, the experience became part of a sustained exploration of tourist performances, narratives, and practices.

Synthesizing more than twenty years of research in cultural tourism, Culture on Tour analyzes a remarkable variety of tourist productions, ranging from safari excursions in Kenya and dance dramas in Bali to an Abraham Lincoln heritage site in Illinois. Bruner examines each site in all its particularity, taking account of global and local factors, as well as the multiple perspectives of the various actors—the tourists, the producers, the locals, and even the anthropologist himself. The collection will be essential to those in the field as well as to readers interested in globalization and travel.

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Editorial Reviews

Chronicle of Higher Education
Edward M. Bruner's Culture on Tour: Ethnographies of Travel is a bracing compendium of anthropological essays decoding specific tourist sites. . . . Bruner's emphasis is on complexity and process; he declines to disparage tourists as a class or to assume that local residents are objects of exploitation. He sees multiple, competing meanings in individual sites, contrasting meanings in different sites in the same country, and changes in the meaning of sites over time. . . . Bruner's . . . fascinating book also whirls through Africa, the Middle East, and the United States, delineating what he calls 'touristic border-zones.'-real places where tourists encounter locals in performance. Tourism, for Bruner, is 'improvisational theater ... where both tourist and local are actors.—Julia M. Klein, Chronicle of Higher Education

— Julia M. Klein

Anthropological Quarterly
This monograph deserves a warm reception . . . not least because it opens up a specialist field, in this case the anthropology of tourism, to a wider readership. What Bruner's work shows in particular is that while social scientists can stand back and analyze why there are tensions within a given social setting it is often very difficult for the participants . . . to comprehend why this should be so.

— Michael Hitchcock

American Anthropologist
A spirited and thoughtful volume. . . . One of Bruner’s greatest contributions is his constructivist position, from which he views cultures as continually reinventing themselves. Tourist practices are seen as neither simulacra nor ersatz, but as social performances in their own right. This position allows Bruner to free anthropologists from their previous impasse of thinking along the binary of authenticity-inauthenticity, a persistent focus of tourism scholarship ever since Dean MacCannell’s 1970s writing on ‘staged authenticity.’ Because culture is always emergent, alive, and in process, every cultural act is authentic.”

— Miriam Kahn

Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute
[Bruner's] accounts of these investigations—including how his 'interventionist anthropology' lost him a job as a tour guide—are absorbing, his anlysis lucid, nuanced, and free of mystifying jargon. The book is a pleasure to read.

— Julie Scott

American Ethnologist
Culture on Tour is as much a discussion of what is at stake generally for cultural anthropology, as it adapts itself to 21st-century social life, as it is a discussion of tourism per se by one of the most knowledgeable senior scholars. . . . Looking beyond the volume's substantial contribution to the anthropology of tourism, I recommend Culture on Tour to anyone engaged in questions concerning the future of ethnographic practice generally. Especially for those who call into question the continued viability of the ethnographic method to contemporary topics of inquiry.

— Sally Ann Ness

Anthropological Forum
This eminently readable work will be of great value to scholars (at undergraduate and postgraduate levels) in the fields of anthropology, tourism studies, cultural studies, sociology, cultural geography, and to those with an interest in globalization, travel and performance. Culture on Tour is a testament to Bruner the ethnographer and Bruner the tourist/traveller, and certainly not least to Bruner the raconteur.

— Kristina Jamieson

Journal of Anthropological Research
Not the least of Bruner's achievements . . . is to show his readers how to think about our involvement in the immense processes of change at work in tourism. . . . For Bruner, tourism itself  is a mode of learning, and in this beautifully composed, deeply thought-provoking book he teaches by example.

— Meaghan Morris

Clifford Geertz, Institute for Advanced Study - Clifford Geertz
"The ethnographer's gaze and that of the cultural tourist converge on the same object: the different and distant. Edward Bruner, one of our most experienced and reflective ethnographers, looks at tourists looking at everything from staged Maasai dances and prime-time Balinese temple rites to roped-off Ghanaian slave quarters and Lincoln's made-up hometown to see what they see and what it implies for anthropological theory and interpretation. An incisive, unsettling portrayal of the ways we watch now."
Dean MacCannell, author of The Tourist - Dean MacCannell
"About twenty years ago, anthropologists began to take notice of the tourists who were sharing their exotic redoubts. Edward Bruner is one of the strongest voices in the first generation of scholars to understand how the field of ethnography is radically changed by broadening it to include the tourist. This helpful volume gathers in one place Bruner's vivid observations of the ethnological subject under the influence of tourism."
Richard Handler, coauthor of The New History in an Old Museum - Richard Handler
"Since the mid-1950s, Edward Bruner has been studying people on the move. Always the consummate ethnographer, often an inquiring tourist, and sometimes an even more inquiring tour guide, Bruner documents contemporary cultures of travel and reflects tellingly on changing anthropological sensibilities. His insistence on touristic practices as social performances in their own right, not mere imitations of something else, is crucial for untangling culture theory from our folk notions of 'authenticity.'"
Chronicle of Higher Education - Julia M. Klein
"Edward M. Bruner's Culture on Tour: Ethnographies of Travel is a bracing compendium of anthropological essays decoding specific tourist sites. . . . Bruner's emphasis is on complexity and process; he declines to disparage tourists as a class or to assume that local residents are objects of exploitation. He sees multiple, competing meanings in individual sites, contrasting meanings in different sites in the same country, and changes in the meaning of sites over time. . . . Bruner's . . . fascinating book also whirls through Africa, the Middle East, and the United States, delineating what he calls 'touristic border-zones.'-real places where tourists encounter locals in performance. Tourism, for Bruner, is 'improvisational theater ... where both tourist and local are actors.'"-Julia M. Klein, Chronicle of Higher Education
Anthropological Quarterly - Michael Hitchcock
"This monograph deserves a warm reception . . . not least because it opens up a specialist field, in this case the anthropology of tourism, to a wider readership. What Bruner's work shows in particular is that while social scientists can stand back and analyze why there are tensions within a given social setting it is often very difficult for the participants . . . to comprehend why this should be so."
American Anthropologist - Miriam Kahn
“A spirited and thoughtful volume. . . . One of Bruner’s greatest contributions is his constructivist position, from which he views cultures as continually reinventing themselves. Tourist practices are seen as neither simulacra nor ersatz, but as social performances in their own right. This position allows Bruner to free anthropologists from their previous impasse of thinking along the binary of authenticity-inauthenticity, a persistent focus of tourism scholarship ever since Dean MacCannell’s 1970s writing on ‘staged authenticity.’ Because culture is always emergent, alive, and in process, every cultural act is authentic.”
Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute - Julie Scott
"[Bruner's] accounts of these investigations—including how his 'interventionist anthropology' lost him a job as a tour guide—are absorbing, his anlysis lucid, nuanced, and free of mystifying jargon. The book is a pleasure to read."
American Ethnologist - Sally Ann Ness
"Culture on Tour is as much a discussion of what is at stake generally for cultural anthropology, as it adapts itself to 21st-century social life, as it is a discussion of tourism per se by one of the most knowledgeable senior scholars. . . . Looking beyond the volume's substantial contribution to the anthropology of tourism, I recommend Culture on Tour to anyone engaged in questions concerning the future of ethnographic practice generally. Especially for those who call into question the continued viability of the ethnographic method to contemporary topics of inquiry."
Anthropological Forum - Kristina Jamieson
"This eminently readable work will be of great value to scholars (at undergraduate and postgraduate levels) in the fields of anthropology, tourism studies, cultural studies, sociology, cultural geography, and to those with an interest in globalization, travel and performance. Culture on Tour is a testament to Bruner the ethnographer and Bruner the tourist/traveller, and certainly not least to Bruner the raconteur."
Journal of Anthropological Research - Meaghan Morris
"Not the least of Bruner's achievements . . . is to show his readers how to think about our involvement in the immense processes of change at work in tourism. . . . For Bruner, tourism itself  is a mode of learning, and in this beautifully composed, deeply thought-provoking book he teaches by example."
Chronicle of Higher Education

"Edward M. Bruner's Culture on Tour: Ethnographies of Travel is a bracing compendium of anthropological essays decoding specific tourist sites. . . . Bruner's emphasis is on complexity and process; he declines to disparage tourists as a class or to assume that local residents are objects of exploitation. He sees multiple, competing meanings in individual sites, contrasting meanings in different sites in the same country, and changes in the meaning of sites over time. . . . Bruner's . . . fascinating book also whirls through Africa, the Middle East, and the United States, delineating what he calls 'touristic border-zones.'-real places where tourists encounter locals in performance. Tourism, for Bruner, is 'improvisational theater ... where both tourist and local are actors.'"-Julia M. Klein, Chronicle of Higher Education

— Julia M. Klein

American Anthropologist

“A spirited and thoughtful volume. . . . One of Bruner’s greatest contributions is his constructivist position, from which he views cultures as continually reinventing themselves. Tourist practices are seen as neither simulacra nor ersatz, but as social performances in their own right. This position allows Bruner to free anthropologists from their previous impasse of thinking along the binary of authenticity-inauthenticity, a persistent focus of tourism scholarship ever since Dean MacCannell’s 1970s writing on ‘staged authenticity.’ Because culture is always emergent, alive, and in process, every cultural act is authentic.”

— Miriam Kahn

American Ethnologist

"Culture on Tour is as much a discussion of what is at stake generally for cultural anthropology, as it adapts itself to 21st-century social life, as it is a discussion of tourism per se by one of the most knowledgeable senior scholars. . . . Looking beyond the volume's substantial contribution to the anthropology of tourism, I recommend Culture on Tour to anyone engaged in questions concerning the future of ethnographic practice generally. Especially for those who call into question the continued viability of the ethnographic method to contemporary topics of inquiry."—Sally Ann Ness, American Ethnologist

— Sally Ann Ness

Anthropological Quarterly
"This monograph deserves a warm reception . . . not least because it opens up a specialist field, in this case the anthropology of tourism, to a wider readership. What Bruner's work shows in particular is that while social scientists can stand back and analyze why there are tensions within a given social setting it is often very difficult for the participants . . . to comprehend why this should be so."

— Michael Hitchcock

Journal of Anthropological Research

"Not the least of Bruner's achievements . . .
— Meaghan Morris

Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute

"[Bruner's] accounts of these investigations--including how his 'interventionist anthropology' lost him a job as a tour guide--are absorbing, his anlysis lucid, nuanced, and free of mystifying jargon. The book is a pleasure to read."—Julie Scott, Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute

— Julie Scott

Anthropological Forum

"This eminently readable work will be of great value to scholars (at undergraduate and postgraduate levels) in the fields of anthropology, tourism studies, cultural studies, sociology, cultural geography, and to those with an interest in globalization, travel and performance. Culture on Tour is a testament to Bruner the ethnographer and Bruner the tourist/traveller, and certainly not least to Bruner the raconteur."—Kristina Jamieson, Anthropological Forum

— Kristina Jamieson

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780226077635
  • Publisher: University of Chicago Press
  • Publication date: 11/28/2004
  • Edition description: 1
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 312
  • Sales rank: 1,336,372
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Edward M. Bruner is professor emeritus of anthropology and criticism and interpretive theory at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He has written numerous articles on tourism and has coedited three previous volumes, including International Tourism: Identity and Change.

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Read an Excerpt

Culture on Tour
Ethnographies of Travel
By Edward M. Bruner
The University of Chicago Press
Copyright © 2005 The University of Chicago
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-0-226-07763-5



Chapter One
Maasai on the Lawn Tourist Realism in East Africa

Edward M. Bruner and Barbara Kirshenblatt-Gimblett

Mayers Ranch is a tourist attraction near Nairobi that is privately owned by the Mayers, a British ex-colonial family who are now Kenyan citizens. The site features Maasai "tribal" dancing followed by tea and scones on the Mayers' lawn. The site enacts a colonial drama of the savage pastoral Maasai and the genteel British, playing upon the explicit contrast between the wild and the civilized so prevalent in colonial discourse and sustained in East African tourism. The master narrative of tribal resistance and colonial containment is performed daily at Mayers Ranch for an international audience of tourists and visitors, reproducing in the postcolonial era a story that emerged at the turn of the century, early in the colonial period (Knowles and Collett 1989). The Maasai at Mayers Ranch make their living by performing the noble savage in a carefully and collaboratively constructed ethnographic present. A key to the success of Mayers Ranch is its ability to produce what we are calling tourist realism, an effect closely linked to the ultimate tourist commodities-experiences and the tourist tales they generate.

Tourism gives tribalism and colonialism a new space by bringing them back as representations of themselves and circulating them within an economy of performance. Mass tourism routinely recycles dying industries, dead sites, past colonial relations, and abandoned ethnographic tropes to produce industrial parks, living historical villages, and enactments like Mayers Ranch. Catering to the "imagination of others" (Waller 1993, 301), mass tourism stages fantasy not only within hermetic theme parks located anywhere, but also within geographically specific historical sites and life worlds-and blurs the distinctions among them. What Renato Rosaldo calls "imperialist nostalgia" (1989) is not just a sentiment. It is also a scenario for tourist productions-itineraries, environments, and performances-and the marketing of them.

Anthropology has responded to the growing importance of tourism by exploring everything from the uneasy historical relationship between travel writing and ethnographic discourse to studies of the industry itself and its local impacts. Dean MacCannell's The Tourist: A New Theory of the Leisure Class (1976) continues to inform the analysis of tourist sites some decades after it was written. Both "a sociology of leisure" and "an ethnography of modernity," a project MacCannell sees himself as sharing with tourists themselves, The Tourist frames the crisis of modernity, as seen through tourism, in terms of authenticity. While we do not share this concern, we do admire MacCannell's analysis of the "semiotic of attraction" and hope to extend its possibilities in our analysis of one site, Mayers Ranch as a tourist production.

We ask of Mayers Ranch: What is being produced here and how? How did the site arise historically? How is it staged, who has artistic control, and how does the performance develop in space and time? How is the production organized in social and economic terms, and who gets what from the event? Because the Maasai and Samburu, the tourists, and the Mayers do not experience the site in the same way, we ask: What does the event say and what does it mean to its varied producers and audiences? We argue that close attention to the tourist production itself-to the performance-holds clues to the nature of Mayers Ranch as a tourist commodity and to its success within Kenya's tourism industry.

International tourism draws travelers from affluent capitalist democracies to virtually all parts of the world. In the recreational geography of tourism, hard currency from people with the money and leisure to undertake such trips flows through international corporations to local sites, and many countries are now dependent on income from tourism as a major part of their gross national product (Sinclair, Alizadeh, and Onunga 1992). As the number of tourists to Third World countries increases, the income from foreign visitors becomes a mainstay of some local economies. In Kenya, for example, there were 5,000 tourists in 1958; 110,200 in 1963; 352,200 in 1981; 676,900 in 1988, and over one million by the mid-1990s, so that tourism has become second only to coffee and tea as a producer of Kenya's foreign exchange. In Kenya in 1996 tourism receipts were 448 million dollars; three-fourths of the tourists come from Europe and North America (D. Harrison 1992).

Pastoralism and the Moran

Tourism at Mayers Ranch performs a paradox. It sells Maasai pastoralism as pristine and independent but depends for the production of this idealization on Maasai adaptability and interdependence. East African pastoralism never has existed in isolation. Its very survival depends upon the maintenance of relationships among farmers, hunters, and others in a regional ecosystem. Since the Eastern Nilotic ancestors of the Maa-speaking peoples from the Sudan border migrated through the Rift Valley into what is now Kenya and Tanzania, the Maasai have survived by adaptation (Spear and Waller 1993).

At the end of the nineteenth century, the Rift world was in disarray. Herds were being decimated by rinderpest and pleuropneumonia, human populations were falling to smallpox, and droughts were devastating the economy when British and German troops arrived. The pastoral Maasai had survived by taking up agriculture and by moving in with other tribes, but during the colonial period, many Maasai returned to pastoralism, which had a revival under the British. The colonial government established reserves for the Maasai as a solution to a long-standing conflict over the control of land. The British needed land for the colonial settlers, and this pressure on the land has continued since independence in 1963 to the present day as the Kenyan government has taken land for farms, ranches, and game preserves. Some Maasai have become farmers and ranchers, some have received an education and have moved to the cities, and some have become part of the modern capitalist economy of Kenya, but many others have remained pastoralists, a Maasai ideal.

In Kenyan cultural politics, the Maasai are the quintessential pastoralists, and the moran (junior warriors) are the quintessential Maasai. State efforts to weaken Maasai autonomy focus on diminishing the age-grade system and the institution of moranism, which brings Maasai youths into full Maasai adulthood and keeps them out of Kenyan schools. In recent years, the state has insisted that Maasai attend school. Many Maasai parents protest that the integrity of their way of life is being threatened. And school is not the only threat; pastoralism itself is increasingly difficult to sustain in the face of drought, disease, overgrazing, and other pressures on the land as the population expands, as does a tourist industry built upon game parks. Ironically, it is the contested institution of the moran-specifically the activities of moran in the manyatta, their village-that is performed at Mayers Ranch.

Mayers Ranch is built on the close fit between the requirements of a tourist production and the performance culture of Maasai youth. Living together in a manyatta, the morans at Mayers perform an idealized colonial construction of themselves. Featured at Mayers is the bravery of the Maasai warrior, the glorification of youth and maleness, the Maasai as the "Lords of East Africa," cattle raids, lion hunting, male circumcision, the diet of raw foods (milk and blood), the primitive Maasai, the "natural man," and the affinity between tribesmen and wildlife.

The Landscape and the Lawn

Framed by the big-game hunt or by the biblical Garden, situated before the Fall or after the Apocalypse, created by God in six days or through billions of years of evolution, untamed wilderness or transplanted lawn, nature is the star in East African tourism-raw, wild, untouched, given. But nature is a cultural construction, as the formulaic descriptions of generic scenes, animals, and peoples in East African travel brochures make clear. As Theodor Adorno states, "Natural beauty is an ideological notion because it offers mediatedness in the guise of immediacy" (1984, 101). The East African landscape has long been coded in ways that remove it from human agency. Hence we have the recurrent trope of the Kenyan landscape being untouched and its contrast with the power of the Mayers' garden to make the African desert bloom-with British flowers.

Four nature thematics structure East African tourism and inform our analysis of Mayers Ranch. The safari, as the big-game hunter's encounter with the Dark Continent, is the model for tours and the iconographic source for tourist amenities and gear. Safari is coded in terms of the hunt, a wilderness inhabited by quarry, the violence of manly sport, and taxidermic trophies of its success. Tourists wearing khaki are delivered to Mayers by companies named for one kind of safari or another. The Garden of Eden is the destination of a voyage to the dawn of creation itself, where "our primitive ancestors," who have not yet eaten of the tree of knowledge that is "modern civilization," can be found. Characterizations of the Maasai as shepherds whose flocks live in harmony with their predators also evoke the peaceable kingdom of Isaiah 11. The gorilla safari models the tourist as the naturalist and appeals directly to the notion of the evolution of man from ape. Female primatologists assist tourists armed with weapons of vision-binoculars and cameras. Tours of European gardens, usually on the grounds of grand homes, are testaments to cultivation-which is to say, civilization. The lawn at Mayers Ranch, lush and green in an arid landscape, is to be read in this context.

Gorilla Safari

The ultimate destination, the one beyond which it is not possible to go, is the gorilla safari-the new frontier in the Darwinian universe of evolving forms. In these tours, safari coalesces with the Garden of Eden and Adam is a gorilla. Recalling the moment of first encounter, novelist Janice McIlvaine McClary describes in the travel section of the Sunday New York Times how she tramped through the jungle in Zaire to stalk a mountain gorilla: "It was an unforgettable moment. Somehow the gorilla symbolized what is left of the wilderness, of a world belonging to the animals, free and unbridled by men and materialism. To see the greatest of the great apes at close range was to see a glimpse of Eden, of the world as it once was, without computers or condominiums, schedules and the draining sense of time" (1985, 37).

What McClary actually saw through the leaves was an ape, and what she read into the experience was all the Western intellectual baggage about a return to origins, to primitiveness, to what we once were-unspoiled, unpolluted, uncomplicated. The imagery suggests that we have exhausted the metaphoric potentiality of primitive man and must recede even further to the irreducible ape. The glimpse of Eden, of course, was not in the Zairean forest, but in McClary's head. Her account tells us more about the subject, McClary, than about the object, the gorillas.

Her note in the article that there are fewer than four hundred mountain gorillas left in the world and none in captivity adds a sense of loss and urgency to her quest for the unspoiled, vanishing primitive. She describes her local guide, John, as "mission-taught and mountain-knowledgeable." She writes that just before seeing the gorillas, John, "as if sniffing the wind, like the leader of a herd scenting water ... said we would soon come upon a group" (37). In McClary's Western reading the local guide, animal-like, mediates mission and mountain, culture and nature.

McClary did not just come upon the gorillas by accident. She had joined a very expensive "gorilla safari," one of several organized adventure tours recently promoted by the tourist industry as the ultimate travel experience for those who can afford to go off the beaten track. The mountain gorillas, like the game parks of Africa, are a tourist event-framed, labeled, and sold. A subsequent note in the New York Times travel section explains:

At a height of more than 9000 feet, on heavily forested African mountainside ... live two families of the last of the world's mountain gorillas. They are typical of their species-with one exception. Over the years these animals have been habituated to visits by humans.... Each day the gorilla families move from feeding area to feeding area, and a group of tourists ... is taken to see them.... Guides accompanying the visitors use a gorilla sound, similar to a clearing of the throat, to let the animals know that friends are approaching. That established, the group may move to within a few feet of the animals [and] take pictures. (New York Times, October 27, 1985)

Rather than McClary's glimpse of Eden, of unspoiled origins, what we actually have are tourist gorillas. Some of the young gorillas may never have known any environment other than one in which friendly tourists have come, every day, to peer at them through the leaves. The tour group has become, as it were, part of the ecosystem of the forest. The article concludes by noting that from New York the cost of the gorilla safari is $4230 per person, double occupancy.

In both Zaire and Rwanda, gorilla tourism has become such a successful multimillion dollar enterprise that efforts to expand it include domesticating additional gorilla groups. Jean Kahekwa, a guide in Kahuzi-Biega National Park, was reported in the New York Times as saying, "We're trying to get two other gorilla families accustomed to people" so as to handle more tourists (Greenhouse 1988, 15). If this trend continues, one wonders if eventually the entire species of the mountain gorilla, human beings' nearest primate relative, may become incorporated into our Western capitalist system of international tourism, domesticated and co-opted to appear appropriately "wild" and "natural" (cf. Haraway 1989).

Mayers Ranch

In contrast with the gorilla safari and animal watching venues more generally, Mayers Ranch is a side trip rather than a main event within East African tourism. The ranch is located only thirty miles from Nairobi, and most groups opt for the excursion, returning to Nairobi in the late afternoon. Independent travelers may rent a car or arrange transportation with a tour company. UTC, the local Hertz agency, dispatches a minibus to Mayers Ranch that leaves each day at 2:00 in the afternoon and arrives in time for the 3:30 performance. There is only one performance a day.

The tropes of East African tourism discourse pervade promotional descriptions of Mayers Ranch, which foreground the completeness of the excursion. In a matter of a few hours, tourists will experience a panoramic view of the Great Rift Valley, a "Maasai Tour," and tea on the lawn of a British colonial homestead, as advertised in this brochure for the tour company, H.A.T.S:

This afternoon we visit Mayers Ranch. Leaving Nairobi, past hundreds of colorful farmholdings, the road emerges from a belt of forest to reveal the most magnificent valley in the world. The Great Rift Valley.... We wind our way to the base of the Valley ... before proceeding to Mayer's [sic] Ranch where we are treated to an awesome display of traditional Masai dancing. You will be able to watch, from close-up, the legendary Masai enact warlike scenes from their past. These warriors are noted for being able to leap high into the air from a standing position. The experience is truly a photographer's delight. After English Tea on the lawn of the Ranch house we return to Nairobi.

In such tourist discourse, landscape is staged from a distance. This is the idiom of the commanding view. Animals and people, however, are best watched close-up, a term that evokes not only the camera, but also the range finder on a gun that is pointed at a target. Indeed, because it bills the excursion -and especially the proximity to the Maasai-as "a photographer's delight," the brochure reads like a plan for a camera shoot, complete with pans and zooms, long shots and close shots, providing one more indication of how profoundly the camera structures the tourist experience. The thrill of being so close to wildness is located here in animals and in people more than in landscape: the "legendary" Maasai "enact warlike scenes," perform "awesome" dances, and "leap high into the air from a standing position." Concluding with English tea on the lawn of the ranch house, the description then supplies the missing term in the wild-civilized polarity and makes explicit the principle of contrast that structures East African tourism more generally-the assurance that the wild will be experienced under the most civilized of circumstances and that their surreal juxtaposition will be enjoyed in its own right.

(Continues...)



Excerpted from Culture on Tour by Edward M. Bruner Copyright © 2005 by The University of Chicago. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
Introduction: Travel Stories Told and Retold
Part One Storytelling Rights
1. Maasai on the Lawn: Tourist Realism in East Africa
2. The Maasai and the Lion King: Authenticity, Nationalism, and Globalization in African Tourism
3. Slavery and the Return of the Black Diaspora: Tourism in Ghana
Part Two Competing Stories
4. Lincoln's New Salem as a Contested Site
5. Abraham Lincoln as Authentic Reproduction: A Critique of Postmodernism
6. Dialogic Narration and the Paradoxes of Masada
Part Three Tales from the Field
7. The Balinese Borderzone
8. Taman Mini: Self-Constructions in an Ethnic Theme Park in Indonesia
9. Reincorporations: Return to Sumatra, 1957, 1997
Acknowledgments and Credits
Notes
References
Index

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