Keywords

Polynesian, cultural tourism, performer agency, heritage and identity

Abstract

The Polynesian luau is one of the most well-known examples of cultural tourism. As such, it has accrued plenty of criticism, from issues of authenticity to primitivizing stereotypes and bodily framing. Lost in these critiques, however, are the voices of Polynesian performers who have chosen to participate in this form of cultural presentation. Based on ethnographic research with Polynesian performers employed in tourist luau shows in Orlando, Florida, from 2012 to 2014, I argue that not only are performers presenting their culture in a way that is meaningful for them and their audience, but that they are also using their employment as a way of connecting to their cultural heritage and reifying their cultural identity. By looking at performers' perspectives within cultural tourism, scholars can perceive the agency those performers use to assert their cultural identity and connection to their heritage.

Notes

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Graduation Date

2014

Semester

Spring

Advisor

Howard, Rosalyn

Degree

Master of Arts (M.A.)

College

College of Sciences

Department

Anthropology

Degree Program

Anthropology

Format

application/pdf

Identifier

CFE0005505

URL

http://purl.fcla.edu/fcla/etd/CFE0005505

Language

English

Release Date

November 2015

Length of Campus-only Access

None

Access Status

Masters Thesis (Open Access)

Subjects

Dissertations, Academic -- Sciences; Sciences -- Dissertations, Academic

Restricted to the UCF community until November 2015; it will then be open access.

Included in

Anthropology Commons

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