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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:African Tourist Encounters: Effects of Tourism on Two West African Societies
Author:Beek, Walter E.A. vanISNI
Year:2003
Periodical:Africa: Journal of the International African Institute
Volume:73
Issue:2
Pages:251-289
Language:English
Geographic terms:Mali
Cameroon
Subjects:ethnic identity
Dogon
Kapsiki
tourism
Development and Technology
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
Link:https://www.jstor.org/stable/3556890
Abstract:This article compares encounters with tourism in two African communities, the Dogon in Mali and the Kapsiki in north Cameroon. The societies are comparable in many respects, but the effects on them of the tourist presence are quite different. The Dogon react to tourism by bolstering their cultural pride and self-esteem, and they develop inventive ways of gearing their cultural performances to tourist demands without compromising the rituals to which the performances belong. For them, the tourist presence signals the importance and intrinsic interest of Dogon culture. The Cameroonian Kapsiki (called Higi in north Nigeria) interpret the attention bestowed upon them and their country as indicating that they are marginal, living at the rim of the habitable world. They translate the tourist quest for 'authenticity' as being 'backward' and left out. The reasons for these different reactions are traced to processes inherent in cultural tourism, to the specific agenda of tourism in either place, and to some characteristics of the host cultures. The overall effect of tourist encounters with local communities seems to be to reinforce existing patterns of identity construction and to restate the images of the relevant 'other' already current in those cultures. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. in English and French. [Journal abstract]
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