Colonial memory, hospitality and tourism in southwestern Madagascar
by David Picard; Catarina Nascimento Moreira
International Journal of Tourism Anthropology (IJTA), Vol. 5, No. 3/4, 2016

Abstract: Drawing on ethnographic data collected in a coastal village in southwestern Madagascar, the work explores the concept of memory through a study of contemporary hospitality practices aimed towards western tourists and other outsiders. The key observation is that memory is shaped by the interactions between two forms of colonial legacy. One is defined by the socially inscribed memory of past relations with powerful outsiders, mediated through myth and oral history. The other is defined by socially incorporated practices formed in the pre-colonial and colonial realms of the 19th and 20th centuries (and hence constitute a memory of such pasts in the present), and that today shift in the context of contact with western tourists and other foreigners. The main argument is that socially inscribed memory provides a highly flexible operational metaphor to mediate and also reproduce the socially incorporated practice-memory of hospitality, especially when historical symbolic functions - for example domesticating royals, colonial administrators, settlers, merchants or clerics - are shifted into contemporary contact zones with western tourists.

Online publication date: Fri, 20-Jan-2017

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