Christina Beard-Moose, PhD Anthropology and Women's Studies


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Public Indians, Private Cherokees: Tourism and Tradition on Tribal Ground  by Christina T. Beard-Moose, PhD


Author's Statement on the Anthropology of Tourism 

Tourism studies, in general, have emerged in the past 20+ years as a major turn in academic inquiry. Drawing from both the earliest literature on indigeneity and the tourism industry and over 10 years of fieldwork with the Eastern Band of the Cherokee Nation in North Carolina, I have found a rich area for the understanding of indigenous identity. By working from the perspective of the "toured" -- not the "tourist" -- there is clearly an "opposite othering" that occurs to keep the ravenous tourist appetite in check while simultaneously allowing the native population (whether that is Cherokee, Moari, and Masai or Sami, Welsh, and Sicilian) to keep their own traditions and identities. Public Indians, Private Cherokees: Tourism and Tradition on Tribal Ground is but a single example of the type of ethnographic work that is possible coming from this perspective. While I have chosen in this work to stay away from any in-depth discussion of the religiosity and spirituality of the EBCN per se -- that work is being done by other researchers -- I found that this emic perspective offers a view of that dimension as well. The phenomena of "dancing for tourists" that occurs in nearly every native setting or the many sites around the world in which throngs of tourists bedecked with cameras and currency with which to behold and buy the "exotics" is created by the indigenous for the tourist's benefit. At home, away from the tourist gaze, identity in the form of language, foodways, spiritual life, or non-Western family systems continue.


"Written in a delightful, unpretentious, and lively style and filled with exquisite ethnographic detail, this book makes an outstanding contribution to Cherokee studies and the anthropology of tourism."
--J. Anthony Paredes, series editor, Contemporary American Indian Studies, University of Alabama Press

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Extra Reading 
The piece below was my first journal article and came from my Master's Thesis.