Aboriginalia: Souvenir Wares and the 'Aboriginalization' of Australian Identity
Franklin, AS, Aboriginalia: Souvenir Wares and the 'Aboriginalization' of Australian Identity, Tourist Studies: An International Journal, 10, (3) pp. 195-208. ISSN 1468-7976 (2010) [Refereed Article]
Copyright 2010 Sage Publications
In recent years Aboriginalia, defined here as souvenir objects depicting Aboriginal peoples, symbolism and motifs from the 1940s-1970s and sold largely to tourists in the first instance, has become highly sought after by both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal collectors and has captured the imagination of Aboriginal artists and cultural commentators. The paper seeks to understand how and why Aboriginality came to brand Australia and almost every tourist place and centre at a time when Aboriginal people and culture were subject to policies (particularly the White Australia Polic(ies)) that effectively removed them from their homelands and sought in various ways to assimilate them (physiologically and culturally) into mainstream white Australian culture. In addition the paper suggests that this Aboriginalia had an unintended social life as an object of tourism and nation. It is argued that the mass-produced presence of many reminders of Aboriginal culture came to be 'repositories of recognition' not only of the presence of Aborigines but also of their dispossession and repression. As such they emerge today recoded as politically and culturally charged objects with (potentially) an even more radical role to play in the unfolding of race relations in Australia. © The Author(s) 2010.
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