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Accepted Paper:

Designer of 'Indigineity Factory': anthropologists role in Altai culture commodification  
Dmitry Arzyutov (The Ohio State University)

Paper short abstract:

This paper is devoted to the theme of anthropologist role in commodification of indigenous Altai culture. Special attention is paid to Soviet ethnography constructed the image of one. This image becomes crucial in contemporary representation of cultural values by indigenous peoples themselves.

Paper long abstract:

For the period of Altai ethnographic studies in Soviet literature the image of Altai culture was constructed. Post-soviet social and religious movements used soviet ethnographic knowledge for make symbols and markers of their identity. These symbols and markers go beyond local economies and join in global world. The symbols turned to commodity oriented to outside consumers (generally tourists). This commodification appears as a background of new indigenous mythological creating and culture revising. One part of culture becomes relatively "closed" for outsiders (e.g., modern religious movement Ak-Jaŋ, White Faith) when others - on the contrary - are practiced as elements of "bazaar economy" (according to Geertz). In my paper I am going to discuss the role of anthropologists (ethnographers) in the commodification process of Altai culture.

Panel W095
Commodification of indigenous cultures
  Session 1