Accepted paper:

Tour guides in suspicion: tourism and contemporary legends in Eastern Indonesia


Adriana Kábová (Charles University in Prague)

Paper short abstract:

Tourists in the island Sumba are often the targets of rumors about white bloodthirsty foreigners. The aim of this paper is to explore the role of tour guides, who are often seen as allies of dangerous foreigners by Sumbanese people. Guides' techniques for avoiding possible conflicts will be examined.

Paper long abstract:

Contemporary legends linked to construction sacrifice myths and electronic phantasms are widely described in Southeast Asia. In the island Sumba in Eastern Indonesia a tourist might be seen as "penyamun" - the main character of these rumors, a person, whose aim is to get heads, blood or body parts of Sumbanese people. Moreover, the word "toris" has a twofold meaning. Besides a common term for a tourist it is also used as a synonym for "penyamun" in Sumba. This paper will focus on the role of local guides, who are often seen as allys of unpredictable tourists. Sumbanese guides have to handle with accusations and sometimes even with ostracism because of their involvement in tourism.

panel P088
The technologies and techniques of guiding: tour guides as cultural mediators