Accepted paper:

Museum involvement and Indian diaspora of La Reunion Island

Author:

Yannick Korpal

Paper short abstract:

La Reunion Island is a melting pot. These last decades, local Museum developments slowly improved the representativity of ethnicity and a so called geographical specificity. Allochtonous cultural heritage in France is an issue: La Reunion's Museums are displaying a French model of ethnical integration.

Paper long abstract:

La Reunion Island is part of the 'Archipel des Mascareignes' along with Mauritius and Rodrigues. And she is tightly related with the greater island, Madagascar. Ethically speaking, this French Departement -and former colony- is a true melting pot. With White Europeans, Africans from the continent and Madagascar, Arabs, Indian, Chinese and even aboriginal Australians, the tiny island is also worldwide. Since the very beginning of Indentured labour in La Reunion Island, a former colony and now French Department, the only presence of Indian people changed the local culture. In the fields of natural medicine, religious matters and industrial involvements, the presence of a massively imported 'paid' labour force produced a very specific culture. Museum developments in La Reunion these last decades slowly improved the representativity of ethnicity and a so called geographical specificity. Allochtonous cultural heritage in France is now an issue. Along with Sciences and techniques, La Reunion's Museums are displaying a kind of French model of ethnical integration. The presentation will show how, in La Reunion Island, the culture displayed in Museum and Patrimonial facilities interacts with economics and ethnical issues.

panel MUS05
The role of the museum of ethnography in a changing multi-cultural society: issues of ethnicity, identity and cultural heritage (IUAES Commission of Museums and Cultural Heritage)