Accepted paper:

Cultural heritage lawmaking in Fiji: past, present (and future) implications

Authors:

Guido Carlo Pigliasco (University of Hawaii)

Paper short abstract:

This paper examines the relevance of anthropology to the articulation of the complexity of property relations, and discusses how cultural heritage policies are acquiring a new social and political value in Fiji and in the Pacific Island region.

Paper long abstract:

The anthropological study of law has demonstrated the relevance of anthropology to the articulation of the complexity of property relations in relation to pressing issues emerged and expanded with globalization. In this direction, the anthropological study of law has become critical in documenting cross-cultural variations in relationships between persons and things. Ten years ago, traditional knowledge and expressions of culture were not regarded as proper concerns of intellectual property laws. In Oceania over the last decade, considerable efforts have been made to ensure that culture is not treated in isolation from other national policies governing trade, development, and education. This paper shows how iTaukei (ethnic Fijian) notions of material/immaterial possessions and relationships are challenging notions of "ownership" and relations of culture and power in Fiji and Oceania. Drawing upon fieldwork and applied work with Fiji culture and heritage institutions, this paper discusses how cultural heritage policies are acquiring a new social and political value in Fiji and in the Pacific Island region. Fiji policy makers have been developing a cultural policy to inform, or reform, the legislative process. In Fiji and elsewhere in contemporary Oceania, culture and policy are both strategically necessary to structure collective action and community values. Fiji and other Pacific Island countries are seeking a model that will influence government decision making towards explicit guidelines to regulate intellectual property and the management of cultural heritage in the service of positive nation-building and the development of cultural and creative industries.

panel P101
The future of law and globalization with anthropologies