Transhumant routes: between ways of pastoralism and heritage-making
Letizia Bindi (Università degli Studi del Molise)
Paper short abstract:
Starting from an ethnography of a rural area of South-Central Italy historically characterized by transhumance routes the a. proposes a reflection on present conservation and valorization processes applied to bio-cultural heritage and their late-modern frame of 'heritagization'.
Paper long abstract:
South-Central Italy has been characterized since the pre-Roman Epoque by a large and complex network of routes and paths of transhumance which was at the same time one of the most important economic resources for people and institutional powers and a way of conceptualizing and symbolizing space and environment. Today, in the late modern system of agro-pastoral production, transhumance is a residual practice, largely dismissed. Nonetheless transhumant routes and habitat became an object of conservation and valorization as natural and cultural heritage. National and regional institutions built legal frames for environmental safeguard of this bio-cultural heritage as well as local associations and communities are engaged in a re-discovery of systems of values and representations linked to transhumance. Moreover new 'discourses' on sustainable agriculture and farming, 'authenticity', responsible food consumes - typical of the late-modern rhetoric of food - cross this process of 'heritagization' of transhumant routes as well as their rethinking in term of tourist experience and attraction. This turn and its controversies will be the focus of this contribution concerning an ethnography of socio-cultural and political processes of re-enchantement and re-shaping of the question on transhumance.