Cultural Tourism and the Negotiation of Tradition

At the 1989 Smithsonian Folklife Festival, throngs of visitors gathered on the National Mall to celebrate Hawai‘i’s multicultural heritage through its traditional arts. The “edu-tainment” spectacle revealed a richly complex Hawai‘i few tourists ever see and one never before or since replicated in a national space. The program was restaged a year later in Honolulu for a local audience and subsequently inspired several spin-offs in Hawai‘i. In both Washington, D.C., and Honolulu, the program instigated a new paradigm for cultural representation. Based on archival research and extensive interviews with festival organizers and participants, American Aloha: Cultural Tourism and the Negotiation of Tradition by Heather A. Diamond, is an innovative cross-disciplinary study that uncovers the behind-the-scenes negotiations and processes that inform the national spectacle of the Smithsonian Folklife Festival.

June 2008 / ISBN 978-0-8248-3171-4 / $55.00 (CLOTH)