By Jennifer Kramer
Switchbacks explores how the Nuxalk of Bella Coola, British Columbia, negotiate such advanced questions as: Who owns tradition? How should still tradition be transmitted to destiny generations? the place does promoting and purchasing Nuxalk paintings healthy into makes an attempt to regain regulate of heritage?
To solution those questions, Jennifer Kramer undertook player commentary at Nuxalk artists’ studios, within the Nuxalk-run band school’s cultural schooling sessions, and through the typical actions of Nuxalk of their houses. She charts the fluid personality of exact fabric tradition (such as mask and different regalia) and intangible fabric tradition (such as songs and dances) as they moved out and in of the cultural schooling curriculum, the Western paintings industry, and the Western felony process. moreover, Kramer analyzes the ambivalent reactions of the Nuxalk to possession, appropriation, and repatriation of Nuxalk tradition. The Nuxalk oscillate among crucial stances, a approach Kramer likens to "switchbacks" on a mountain highway. via those recurrent routine they carry, recreate, and validate modern Nuxalk identity.
Kramer demonstrates that lack of cultural items proves that Nuxalk tradition is effective via exterior confirmation. during this approach, the Nuxalk use their cultural patrimony to say their collective nationwide id. At stake will not be purely definitions of alienable and inalienable estate but in addition a unified nationwide id that provides the Nuxalk a powerful place from whence to reclaim conventional territory and regain self-determination in British Columbia.
Switchbacks will attract students and scholars attracted to questions of cultural possession and identification generally, and in Nuxalk tradition specifically.
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