Oaxaca’s Indigenous Guelaguetza Festival: not all that glistens is gold

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Title Oaxaca’s Indigenous Guelaguetza Festival: not all that glistens is gold
Author Whitford, Michelle
Journal Name Event Management
Editor Kenneth Backman
Year Published 2009
Place of publication United States
Publisher Cognizant Communication Corporation
Abstract Guelaguetza is one of Mexico’s premiere celebrations of indigenous dance and music. The festival occurs every July in Oaxaca City where it is a premier tourist attraction providing opportunities for socioeconomic growth and development. Yet the festival also creates negative impacts such as commodifi cation and commercialization of the festival, which may lead to the bastardization of culture, including loss of indigenous authenticity and exploitation of local resources. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to critically analyze the positive and negative impacts of the 2007 Guelaguetza in order to determine the extent to which the festival focuses on becoming a tourist attraction at the expense of community celebration. A qualitative research design utilizing the case study approach was employed to analyze positive and negative impacts emerging from the real-world context of the 2007 Guelaguetza. The results of the study revealed that not all that glistens is gold at the festival. Behind the façade of this visually spectacular festival, the Guelaguetza is at real risk of becoming a colorful, attractive, yet meaningless, commercialized tourist venture if tourist and commercial needs are favored at the expense of the people and their traditions. Consequently, now is the time to revisit and redefi ne the purpose of the Guelaguetza to ensure it remains a sociocultural and economically viable annual festival for everyone to enjoy, long into the future.
Peer Reviewed Yes
Published Yes
Alternative URI http://dx.doi.org/10.3727/152599509789659777
Copyright Statement Copyright 2009 Cognizant Communication Corporation. The attached file is reproduced here in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. Please refer to the journal's website for access to the definitive, published version.
Volume 12
Issue Number 3-4
Page from 1
Page to 17
ISSN 1525-9951
Date Accessioned 2012-09-05
Date Available 2013-06-13T23:19:53Z
Language en_US
Research Centre Griffith Institute For Tourism
Faculty Griffith Business School
Subject Tourism Management
URI http://hdl.handle.net/10072/47021
Publication Type Journal Articles (Refereed Article)
Publication Type Code c1x

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