After Cannibal Tours: Cargoism and Marginality in a Post-touristic Sepik River Society

Date
2013
Authors
Silverman, Eric K.
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Publisher
University of Hawai‘i Press
Center for Pacific Islands Studies
Abstract
This article challenges the ethical allegory of the widely hailed film Cannibal Tours, drawing on two decades of ethnographic research in the Sepik region of Papua New Guinea, most recently in 2010. First, I sketch the contemporary plight of a middle Sepik, Iatmul-speaking community that yearns for a “road” to modernity and tourism but increasingly sees itself as “going backwards.” Second, I argue that tourism allows middle Sepik inhabitants to express artistically subtle messages about contemporary gender, identity, and sociality in the Melanesian postcolony. Third, I demonstrate what happens when the tourists go home. And almost all of them have done so, especially after the sale of the tourist ship, the
Description
Keywords
tourism, development, Sepik River, Papua New Guinea, Cannibal Tours, art, cargo cult
Citation
Silverman, E. K. 2013. After Cannibal Tours: Cargoism and Marginality in a Post-touristic Sepik River Society. The Contemporary Pacific 25 (2): 221-257.
Rights
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