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Treasured possessions: indigenous interventions into cultural and intellectual property

Geismar, H; (2013) Treasured possessions: indigenous interventions into cultural and intellectual property. Objects/Histories. Duke University Press: Durham, North Carolina.

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Abstract

What happens when ritual practitioners from a small Pacific nation make an intellectual property claim to bungee jumping? When a German company successfully sues to defend its trademark of a Māori name? Or when UNESCO deems ephemeral sand drawings to be "Intangible Cultural Heritage"? In Treasured Possessions, Haidy Geismar examines how global forms of cultural and intellectual property are being redefined by everyday people and policymakers in two markedly different Pacific nations. The New Hebrides, a small archipelago in Melanesia managed jointly by Britain and France until 1980, is now the independent nation state of Vanuatu, with a population that is more than 95% indigenous. New Zealand, by contrast, is a settler-state and former British colony that engages with its entangled Polynesian and British heritage through an ethos of "biculturalism" that is meant to involve an indigenous population of just 15%. Alternative notions of property, resources, and heritage—informed by distinct national histories—are emerging in both countries. These property claims are advanced in national and international settings, but they emanate from specific communities and cultural landscapes, and they are grounded in an awareness of ancestral power and inheritance. They reveal intellectual and cultural property to be not only legal constructs but also a powerful means of asserting indigenous identities and sovereignties.

Type:Book
Title:Treasured possessions: indigenous interventions into cultural and intellectual property
ISBN-13:978-0-8223-5412-3
Language:English
Keywords:Anthropology, Indigenous Studies, Museum Studies
UCL classification:UCL > School of Arts and Social Sciences > Faculty of Social and Historical Sciences > Anthropology

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