Synopses & Reviews
"Written in a delightful, unpretentious, and lively style and filled with exquisite ethnographic detail, this book makes an outstanding contribution to Cherokee studies and the anthropology of tourism."--J. Anthony Paredes, series editor
"Anthropologist Beard-Mouse (Suffolk County Community College) does an extraordinary job examining the role tourism has played in the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians (EBCI). She looks at how tourism has been a springboard for the economy of the tribe in western North Carolina, delving into the role tourism plays in the maintenance/revival of traditional arts/crafts, dance, storytelling, language, and other aspects of traditional culture. Of particular interest is her treatment of "chiefing," the domain of Cherokee men who dress in Plains regalia and pose for photos with tourists for a fee. The practice has been decried by Indian and non-Indian alike, but the author notes how it is used to draw in visitors for a good-humored lecture on how Cherokees really
dressed, danced, and otherwise lived. In fact, 'chiefing' is regulated by the EBCI and is often used to direct visitors to the museum, living history village, outdoor drama, or artists' co-op, venues for the presentation of more authentic Cherokee culture. This volume is most reminiscent of Patsy West's The Enduring Seminoles: From Alligator-Wrestling to Casino Gaming
(2008; 1st ed., CH, May'99, 36-5168). Summing Up: Highly recommended. All levels/libraries."
A major economic industry among American Indian tribes is the public promotion and display of aspects of their cultural heritage in a wide range of tourist venues. Few do it better than the Eastern Band of the Cherokee, whose homeland is the Qualla Boundary of North Carolina.
About the Author
Christina Taylor Beard-Moose is Assistant Professor of Anthropology and Sociology at SuffolkCountyCommunity College, Ammerman Campus, in Selden, New York.