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The Amis Harvest Festival in Taiwan provides the best chance to show the culture of indigenous people, as well as to attract the attention of tourists. Through the connection with tourism, and the involvement of the government, the Amis Harvest Festival has been recreated. The festival thus has become a great case study which can show the dynamic relationships between tourism, indigenous culture, and political affairs.
The Amis Harvest Festival is an ancient tradition, but somehow it was reinvented. Hobsbawn (1983), one of Britain's most eminent Marxist historian who has died at the age of 95 recently, defines the invention of tradition, he states the phenomenon that when ?old' traditions are going to disappear, the ?invented' traditions frequently occur. Based on the historical origin, the Amis Harvest Festival has been developed into the biggest festival of indigenous people in Taiwan. In the process of developing this festival, a new tradition gradually formed through the involvement of various actors. The Amis Harvest Festival thus gives a great chance to explore the development of an oncoming-tradition in the world .
This new tradition is called ?the assembly dancing', and it makes the atmosphere of the Amis Harvest Festival more and more famous for its lively, delightful atmosphere. The way that tourists feel is also interesting as well as the construction of the atmosphere. The relationship between senses, experiences and bodies, and how we gain the experiences of the world through our senses and bodies will be discussed.
However, some Amis people have begun to worry that the tradition will be replaced, and result in the disappearance of their culture. Since the Amis Harvest Festival has been treated as a tool enhancing local income, does the culture inevitably have to be sacrificed? This conflict also shows up in the case of the festival. Through this case, one may have a chance to discuss the contradiction between modernity and tradition.
In my research, I choose the Amis Harvest Festival as a case study for various reasons. Firstly, I am interested in the atmosphere of festivals, and the culture of indigenous people. As mentioned above, the Amis Harvest Festival is the most famous indigenous people's festival in Taiwan. The lively atmosphere of it is widely known. It thus is a great case to be investigated. Secondly, the recreation of a tradition and its making process are also my interests. Since the fame of the Amis Harvest Festival, numerous festivals have been constructed by imitating it. And those festivals also affect the appearance of the Amis Harvest Festival. Using the case of the Amis Harvest Festival, one may have a chance to analyse the construction of atmosphere in tourism places, as well as the complex relationship among culture, tradition, reinvented-tradition, and tourism. Last, using the case of this festival, not only the spectacle of it, but the feelings gathered from various sensuous organs through joining the dancing can be explored.
On the one hand, I seek to explain how different actors, such as the leaders of indigenous groups, the central and the local governments, are involved; and the way various actors co-construct the atmosphere and the oncoming-tradition through their communication, co operation, competition, conflicts and compromises will be analysed. On the other hand, I also focus on how the participants joining the dancing in the festival perceive its atmosphere through their various senses.
the atmosphere of festivals/ the culture of indigenous people/ the recreation of a tradition and its making process/ the construction of atmosphere in tourism places/ the complex relationship among culture, tradition, reinvented-tradition, and tourism/ the feelings gathered from various sensuous organs through joining tourist events
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