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Artifak: Cultural Revival, Tourism, and the Recrafting of History in Vanuatu

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Cultural Revival, Tourism, and the Recrafting of History in Vanuatu

Hugo DeBlock

300 pages, 55 illus., bibliog., index

ISBN  978-1-78920-042-3 $135.00/£99.00 / Hb / Published (November 2018)

eISBN 978-1-78920-043-0 eBook

View CartYour country: - edit Request a Review or Examination Copy (in Digital Format)Recommend to your LibraryAvailable in GOBI®


Artifak will be relevant to larger parts of the Pacific and will certainly be illuminating to a broader audience than just those interested in Vanuatu. DeBlock’s accessible writing style and treatment of specialized knowledge areas have resulted in an anthropological study of material culture containing accessible insights for everyone.” • Journal of Pacific History

“A fine piece of work… This book addresses a range of important areas that anthropologists and art historians will find fascinating, including issues around repatriation, the art trade, concepts of property and ownership, and cultural revivalism.” • Graeme Were, University of Queensland

“A useful case study of the development of ‘customary’ art in northern Vanuatu.” • Lamont Lindstrom, University of Tulsa


In Vanuatu, commoditization and revitalization of culture and the arts do not necessarily work against each other; both revolve around value formation and the authentication of things. This book investigates the meaning and value of (art) objects as commodities in differing states of transit and transition: in the local place, on the market, in the museum. It provides an ethnographic account of commoditization in a context of revitalization of culture and the arts in Vanuatu, and the issues this generates, such as authentication of actions and things, indigenized copyright, and kastom disputes over ownership and the nature of kastom itself.

Hugo DeBlock is a Guest Professor at Ghent University and The Royal Academy of Fine Arts, Ghent, Belgium. He has carried out extensive fieldwork in Vanuatu, and his most recent research focuses on visual anthropology, film, and representation in Vanuatu, Zanzibar, and Tanzania.

Subject: Anthropology (General)Heritage StudiesMuseum Studies
Area: Asia-Pacific


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