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The Ritual Labor of Reconciliation: An Autoethnography of a Return of Human Remains
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Ethnology, History of Religions and Gender Studies, Ethnology. Nordic Museum, Sweden.
2017 (English)In: Museum Worlds: Advances in Research, ISSN 2049-6729, E-ISSN 2049-6737, Vol. 5, no 1, p. 74-87Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Having a dual perspective as researcher of expressive culture and museum curator, I engage in the ceremonial aspects of repatriation through a practice-based "museology from within." Focusing on a handover of human remains by the Museum of Ethnography in Stockholm to indigenous claimants from Australia (2004), I combine material from my own participant observation with sources such as interviews and written and photographic documentation. The aim is to bring an autoethno-graphic-perspective to a discussion on the ritual dynamics of repatriation. The transfer of custody and right of interpretation was accomplished with a ceremonial process, co-created by museum staff and indigenous claimants. Drawing on differing cultural scripts as well as on improvised interplay, participants engaged in turn taking and intercultural translation of symbolic communication. Certain themes were ritualized redundantly, such as mutual exchange and reconciliation, but there also existed the more paradoxical copresence of seclusion and openness, closure and continuation.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017. Vol. 5, no 1, p. 74-87
Keywords [en]
Aboriginal Australia, cocreation, improvisation, intercultural translation, Museum of Ethnography in Sweden, repatriation, ritual structure, smoke ceremony
National Category
Ethnology
Research subject
Ethnology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-150487DOI: 10.3167/armw.2017.050108ISI: 000425387300008OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-150487DiVA, id: diva2:1168458
Projects
Museisamlingarnas sociomateriella dynamik: Försoningsritualer i det postsekulära museet
Funder
Swedish Research CouncilAvailable from: 2017-12-20 Created: 2017-12-20 Last updated: 2018-04-03Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
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