This article contributes to comparative museology by examining curation practices and politics in several “museum-like” heritage spaces and locally run museums. I argue that, in this era of heritage consciousness, these spaces serve as creative stages for advancing potentially empowering narratives of indigeneity and ethnic authority. Understanding practices in ancestral spaces as “heritage management” both enriches our conception of museums and fosters nuanced understandings of clashes unfolding in these spaces as they become entwined with tourism, heritage commodification, illicit antiquities markets, and UNESCO. Drawing on ethnographic research in Indonesia, I update my earlier work on Toraja (Sulawesi) museum-mindedness and family-run museums, and analyze the cultural politics underlying the founding of a new regional Toraja museum. I also examine the complex cultural, religious, and political challenges entailed in efforts to repatriate stolen effigies (tau-tau) and grave materials, suggesting that these materials be envisioned as “homeless heritage” rather than “orphan art.”
Adams, Kathleen M.. The Politics of Indigeneity and Heritage: Indonesian Mortuary Materials and Museums. Museum Worlds, 8, 1: 68–87, 2020. Retrieved from Loyola eCommons, Anthropology: Faculty Publications and Other Works, http://dx.doi.org/10.3167/armw.2020.080106
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© Adams, 2020.