Document Type

Book Chapter

Publication Date


Publication Title

Heritage Tourism in Southeast Asia



Publisher Name

University of Hawai'i Press


I begin this chapter with a vignette concerning the events that led to the selection of a particular Toraja hamlet (known as Ke'te' Kesu') for tentative inclusion on UNESCO's List of World Heritage Sites. In this portion of the chapter I also unpack some of the local reactions to this selection and contrast these reactions with an analysis of UNESCO conception~ and assumptions pertaining to World Heritage Sites, many of which are entwined with romantic assumptions about ancient life-ways under siege by the contemporary world. I then turn to trace the historyofKe'te' Kesu', from its colonial roots to the present, illustrating how the birth of this hamlet as well as its rise to pre-eminence was part and parcel of colonial and postcolonial dynamics. Finally, I turn to address how local contestations over whose heritage was to be elevated to fame ultimately fuelled a re-framing of the World Heritage Site nomination, such that Ke'te' Kesu''s nomination was broadened to all of Tana To raja. Finally, I close with a discussion of the broader lessons emerging from this case study.




Author Posting. © Kathleen M. Adams, 2010. This chapter is posted here by permission of the University of Hawai'i Press for personal use, not for redistribution. The chapter was published in Heritage Tourism in Southeast Asia.

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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.