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Legacies of Space and Intangible Heritage is an interdisciplinary exploration of the intersections between the study and management of physical sites and the reproduction of intangible cultural legacies. The volume provides nine case studies that explore different ways in which place is mediated by social, political, and ecological processes that have deep historical roots and that continue to affect the politics of heritage management.
Spaces of human habitation are both historical records of the past and key elements in reproducing the knowledge and values that define lives in the present. Practices, knowledge, and skills that communities recognize as part of their culture—and that a range of legal statutes define as protected intangible heritages—are threatened by increased migration, the displacement of indigenous peoples, and limits on access to culturally or historically significant sites. This volume addresses how different physical environments contribute to the reproduction of cultural forms even in the wake of these processes of displacement and change. Case studies from North and South America reveal a pattern of abandonment and reestablishment of settlements and show how collective memory drives people back to culturally meaningful sites.
This tendency for communities to return to the sites that shaped their collective histories, along with the growing importance granted to intangible heritage, challenges archaeologists and other heritage workers to find new ways of incorporating the cultural legacies that link societies to place into the work of research and stewardship. By examining the politics of cultural continuity through the lenses of archaeology and ethnohistory, Legacies of Space and Intangible Heritage demonstrates this complex relationship between a people’s heritage and the landscape that affects the making of "place."
Contributors: Rani Alexander, Hannah Becker, Minette Church, Bonnie Clark, Chip Colwell, Winifred Creamer, Emiliana Cruz, T. J. Ferguson, Julio Hoil Gutierrez, Jonathan Haas, Saul Hedquist, Maren Hopkins, Stuart B. Koyiyumptewa, Christine Kray, Henry Marcelo Castillo, Anna Roosevelt, Jason Yaeger, Keiko Yoneda