Oaxaca's indigenous Guelaguetza festival: not all that glistens is gold

Whitford, Michelle (2009) Oaxaca's indigenous Guelaguetza festival: not all that glistens is gold. Event Management, 12 3-4: 143-161. doi:10.3727/152599509789659777

Author Whitford, Michelle
Title Oaxaca's indigenous Guelaguetza festival: not all that glistens is gold
Journal name Event Management   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1525-9951
Publication date 2009-07-01
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.3727/152599509789659777
Open Access Status
Volume 12
Issue 3-4
Start page 143
End page 161
Total pages 19
Place of publication Putnam Valley, NY, United States
Publisher Cognizant Communication
Language eng
Subject 1409 Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management
1406 Marketing
1403 Econometrics
Formatted abstract
Guelaguetza is one of Mexico's premiere celebrations of indigenous dance and music. The festival occurs every July in Oaxaca City where it is a premier tourist attraction providing opportunities for socioeconomic growth and development. Yet the festival also creates negative impacts such as commodifi cation and commercialization of the festival, which may lead to the bastardization of culture, including loss of indigenous authenticity and exploitation of local resources. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to critically analyze the positive and negative impacts of the 2007 Guelaguetza in order to determine the extent to which the festival focuses on becoming a tourist attraction at the expense of community celebration. A qualitative research design utilizing the case study approach was employed to analyze positive and negative impacts emerging from the real-world context of the 2007 Guelaguetza. The results of the study revealed that not all that glistens is gold at the festival. Behind the façade of this visually spectacular festival, the Guelaguetza is at real risk of becoming a colorful, attractive, yet meaningless, commercialized tourist venture if tourist and commercial needs are favored at the expense of the people and their traditions. Consequently, now is the time to revisit and redefi ne the purpose of the Guelaguetza to ensure it remains a sociocultural and economically viable annual festival for everyone to enjoy, long into the future.
Keyword Indigenous
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collection: UQ Business School Publications
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