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Working with the Ancestors


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About the Author

Emily C. Donaldson is adjunct faculty in the Department of Anthropology at Saint Michael's College and the University of Vermont.


This book details how international resource management perspectives conflict with local values: 'the question of how to manage and preserve Marquesan heritage tangles intimately with how to ensure sustainable local livelihoods, now and into the future.' Well-researched, this book commendably documents multiple Marquesan viewpoints. It recommends limiting heritage tourism in favor of agricultural use and advocates incorporating indigenous concerns.

* Choice *

This study...lies at the intersection of various topics and approaches in social anthropology, history and heritage studies and offers an insightful perspective on the case of the Marquesas Islands in French Polynesia...[B]oth timely and necessary.

* Journal of Pacific History *

This well-written and powerful book blends together theoretical foundations, ethnographic examples, and Donaldson's own extensive anthropological fieldwork, presented as a series of vignettes and case studies. Taken together it is a valuable contribution to academic and applied work in heritage studies, development encounters, and tourism in the Pacific.

* Pacific Affairs *
Working with the Ancestors is a fascinating book. Embedded in the values of place, knowledge of place and power, this book furthers current debates within humangeography, anthropology and environmental sustainability concerning posthumanism, especially in terms of how posthumanistic notions can play out within the everydaylives of Indigenous people...In the tradition of the best anthropological books, Working with the Ancestors transports the reader to a foreign land and allows them to learn from local people themselves. It is a journey worth taking.* Archaeology in Oceania *

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