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Beyond the Festival Afterglow

Beyond the Festival Afterglow

(p.175) Chapter 5 Beyond the Festival Afterglow
American Aloha
Heather A. Diamond
University of Hawai'i Press

This chapter examines the legacy of the Smithsonian Folklife Festival (SFF) in its restaging, national and local offshoots, and memory as well as the local impact of national cultural intervention. It considers the various forms in which the SFF was transported back into a local context—performance, film, follow-up projects, and memory. It also raises a number of questions about Festival aftereffects, such as the impact of the Festival on cultural preservation programs and policy in Hawaiʻi, or the larger implications of institutional attention to tradition. The chapter argues that beyond its time-bound performance, the Hawaiʻi program provided an ongoing means of production and reproduction, but that its aftereffects were blunted by local politics and socioeconomic factors. It also explains how the Festival legitimized and made cultural celebrities of participants, albeit mostly on a small scale. Finally, it shows how the Festival and its 1990 restaging reinforced the notion that geniality, hospitality, reciprocity, and inclusivity are qualities inherent in Hawaiʻi lifestyles.

Keywords:   restaging, Smithsonian Folklife Festival, cultural intervention, performance, cultural preservation, tradition, Hawaiʻi program, cultural celebrities, participants, hospitality

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