Gradhiva n°4


The traffic of cultures

fall 2006

The fourth issue of Gradhiva confirms the journal's intention of providing common ground for anthropology, museology and history.
It opens with two studies in the field of ethnohistory. Jean Jamin and Yannick Seité offer an ethnography of a jazz melody, highlighting the role played by such 'songs' in popular culture, in literature and also in forming identity and relationships with otherness, whether black or white, American or European, Jewish or otherwise. Bernard Formoso's text takes another look at the way in which the Western image of Indochina came into being among 20th century orientalists, showing how the influences of other regional cultures - Indian, Chinese, or other - were interpreted. The study throws new light on the history of ethnographic and archaeological sciences in the Far East and on major figures in the field.
The two articles that follow present ethnographic analyses of museal institutions. Julio Vezub bases his study on the experience of the Leleque Museum in Argentinian Patagonia and describes the difficulties encountered in coordinating the interests of museologists, the Benetton group - the institution's patron - and the Mapuche and Tehuelche peoples concerned by the museum. Mathieu Claveyrolas takes an ethnographic look at the museum located within the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona. This museum, which is devoted in equal parts to the basilica itself, to its unfinished construction site and to its creator Gaudi, is used as a starting-point to explore the ways in which a religious and cultural heritage comes into being.
Finally, three texts go together to create a file on a performance given by Wauja Indians for the 'Radio France et Montpellier' Festival in the summer of 2005. The performance presented Wauja rituals, its highpoint being the dance of the great Atujuwa masks, and also gave the Western public an opportunity to hear the flute music and songs typical of the High Xingu. A year later, four French, American and Brazilian ethnologists specialising in the region look back on this unique experience, evoking the ways in which tradition adapts to museal demand.

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Studies and essays

  • Anthropology of a musical hit from the Roaring Twenties, from jazz to literature, by Jean JAMIN & Yannick SEITE
  • Indochina as seen from the West, by Bernard FORMOSO
  • The Leleque museum and the Benetton Group in Argentinian Patagonia, by Julio VEZUB
  • The museum of a holy place under construction. The Sagrada Família between archives and virtual completion, by Mathieu CLAVEYROLAS 

Special issue: The traffic of cultures

  • From indigenous villages to anthropological museums. About the property and selling of ritual Amazonian objects, by Aristóteles Barcelos Neto
  • The business of culture, ritual medicine an Coke, by Marcelo Fiorini & Christopher Ball
  • Huge Amazonian masks' dance. The chronical of an event, by Franck Beuvier

Scientific columns


  • 136 pages (20 x 27 cm)
  • 84 illustrations
  • ISBN : 2-915133-44-1
  • 18 €