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THE ETHNOGRAPHER / TOURIST IN INDONESIA

Edward M. Bruner
University of Illinois
In ALLCOCK, John, BRUNER, Edward M & LANFANT, Marie-Francoise
(orgs.).International Tourism: Identity and Change, Anthropological and
Sociological Studies. Londres: Sage Publications, 1995.
Introduction
We have problematized the identity of the native peoples who
become the object of the tourist gaze, caught as they are in the paradoxical
predicament of encouraging tourism as a route to economic development
but realizing at the same time that tourists want to see undeveloped
primitive peoples. The more modern the locals become the less interest
they have for the Occidental tourist. Tourists come from the outside to see
the exotic; from the inside, tourism is viewed as modernization. Tourism
thrives on difference; why should the tourists travel thousands of miles and
spend thousands of dollars to view a Third World culture essentially similar
to their own? This necessity for primitiveness may lead the indigenous
people to mask their real selves and to devise performances to satisfy the
tourist quest for the exotic Other (Kirshenblatt-Gimblett and Bruner 1989).
The consequences this predicament may have for the native self have been
discussed elsewhere (Bruner 1991).
We have also problematized the role of the tourist (see Amirou, this
volume), but where we have done the least in tourism studies is to analyze
the identity of those who study tourism, the researchers. We study the
voyeurism of the tourist but not the voyeurism of the researcher studying
tourists (Walkerdine 1986). In many fields, including anthropology, we no
longer regard the research scientist as a politically detached objective
observer who studies other peoples from a neutral position. In recent years
we have become very aware of the multiple ways that our narrative
structures, writing practices, academic conventions, and ideological stances
penetrate our professional practice (Bruner 1984, 1986, 1989, Clifford and
Marcus 1986, Marcus and Fischer 1986). We realize that the scientist does
not have a fixed monolithic or unified self but is rather a product of an
historical era, a disciplinary perspective, a life situation, and that these
historical and social factors have a bearing on the production of scientific
research. Rather than factor out the personal from the scientific, recent
ethnographers have celebrated it (Narayan 1989, Lavie 1990, Kondo 1990).

A key difficulty in studying tourists is methodological . and these reflections will constitute the concluding thrust of the paper. my expenses were paid by the commercial tour agency that hired me and in addition. but the problem is one of finding an opportunity for an extended conversation.In this paper I discuss my experiences serving as a tour guide to Indonesia for affluent American tourists. not necessarily a cohesive one. both Western discursive practices. and become a tightly knit social group. It is relatively easy to begin a discussion but in the middle of a sentence the tour leader announces that the group is moving on to the next site. tourists become a group in their area of origin. My focus will be on the identity of the researcher as well as on the tourists. Of course. especially as my focus of interest was American and European tourists who travel to Third World countries.the tourists move so fast through the sites that it is hard to keep up with them. We have generalizations in the literature about tourist motivations. As a guide. the paper is more about Americans than Indonesians. I was also led to reflect on the similarities and differences between ethnography and tourism. or Paris. but a traveling social unit. in March 1986. on the bus with the tourists immediately after a performance to observe their reactions. in New York. that they are on a sacred journey (Graburn 1977). Further. On the first tour there were 7 tourists and on the second there were 13. and your informant has disappeared. The Ethnographer as Tour Guide My rationale for becoming a tour guide was to gather data for a comparative study of tourist productions. so I earned $1400 and . I would be an insider and I could observe how the tourists actually experienced the sites and events to which they were exposed. on a quest for their authentic self (MacCannell 1976). and again in March 1987. but little systematic observation on the tourists' own reactions and interpretations. or I could sit with them at breakfast during a discussion about the itinerary for the day. I would be there. but that would have been a prohibitively expensive alternative. or Tokyo. for the tourists are accessible. I led the Indonesian tour two times. and as such is more a contribution to studies of Western culture than to studies of Southeast Asia. I could have accomplished the same objective by becoming a tourist. eat their meals together for the duration of the tour. I felt that the only way for me to enter into tourist discourse would be to join the tour group. The problem is not one of gaining rapport. They travel together. or that tourism is play (Cohen 1984). As an ethnographer working as a guide for tourists. By becoming a guide. Although the setting is Indonesia. I received a fee of $200 per participant. sharing the adventures and the trials of a common journey.

wealthy enough to afford a $4200 three week vacation. Many anthropologists have led such tours but few mention it and even fewer write about it or incorporate the experience into their academic discourse. business executives. tourists are alienated beings who lead such shallow and inauthentic lives that they have to seek authenticity elsewhere. Our group. moving from Hong Kong. Graburn 1983). were very aware of the special nature of their tour. Briefly. an engineer. and to Bali. One woman said about another group that they were mere tourists. and even a retired Phd in sociology. to the tours organized by universities for their alumni or by museums for their sponsors. to Singapore. a medical school professor. The agency advertised that their tours were led by "noted scholars. by spending 3 weeks in one country was able to explore Indonesia in depth. I will describe the nature of my particular Indonesian tour. and the front page of the tourist brochure for Indonesia presented a biographical sketch of my academic qualifications stressing that I was an anthropology professor. my wife accompanied me as she always does on ethnological field trips. for they didn't even have their own academic lecturer. at least in my capacity as a scholar. and we had to pay for her expenses. As the Indonesia tour. in the advertising and in the tourist view.19 of the 20 had received a college education. In 3 weeks! Combining the 1986 and the 1987 populations yields a sociological profile of the tourists. cost about $4200 per person. They were well educated . and spoke the language. for a brief 3 days in each locality. however. Nine were men or women who had previously worked but who were now retired. The participants. to Bangkok. including both air fare and land package. They were older." a reading list had been distributed in advance. On both tours. we actually lost money. ostensibly there to learn. There were physicians. .$2600. One way to put it was that the tour agency was not only selling Indonesia. the average age was about 50. If. one would never know it from these tourists. as MacCannell (1976) says. it was claimed. however. at cost. Another remarked that he would never go with one of those tour groups that cover all Asia in a few weeks. a lawyer. Seven of the 20 were women who had been divorced or widowed and who were traveling alone. had conducted three years of field work in Indonesia. they were selling me. This was a tour with a tour guide professor and tourist students. it was an upscale version of what has been called cultural or educational tourism (Mintz 1977. Another way to put it was that tourism had co-opted ethnography. The Tourists As there are many types of tours and tourists (Cohen 1984). and most were from a successful professional or business class. It was comparable.

when they had the leisure time and the money. and hardy souls. that no time was lost enroute. After a frantic search to find her tour guide. she finally located me in an old church. Many of the tourists had became international travelers at a particular stage in their life cycle.an experience in Zimbabwe. When I asked what she felt during the dream. many went regularly on one or two organized tours a year. explained that she was going on tours because to live the good life was the best revenge. Like the tourists. recently retired from a lucrative medical practice. on one tour after another. Most enjoyed the companionship of others on the group tour. as if to make up for the missed vacations during busy working years. and who had gone to China first. Some had previously organized their own trips. Dreams may be read at many levels. but in this dream the manifest content reveals the woman's dependency on the tour group and the emotional force of that dependency. that I stopped off at a photography store to buy more film. and for many of the single travelers this was a key factor. then. much to her relief. a tour taken last year with Society Expeditions or Abercrombie & Kent. what happened when the bus broke down in Burma. and we too talked about our children. Some of the older single women were afraid to travel by themselves and were very dependent on the group and on the tour leader. There was competition within the group as to who had gone to the most exotic places. the woman replied that she felt terror at being alone and abandoned. Personally. Much of the conversation on tour was about tours . was dragging her all over the world. and 10 of the 20 had been on other tours with the same travel agency. One woman told me that her husband. The . and one woman dreamed that she and I were together on the tour bus. were experienced travelers. and that it was a learning experience. They appreciated that everything was arranged in advance. my wife and I were older college educated professionals. Every one of the 20 tourists had been on previous tours. and some had been doing so for decades. just divorced. the time the children went along on the trip to East Africa.I felt comfortable with these affluent tourists in part because of the similarities in our life experiences. but they preferred the group tour as it took the hassle out of travel. although it has been reported by others (Foster 1986). or after losing a spouse. This was an unexpected finding for me. adventuresome. Tourism was part of their life style. Relationships between persons of similar socio-economic and generational levels may be more comfortable as so much is shared. I found the tourists to be intelligent. of course. especially after retirement. that the accommodations were first class. especially in Third World countries. or what it was like when China was just opened to tourism. All of the tourists. Another relatively young woman in her forties. I recorded tourist dreams. but I did not return.

and the sociological profile of the participants was similar to the profile of the Indonesian tour groups. there was throughout the three week period continual animated conversation not so much about Indonesia as about tourism. and as a couple they were intelligent. There were at least four additional people from the Chicago area who had been on the tour and who could have been invited. There were many romantic images of buffalo in the rice fields. but that in general not many people wanted to see their slides or even to hear about the trip. Or to attend a reunion. In November 1985. but in fact there was considerable similarity in the images. for we had never attended a tourist reunion before. were tourists like themselves. and their most significant others. Another reason for the similarity was the influence of National Geographic magazine. my wife and I were delighted to go. and we learned that in the morning there would be only eight people from the Thailand-Burma tour . One of the other husbands owned a factory that made electric motors. others would ask for a copy. friendly. witty.the Sullivans. possibly because on tour everyone usually took photographs at the same time. a popular couple on the Thailand-Burma trip sent us an invitation to come to a tourist reunion on a Sunday at their home in the suburbs of Chicago. and one was a physician. possibly to a close friend or relative. two were elderly widows. The Sullivans told us to bring our slides and the morning was spent viewing each others' photographs. What these tourists shared was an interest in tours. and fun to be with. the Bruners. who did they show their photographs to when they returned home? The question elicited some uneasiness and a few quiet smiles. By the middle of the first week the travelers had consulted one another about where to go on the next tour. What would it be like? What would we do? More detailed instructions followed. Some months after our return. the wife owned a woman's clothing shop. at least not hear about it in any detail. a subculture of educational tours taken by a leisured class. and one way to find a meaningful social group to share their interest was to go on another tour. Of course. when the bus stopped. While . before leading the Indonesia tours. I gained some insight into this culture when one day at lunch I asked. What I learned was that they showed their slides to their children. It was also an educational three week tour. and of these. if I may use that phrase. the Sullivans. but were not. I was a guide on a tour to Thailand and Burma sponsored by an organization in Chicago. as an interest group. of saffron-robed monks. and of Buddhist temples. and two other couples. of smiling Third World children. The tourists lacked a home audience. The husband was a retired military officer who had a second career as an executive in a bank. As this group of others was constituted on tour.conversation reflected and constructed a tourist culture. If anyone had a particularly striking photo. possibly because all four were single.

My tag. Not only the objects in the centerpiece but the guests themselves were classified by tour. The centerpiece of the buffet table was quite remarkable. copies of the National Geographic coverage of the country would circulate among the tourists. for I had never known what tourists did with all the souvenirs they bought. a Maasai spear. the Walking tour in Germany. to list the tours taken with the Sullivans. after the person's name. A mask from Africa. the English Countryside tour. an Australian boomerang. As many of the people were known only to the Sullivans and were strangers to each other. Thailand-Burma". A sense of consumerism and consumption pervaded the air. a German beer mug. reduced to the status of sheer objects. as one person after another told stories of experiences in exotic places. A wonder-cabinet has absolutely no classificatory principle at work except that the items contained within it are all strange objects. and those of us who had been there in the morning joined the larger group. and this happened on both the ThailandBurma tour and on the two Indonesia trips. Chinese pottery. a Bavarian-type Swiss clock. which demonstrates the importance of the tour. was "Ed Bruner. followed by a listing of tours. each person was asked to fill out a name tag. Persons who had traveled with the Sullivans on other tours came at noon for a buffet lunch. whereas museum exhibits have some unifying theme. and much of the conversation concerned tours taken or anticipated." The objects survive the period and the context that produce them. and the reunion took a different turn. which was expected. The Sullivans later informed me that they saved old copies of National Geographic . The classificatory principle at work in the centerpiece was that all the objects had been collected on tour. which shows the importance this group attached to tourism. Thai temple bells. which provided a model of the kind of images they would seek. the mark of ones' identity was a name.they had a huge stack in the basement . Thus. by the Sullivans.and before each trip would look up the issue of the country to be visited. and . and a Mekonde statue. the East African Safari tour. strange things: tokens of alien cultures. in the most reified sense of the phrase. Each object in the centerpiece served as a reminder of a particular tour.on tour. Apparently it was a common practice on educational tours. There was a cloth from India. stripped of cultural and human contexts. The walls of the home were covered with photographs grouped together not by theme but by tour. The slide show was over by noon. and after listing their name. but other tags might list. such as objects of a particular type or from a certain geographical area of the world. as it contained a number of the souvenirs the Sullivans had purchased on their many trips. or whatever trips the person had taken with the Sullivans. I was pleased to see this centerpiece. The display reminded me of Mullaney's (1983:43) description of a 16th century European wonder cabinet: "what comes to reside in a wonder-cabinet are. for example.

what did I learn as a tour guide to Indonesia and what were the difficulties? My double role as a tour guide serving tourists. I constructed for the tourists the meaning of the sites and then I studied that meaning as if I had discovered it. It is important to note that the concern was less with the intrinsic quality of the object. The same oscillation occurred in my photography. such as how it might be used. This is not as unusual in ethnographic research as it may at first appear. In any case. Cassirer has noted that when we think we are exploring reality we are merely engaging in a dialogue with our own symbolic systems (Bruner 1986:150). My talk mediated their experience and in a sense. or with the position of the object in the indigenous culture. the magnificent 8th century Buddhist monument in central Java. but as tour guide my task was to structure that experience through my lectures and explanations. and I must admit that I had not been aware of the ambiguities of the position in which I had placed myself. These data suggest that the tourists may have more of an experience of the tour group than an experience of Indonesia. But rather than beginning with a desire to see Indonesia and then deciding that the group tour was a convenient way to go.the object served as the occasion for telling a story about the conditions in which the object had been selected and purchased (Stewart 1984). during the course of the journey through Indonesia I would slip back and forth between the two discourses. gaping in awe at Borobudur. many individual tourists first decide to go on tour and then select Indonesia. for I could not always keep them straight. It would be too extreme to say that the tourists go to Indonesia as an excuse for joining a tour group. Even more disturbing. I took photographs of Borobudur that must have been indistinguishable from any tourist snapshot. the touristic and the ethnographic. but then I would turn my camera and photograph the tourists taking photographs of Borobudur. At times I experienced myself as pure tourist. and as an ethnographer studying them. there is no doubt that the cultural content. As ethnographer I wanted to learn how tourists experienced the sites. Was I a closet ethnographer on . Ethnography and Tourism We now ask. and at other times I marshalled my reflexive acuity and carefully took notes on tourist behavior. I found myself studying myself. is acquired within the context of the tour group. the knowledge of Indonesia. but rather with the circumstances involved in the collection of the object by the Sullivans. Like the Kaluli shaman who create the meaning they discover (Schieffelin 1992). placed me in an interstitial position between touristic and ethnographic discourse. and this is one of the most important things about the entire experience.

and now in the standard tourist performance (Lanfant 1989). or a closet tourist doing ethnography? Was Sidney Mintz correct. Early in my career my wife and I had lived in a Toba Batak village in North Sumatra and were adopted into the Simandjuntak clan (Bruner 1957). I was led to reflect on the similarities and differences between tourism and ethnography. I went on a few "vacations" there with my family. that "we are all tourists" (1977:59)? The ambiguity of it all was upsetting. but as I have noted elsewhere (Bruner 1989) it is precisely this traditional culture that ethnographers have usually described and that the tourists now come to see. reside there temporarily. I did rather traditional ethnography of rural and urban social organization (Bruner 1963). and particularly to probe more deeply into my own experiences. In the early 1970s. I have occupied multiple roles in Indonesia. Having found myself in this predicament.tour. I thoroughly enjoyed these Balinese family vacations. tourism seeks to occupy the ethnographic present. and return with accounts and stories of their observations. tourism is an . as ethnographer. The similarities between tourism and ethnography have been explored with irony and insight by Crick (1985. as ethnographer studying tourism. and from what I recollect. Thus. As the ethnographic present never existed it has always been reconstructed. This preference for the simulacrum is the essence of contemporary tourism in these postmodern times. as tourist. Both tourists and ethnographers travel to foreign areas. and this volume). and finally. Eco 1986). Tourism and ethnography (and colonialism) are relatives (Graburn 1983). KirshenblattGimblett (1987: 59) regards "tourism as a species of ethnographic discourse. and only later in the 1980s did my interests turn to tourism. taking time off from anthropological work I was then conducting in Java (Bruner 1972). the discursive space that colonialism mourns for and that ethnography has recently. abandoned. where the copy is better than the original (Baudrillard 1983. It is not. Colonialism. so I am an appropriate person to write on this topic. In our contemporary era. "From the perspective of ethnography. formerly in the traditional ethnographic monograph. we behaved in ways essentially similar to other tourists in Bali. and as tour guide. when modern mass tourism was rapidly developing in Bali. as they arise from the same social formation and are different forms of Western expansion into the Third World. based upon a gross inequity in power relations. what Rosaldo (1989) calls imperialist nostalgia. We stayed at tourist hotels or beach cottages in Sanur. ethnography. that ethnographers acknowledge the similarity with tourism." Colonialists frequently yearn for the traditional native culture that they have destroyed. of course. observe native peoples. and tourism have at different time periods engaged the mythological "traditional" culture of primitive peoples.

In the remainder of this paper I will reverse the focus to highlight the differences. an ethnographer's paradise. just as the festival was beginning. the tour director announced that we were leaving for lunch and that everyone should go back to the tour bus. noting that the Balinese were resting in the shade whereas the members of our group were walking about in the sun.and to articulate the differences based upon my own Indonesian field experiences. and nothing was happening." But Mintz. Kirshenblatt-Gimblett and others have begun to highlight the similarities between tourism and ethnography. were assembled for a procession. the gamelan was playing. and play . I assured them. their finger and body movements slow and delicate. The challenge is to avoid the obvious . whereas tourism is commercial. the festival started. and an impostor (de Certeau 1984: 143). as if in trance. We took our bus to another nearby site and returned at 11 am.that ethnography is science. and we strive to distinguish ethnography from tourism. it was all happening at once. and it was spectacular. Elderly Balinese women began dancing in a line around the temple courtyard. inauthentic. for the ceremony will begin. Our group arrived on the day of the temple festival. One of the tourists complained of the heat and suggested to the tour director that we leave. around 12:30 pm.illegitimate child. for tourism is an assault on our authority and privileged position as ethnographers (Bruner 1989: 440). I had arranged for the group to attend an odalan or Balinese temple festival. Crick. but we arrived too early. Shortly after noon. Their faces were intense. sounds and colors were coming from everywhere. in addition to the usual tourist itinerary of the kecak and barong dances. which was fortunate. a disgraceful simplification. a performance that the Balinese put on for themselves. Touristic Visualization My most striking insight into the tourist mentality occurred when I was a guide for the second tour group to Indonesia in 1987. only to find that not much had changed. at 10 am in the morning. Such rituals are not on the tour itinerary because they occur at irregular intervals and the time scheduling is unpredictable. authentic. We waited until 11:30 am but there was still not much activity. Graburn. the odors. In Bali. and work. I urged that we wait. The barong and rangda masks. Just relax. fruit. which look like Chinese dragons. and sweets balanced on their heads as offerings to the temple gods. . Incense was burning. A group may arrive at a temple only to find that the festival was over yesterday or will take place next week. The pemangku or priests were sprinkling holy water on kneeling supplicants. Other women began arriving with pyramids of flowers. At that point.

but I would have rather remained at the ceremony. to see this dazzling ceremony. and there is no necessity to go further. a token of the exotic. An ethnographer could spend years studying an odalan. better than in Bali. to penetrate to any deeper level." replied one tourist as the group followed the tour leader back to the air conditioned bus. we did have a good discussion of animal sacrifice. and from National Geographic. . To have captured the ceremony in photographs is to have domesticated the exotic. writing. "But we have seen it. article. if ethnography is anything it is writing. I said. "But we have seen it. and many have. a lecture. analyzing. I said. At lunch. decided to follow the set itinerary but to go to the ritual before lunchtime. and the group. The touristic mode of experiencing is primarily visual. One tourist objected that he didn't want to miss anything that was written on the printed schedule. and Indonesian beliefs about the supernatural. the group sent a delegate to inform me that they felt it was time to leave.I protested. the ritual symbols. and explained that what ethnographers do in these circumstances is to "hang around. The tourist has "seen" a strange thing. in words. for the final ethnographic product is an account. When we arrived at the hotel I learned that there was to be a large Toradja funeral the next day and suggested at supper that we forget the printed itinerary and go directly to the ritual. so that it can be brought back home. the identity of the social groups involved. because such Hindu rituals were only performed in Bali. and presenting." to flow with the events. and to observe. only requires presence. kinship groupings. After a morning of going to dead Toradja "traditional" villages." These words still haunt me. To "see" a ritual is comparable to collecting a souvenir to be placed in the centerpiece of a buffet table. the placement in space. This was a rare opportunity. Stay. and the meaning of it all for the Balinese. where no one lived but where the tourists could buy souvenirs and cloth (and the Indonesian guide could receive his customary commission). being there is just the start of a long process of taking field notes. For us. supported by the local Indonesian guide. and the aura of pleasurable mystification remains. The touristic and ethnographic modes of understanding are totally different. At 1 pm. As Clifford (1988) and Geertz (1988) have informed us. or monograph. a twentieth century wonder cabinet. but I had managed to keep them there for one and a half hours. revising. to have "seen" it. and to have been there. we finally arrived at the ceremony in time to see the slaughter of ten buffalo. The tourist "sees" enough of the Balinese ritual to confirm his prior images derived from the media. spoken or written. as we analyze the time sequence. I had a similar experience with another tour group in Sulawesi. and an odalan is performed at each temple only once a year. from brochures.

because even without the requisite technology. and it decontextualizes the Other (Sontag 1973. Maybe Karl Heider or Richard Chalfen could do it.That tourism is based on visual perception was reinforced by the contrast between the role of photography in ethnography and in tourism. I found that I could not do ethnography and photography at the same time. Is this emphasis on tourist visualization an overstatement? Not every tourist. If a couple is traveling together. peoples and sites are turned into instant images. Sites require varying degrees of verbal explanation. almost as a close-up of life. I went off in a different direction. This way of experiencing transforms the native object into images. in the form of tour guide talk. Mulvey 1975. In my earlier work in Sumatra. guidebooks. so that they see others through the viewfinder. signs. tourist brochures. Each required a different style of concentration and a different play of sensory modes. because there is always some interpretation provided or available before the tourists come the site. and they do have a prior conception of what they are buying. but serially. The world is seen as a series of framed photographs. and indeed there are some verbalizations about every site. every site is pre-interpreted. No site in the Third World is approached naively. The tourists "know" about the site before they arrive. into frames. frequently only one person takes the pictures and assumes the photographer's role. or even the remarks of other tourists. It is the ultimate triumph of Polaroid photography. Many times I have observed that when tourists come to a new site. their first reaction is to move the camera to the eye. to the moment when the elements in the photograph were in the most appropriate arrangement. . my conversations with people and my observations of their behavior. tourists observe people and events through the camera lens. of course. This is very selective perception. a well composed image. Barthes 1981). but I couldn't. if only because they have selected the site in advance when they purchased the tour. to the play of light and shade. On the other hand. At a given event or ceremony. As ethnographer. as I was sensitive to the correct camera angle. never simultaneously. although sometimes both may take photographs. As photographer. I had to go along with the flow of the dialogue. Nevertheless. carries a camera. markers. In a sense. My objective was a photograph that was aesthetically pleasing as well as ethnographically informative. as it places a frame around the object. photographic visualization is the dominant mode of touristic perception. I might do both ethnography and photography. It removes the surrounding context from view and selects out for emphasis what is contained within the frame. I was sensitive to my primary sources of information. to the neglect of the larger environment around the frame.

he said. is being transformed as image for the tourist gaze. because he knew that everything would be done for him by the tour agency. without seeming to look. of hiding oneself from the Other. I have observed this phenomena in Bali. and had become a standard part of the tour. and he replied that it was better than yesterday. would herd sheep in the late afternoon. I asked an elderly tourist if he had a good day. much of the Third World. It made a magnificent photograph. which hides his or her real self. The tourist can move in for a closeup but this is accomplished without direct eye-toeye contact. I came to understand what he meant. without being personal or committed to the relationship. . at least along the main tourist routes. where Navaho in bright blue and turquoise clothing. Tour agents and entrepreneurs have responded to this need. He traveled with this agency. a voyeurism. Native craft demonstrations and performances are being arranged at times of the day when the conditions and the light are best for photography. as there were more good photographic opportunities. Touristic Surrender An executive of a large technology firm on the east coast explained to me that once he boarded the plane for Indonesia he became completely relaxed. It is as if what confronts the Other is the camera-mask (to coin a phrase) of the tourist. In one of my Indonesian tours. and that everything would be first class. Marked photo vantage points along tourist routes are commonplace. because they really took care of you . He evaluated the success of his tour by the number of his photographs. A bus was waiting to take you to the airport. no concerns.As tourists approach the Other with camera in hand. The tour leader. riding horses. as native peoples are being given visual but not verbal space in touristic discourse. they "see" the Balinese or the Toradja through their viewfinder. but I first noticed it as a graduate student during a tour of Monument Valley in the Southwest. in advance. one reproduced many times. As a compliment to this touristic mode of experiencing. Photography provides a role for the tourist in what otherwise might be an awkward encounter. but that native life is being rearranged to fit touristic photographic requirements is something else again (Chalfen 1987:118). The tourist eye "sees" though photographic frames. and in East Africa. When the group was moving from one island area to another.there would be no hassles. The camera held in front of the face of the tourist serves as a mask. in Java. and no necessity to make decisions. when the sun cast long shadows along the ridges of a sand dune. Photography is a way of examining the native. the instructions were to place your bags outside your hotel room on the day of departure. told us exactly where to stand to get the best photographs. a way of enhancing the distance between subject and object.

that tourists become like children (Dann 1989). When the plane arrived at its destination. as used by Jafari. and shortly thereafter your bags were delivered. based on the van Gennep. The main requirement was that you follow instructions." Other writers have described this phenomena in other terms. they let go. An ethnographer is or could be working every waking moment.where you were given your boarding pass. Almost all of the tourists did as they were told. Touristic surrender involves acceptance of the common practices of the group tour. This set of practices and the attitudes that accompany it I call "tourist surrender. taking notes. They become passive and dependent. which are about status and consumerism. The Oxford English Dictionary defines surrender as "to give oneself up into the power of another. but in the bargain. What the tourists surrender is not their structural position in a home society but rather control over their journey. At every step along the way you were told what to do. and turn over the management of the tour to the agency. racial. Victor Turner notion of rites of passage. and it was considered bad form to be late or to hold up the group. Touristic surrender then is just the opposite of the ethnographic stance. I do not. conducting interviews. so that in their conversations on the journey. accept the model of going on tour as a liminal "time out" from home. however. Surrender makes the details of travel so much easier. you were given a key to your new room. the journey on the group tour involves an oscillation. and continually . what the tourists talk about is other tours and tourism more than Indonesia. While on tour you were told when to stay with the group or when there was a period of free time. with all its turmoil about multiculturalism. and this is what gives them the feeling of relaxation. and as I have already mentioned in an earlier section. Then too. The time spent at each site was predetermined by the agency. such as the social requirements of group travel and the loss of the ability to set one's own agenda. What I wish to emphasize here is that the tourists voluntarily surrender control. the tourists also surrenders control of their relationship with the Indonesian peoples. they never really leave home. and gender issues. Such paradigms fail to problematize "home" (Morris 1988) and from the perspective of my own home university community. it is difficult anymore to regard "home" as a stable beginning or ending. There was no waiting in line. as a three part home-journey-home paradigm. Ethnography is a struggle and one never surrenders. passports or tickets. no worry about customs or immigration. from hotel to the bus to the sites. you were instructed precisely when to meet back at the bus. suggesting for example." as a prisoner. and in the latter case. another bus was waiting to take you to the hotel. and this expresses my meaning in that tourists relinquish power over their actions for the duration of the tour.

If a culture is shaped for 70 years. There are performances which arise in Balinese life. the province of the ethnographer. e call it tourism. as two entirely separate discourses. so that they are emphasized more in Balinese culture. Tourism is primarily visual. accept no moral or political responsibility for the people they visit or for the accounts of native peoples that they produce. But the distinctions between religion. and if the evaluations of foreign scholars legitimate some Balinese performances more than others. if in a concert hall in London.struggling to understand and to make sense of a different culture. and James Boon are among those exploring these issues. not Balinese realities. in ways that I will describe elsewhere (Bruner nd). if in a beach hotel. and I focus on some differences. to native ways to such an extent that one begins to live the native life rather than describing it for a home audience. but drift into tourism. As a tour guide working for a tour agency I found myself fighting the system. and that this is a purely scholarly issue. from the late 1920s (Picard 1990. Michel Picard. ethnographers struggle. between what is sacred and what secular (Picard 1990). Hildred Geertz. between what is performed for outsiders and what for themselves. we call it religion. Possibly even more important are two points about which I am still gathering data and am not prepared to discuss at this time. at least those on upscale cultural tourism of the kind I have described. it is no longer possible to differentiate in Balinese culture between what is touristic and what is ethnographic. and hence is now ethnographic. the constant struggle is against the taken-for-granted. . If a Balinese troupe performs a dance drama in a temple. for the greatest danger is in accepting. and tourism are Western categories. The first is that tourists. and even trying to change it. it blurs the boundaries. to perform for foreigners. but rather that tourism has influenced the selves and the lives of native peoples to such an extent that they cannot be entirely sure what is touristic and what ethnographic. and there are dramas such as the frog dance which was created in Batuan in the 1970s explicitly for tourists but which has now been performed in Balinese social life. The second point is that in places like Bali. It is not just that Crick and others highlight the similarities between tourism and ethnography. or surrendering. such as the barong drama. art. but I will mention them. over multiple generations. we call it art. which have had at least 70 years of continuous tourism. whereas ethnographers these days have to accept full political responsibility for their work. of giving in to native routine. 1990). Boon 1977. ethnography verbal: tourists surrender. In the field. as in Bali. The enterprise is never completed because even after you leave the field site the hard problems emerge of creating order out of a melange of discontinuous notes and memories.

as Indonesians shape their performances for a foreign audience. I described how I was lecturing to the tourists about Indonesia. This same process has been operating in Bali and possibly in Toradja (Volkman 1990). the stuff of ethnography is itself becoming contaminated with the touristic. and then studying their reactions to Indonesia. The point is that the Balinese and other Indonesian peoples have the same problem.Earlier in the paper. so that in effect I was studying myself. which is indeed a predicament. Balinese culture. on a more profound cultural level. . in an ironic tone. The point goes beyond my personal role problem in separating my touristic self from my ethnographic self. thus influencing them.

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