This week’s lectures centred on inventing tradition.  Hopefully you encountered some ideas that will be useful in your essays!

On Tuesday Brigitte discussed Hobsbawm & Ranger’s edited book, The Invention of Tradition.  Her powerpoint slides are here.

In class, we discussed how traditions are not timeless even though they seem that way.  There is this sort of romanticism surrounding traditions that helps generate the sense that they are ancient. The point of this is that if traditions are old, then they are unquestionable and can be exploited for political gain

After a few technical blips in Friday’s lecture, you saw a short clip from Koriam’s Law and the Dead Who Govern by Gary Kildea (2005).

While you were watching the clip you were supposed to consider issues such as colonial administration, indiginous ways of life and the roles cargo cults can play in inventing tradition.  CFHowland follows this up with a post on ritual participation and ties her disucussion into ANZAC Day.  Ethnographically, the film should have brought your attention to issues of reflexivity in film making and the role of the anthropologist, filmmaker and informants in the process of representation.  If you want to follow this up, there is an interview with Gary Kildea here regarding the role of anthropologists in his filmmaking.


Here are the powerpoint slides from Tuesday’s class on The Invention of Tradition.

You may want to further peruse Hobsbawn & Ranger’s book on google books – the library’s copies are already on loan.   There were also two other sources mentioned in class that you should follow up:  Maurice Halbwach’s On Collective Memory and an article on ANZAC Day from the NZ History website.

If you want to explore more media on ANZAC Day, Colin James’ article takes a look at the changing meaning surrounding ANZAC Day and the relationship it has with Waitangi Day.