SUMMARY: Between Indigenous Tradition and the Imported in Oaxaca - Appropriation and Simulacrum

  • Israel Gutiérrez Barrios (Autor/in)

Identifier (Artikel)


This essay problematizes the practice of commerce of “non proper” clothes by Indigenous vendors to tourists and visitors in the capital of Oaxaca, Mexico, who are interested in acquiring something with an Indigenous value. These dynamics force us to rethink the notions of originality and authenticity, as well as appropriation-expropriation of elements from other cultural traditions, although probably these had already been taken by other agents before, erasing their origin. However, the objective of this analysis is to discuss about the implications that the appropriation of exogenous products has into the self-determination of the traditional groups that offers them as their own. In order to produce an answer the different of commerce in Oaxaca City are exemplified and the idea of appropriation is explored, as well as other issues related with the image, clothing and appearance, that refer to the process of spectacularisation-commerce of the indigenous identity, said as singular even when inside the reality of Oaxaca, they’re multiple, put on the appearance of the indigenous woman. It is concluded by identifying the practice of appropriation where the goal is to have products to sold above all, while also distinguishing the possibility of a cultural enrichment and of favouring the process of empowerment, when their use goes beyond the frontier of outside-inside, introducing the “proper” into the world of the everyday life.


Oaxaca, Indigene Kleidung, Spektakularisierung, kulturelle Aneignung, Kulturelles Erbe