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Heritage, local communities and the safeguarding of 'Spirit of Place' in Taiwan

Lookup NU author(s): Emeritus Professor Peter Davis, Han-Yin Huang


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After brief reviews of the theoretical concepts relating to place and ecomuseological processes this paper traces the changing relationships between people and place in Taiwan. Research carried out by the authors with local communities on Matsu (a group of Taiwanese islands off the coast of mainland China), and case study material collected from local cultural workshops in southern Taiwan provides a focus for the discussion. Both sets of data demonstrate the growing awareness of heritage by local communities in Taiwan; they recognize that heritage is significant because it reflects and builds local identities, aids community sustainability and provides a sense of place. An account is given about how these inclusive processes are applied and how they appear to benefit the heritage sector in Taiwan. By encouraging community-centred approaches, consultation, involvement and democratization, significant improvements to safeguarding natural resources, the cultural environment and intangible cultural heritage might be possible. However, striking a balance between the aspirations of local heritage activists and the wider community is difficult to achieve.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Davis P, Huang H-Y, Liu W-C

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Museum & Society

Year: 2010

Volume: 8

Issue: 2

Pages: 80-89

Print publication date: 01/07/2010

ISSN (print): 1479-8360

Publisher: University of Leicester