Vieldeutiges Selbermachen im Bergtal. Kulturelle, ökonomische und individuelle Praktiken des Maskenschnitzens

Kuhn, Konrad and Bellwald, Werner. (2017) Vieldeutiges Selbermachen im Bergtal. Kulturelle, ökonomische und individuelle Praktiken des Maskenschnitzens. In: Selber machen. Diskurse und Praktiken des „Do it yourself“. Bielefeld, pp. 245-268.

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Carving of wooden carnival masks has been an autodidactic activity in the Lötschen Valley (Valais, Switzerland) since generations. It is only since the 1920s that the masks became objects of national identity and thus wooden souvenir masks were sold on a large scale between 1950 and the 1980s. The sale of carved masks was a major income source for many families in the valley. Today masks are economically irrelevant, but highly valued as identity objects of a symbolic system. The mass-production (sometimes mechanized) is followed by hand-carving, nowadays done by woodcarvers taking lessons or even being professionals. While the professional expertise is rising, the public values ›original‹ and ›naive‹ popular-art. In estimating the high cultural value of the hand-made objects, the public a s well as the woodcarvers neglect the fact that commercial and economic forces helped establish the very persistence of the masks to this day. In doing so, they also neglect the cultural transformations and the multimedial influences within the appearance of the ›individual‹ masks. Regardless of these contradictions, woodcarvers are addressed today as experts on multiple levels; they are selffulfilling individuals, nature and home loving carvers or experts on carnival rituals. The handmade cultural objects serve as tools to control individual rivalry as well as conflicts between the villages. The highly complex technical skills for carving masks act as barriers to prevent other people from carving and closing down the (presumed) openness of this DIY activ ity regarding symbolic capital.
Faculties and Departments:04 Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > Departement Gesellschaftswissenschaften > Fachbereich Kulturanthropologie
UniBasel Contributors:Bellwald, Werner and Kuhn, Konrad J.
Item Type:Book Section
Book Section Subtype:Further Contribution in a Book
Series Name:Edition Kulturwissenschaft
Issue Number:90
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Book item -- Edition: Edition Kulturwissenschaften -- This text is posted here by permission of transcript Verlag for personal use only, not for redistribution.
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Last Modified:02 Oct 2018 12:01
Deposited On:28 Aug 2017 15:42

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