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Argumentation: Mursi Tribe Issues

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    Statement 1: “Contact between tourists and the Mursi is a good opportunity for the Mursi to develop and to be part of the globalized world” The most important aspect about this statement is: Do the Mursi want to develop and be part of the globalized world? As seen in the movie “Framing the other” the Mursi people do not even understand why the tourists are coming and make pictures. They figured out that it is because of their different way of living, but they have no clue what the tourists are doing with the pictures they took.

    It was hard to see how the tourists wanted to put their culture and values on the Mursi tribe (“Say thank you! ” although they do not even speak the same language). As stated by Turton, 2005, the interaction between the tourists and Mursi can more be seen as a confrontation. Two completely different cultures are meeting each other with specific targets (tourists: taking pictures, Mursi: earning money) and try to deal with each other. The visits of tourists have already an influence on the Mursi culture; they decorate their lip plates more than usual.

    On the traditional lip plates there were no white drawings; those are added because the Mursi people think it makes them more interesting for the tourists and they will take more photos which means more money for the Mursi. Furthermore the movie showed that the Mursi made up some decorations which shall impress the tourists. The tourists then think it is part of the culture and think it is authentic. So to conclude it can be said that I disagree with the statement. It depends on the tribe whether they want to be part of the globalized world or not, this is not the tourists? decision.

    Even if they want to develop, tourism is perhaps not the right channel to do this because the tribe may gets a wrong impression. Statement 2: “For ethical reasons, taking photographs of Mursi people (and other indigenous tribes) should be prohibited” I definitely agree with this statement. Taking pictures had already a huge influence on the tribe and changed their culture, traditions and way of living. To stop this and conserve their real culture and keep them authentic, taking pictures should be prohibited.

    A compromise could be to just sell like “postcards”. Of course therefore also pictures need to be done, but just once and then they can be printed as postcards and sold to the tourists by the touroperators. This would help to preserve the traditional way of living of the Mursi but also give the tourists a possibility to keep a memory. Statement 3: “Touroperators and guides should show their responsibility towards the Mursi people by not offering visits to the Mursi people any longer” In my opinion this statement is neither a complete “agree” nor “disagree”.

    On the one hand the Mursi?s culture is demolished by the tourists rushing through the villages. Their traditions and culture are more and more modified and not authentic because the people have the feeling that they need to entertain the tourists and show off their decorated plates. That is why it would be good to stop providing visits to the Mursi people: to preserve their culture and traditions. On the other hand it is definitely interesting to get to know other cultures and their way of living.

    But touroperators need to find a balance between the wishes of the tourists and the culture of the Mursi tribe; there has to be a responsible way of offering visits. The three solutions: * Respect of the needs and wants of the Mursi tribe (if they do not want to develop, it has to be accepted) -> involvement in decision making * Postcards sold by touroperators (can only be bought if tourist did visit the village) -> prohibition to take photos, preserving culture and way of living * Limited amount of offered visits to the village by touroperators -> more responsibility, villages are not overrun, more authentic

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