In recent times, the Dutch Traveler community has successfully gained official recognition of its heritage. At first glance, one would consider that Tajfel’s ‘creativity’–in this case a desire to change a ‘negative social identity’ through the use of heritage–explains the aim of the community to gain official recognition. However, if ‘creativity’ were responsible for this aspiration, it would be an extreme and radical form of it. The aim of the Traveler community to preserve its way of life and its survival as an ‘ethnic group’ lies at the heart of its motivation to strive for official recognition of its heritage and use this recognition as a weapon against the local authorities. In this interesting case of legal ‘instrumentalization’ of cultural heritage, the actions of the Dutch Traveler community prompted changes in governmental policies. Prior to receiving official recognition of their heritage, policies were often aimed at abolishing their way of life.
- Cultural heritage
- intangible heritage