Questioning notions of authenticity : Zulu beadwork as cultural tourism.
Questioning notions of authenticity through the dynamics of Zulu culture as expressed by Zulu beadwork in the cultural tourism industry, allows this study to evaluate the historical perspectives of Zulu culture. It further provides a genealogical perspective of Zulu beadwork, and explains the nature of Zulu beadwork within the tourism industry of KwaZulu-Natal. The literature of this dissertation specifically evaluates the historical foundations of Zulu cultural history and heritage and further gives an evaluation of the literature related to issues of authenticity and cultural tourism. This dissertation is framed in the theories of identity and culture; borrowing from cultural anthropology studies; tourism studies and cultural communication studies. The dynamics of cultural tourism, which are created in the relationship between the bead makers and their prospective consumers (the tourist), are also to be the focus of this study as this will work to facilitate unpacking the reasons which add to tourism destinations offering cultural experiences and as well focus on development strategies that are in place for developing cultural tourism for economic gain. This study will employ a qualitative research methodology, which is concerned with non-statistical information about the notions of authenticity in cultural tourism; used as a medium to Zulu beadwork symbolism, as viewed by Zulu bead makers and the cultural tourists based in the Durban South and North beach regions. The aim of this thesis is to evaluate the notions of authenticity as applied through the tourism process that occurs in the KwaZulu-Natal, Durban’s beach front; through the stall keeping that occurs in the area, where Zulu beadwork is one of the key items sold to the tourist.