Date of Award


Document Type

Masters Thesis

Degree Name


Organizational Unit

College of Arts Humanities and Social Sciences

First Advisor

Christina Kreps, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Darío A. Euraque

Third Advisor

Ermitte St. Jacque


Artisanry, Ethnicity, Honduras, Museums, National identity


Since the last quarter of the twentieth century, Fourth World populations, including those in Honduras, have been steadily gaining partial recognition of cultural rights; yet often official discourses of national identity continue to subsume cultural traditions of indigenous and Afro-descendant communities. Honduras's heterogeneous ethnic pluralism has historically been combined to promote a more cohesive national identity of a homogenized, mayanized, indo-Hispanic mestizaje. Exclusion and mis- or under-representation of indigenous groups is reinforced by popular imagination, particularly in the cultural heritage and tourism sectors. Firmly situated within regional Latin American and global trends, over the past two decades, official discourse on Honduran national identity has ostensibly shifted from hegemonic notions of mestizaje to one of ethnic diversity and multiculturalism.

This thesis is a multi-sited ethnography that examines the cultural politics of four institutions of power in Honduras. I explore how one state-sponsored project and three private museums contributed to the redefinition of ethnicity in Honduran national identity. I suggest that although these institutions seemingly project the new official discourse of multiculturalism, in fact they uphold antiquated notions of national identity and continue to depict reductionist, universalized, and exclusionary visions of ethnicity in Honduran national identity.

Publication Statement

Copyright is held by the author. User is responsible for all copyright compliance.

Rights Holder

Cordelia A. Frewen


Received from ProQuest

File Format




File Size

254 p.


Cultural anthropology, Museum studies