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Natalie M. Underberg, Ph.D.; Elayne Zorn, Ph.D. University of Central Florida

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Natalie M. Underberg, Ph.D.; Elayne Zorn, Ph.D. University of Central Florida. PeruVine/PeruDigital Goal to present Peruvian festivals on the Internet Multilingual, interactive, and immersive

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      • Goal to present Peruvian festivals on the Internet
      • Multilingual, interactive, and immersive
      • Uses ethnographic data from the Instituto de Etnomusicología, Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú-Lima
      • Collaboration between anthropologists and digital media scholars
      • Uses hypertext and digital environments to address how linguistic communities view and interpret the world

Developed from shared interests of Drs. Natalie Underberg and Elayne Zorn in Peruvian culture and digital ethnography

  • Iterative consultation process with scholars and members of the public in U.S. and Peru
  • Support from University of Central Florida has made foundation of project possible
  • “Opening up” the conceptual process to make interpretation process more transparent

Reflexive Anthropology and Hypertext Theory

      • Adaptation of materials from one medium to another
      • Distinctive features of digital environments
      • Reflexive, narrative, and collaborative developments in anthropology

Participatory Design (PD) (Watkins 2007)

      • “Due diligence”: partnership-building trips; research design and wiki creation; team of scholarly and cultural consultants
      • Prototyping: begun through Directed Research and archive material duplication to design walkthrough for site
      • Evaluation and feedback: iterative process

Digital Heritage and Anthropology

      • Silence of the Lands (SOL) (Giaccardi and Palen 2008)
      • Technical and social infrastructure
          • Reflexivity and decolonization of knowledge
          • Using interactivity and immersion to enable multiple interpretive frames

Public Anthropology in Digital Environments

      • Series of linked, navigable festival-related environments
      • Central anthropology themes form basis of interpretive approach
      • Developed in consultation with IDE, anthropology scholars, and community consultants

Interpreting components of festival by role-playing and interacting with objects

  • Adapting game design techniques to virtual heritage environments (Champion 2006)
      • To facilitate “cultural learning”
  • Splash page designed as bus station: go north, south, visit “ethnographer’s office” or “travel agency”
  • Explore through one of three perspectives:
      • Ethnographer, participant, or sponsor

The Festivals

  • Festival #1: Festival from Northern Coastal Peru
  • Señor de la Agonía (Lord of Agony) in Piura, Peru
  • Navigable festival plaza environment with participants
    • Attendees of the Lord of Agony capilla
    • Angel with capatáz
    • Tamalera
    • Serrano
    • Sarahuas

Festival #2: Festival from Southern Highland Peru

  • Virgen de la Candelaria (Virgin of Candlemas) in Puno, Peru
  • Navigable festival plaza environment with participants
    • Festival sponsors with silver-laden car
    • Bearers of the Mamita Candelaria
    • Diablada dancers
    • Sicuris
    • Many other dance troupes

Site Design

  • Señor de la Agonía festival: Piura walkthrough
  • Serrano stereotype on the North Coast
  • Festival and the carnivalesque
  • “going behind the mask”


  • Ethnographic and performance perspective
  • Culture and tradition change over time and across space
  • Interacting with costume, dance, and text objects to imitate performance preparation

Piura region cultural context: folklore genres and musical instruments

    • Town of Morropón
    • Tondero
    • Cajón

Capilla for the Lord of Agony

  • Festival sponsor perspective
  • People create, perform, and experience culture based on social perspectives or roles
  • Complementary gender roles of festival sponsors
  • Communal labor and participation of community and visitors

Virgen de Candelaria festival: Puno walkthrough

  • Highland culture
  • Sponsor perspective
  • Journey of festival sponsor in silver-plate laden car
  • Creation of public cultural events defines and builds or destabilizes communities
  • User performs imitation of festival planning tasks

Female dancers of sicuri (panpipe ensemble)

  • Expressive culture constructs and reveals social categories
  • Complementary duality of genders expressed in dance and other performances
  • Connections to other Andean performances of masculine verticality and feminine circularity

Festival costumes representing multiple identities

  • People take active roles in self-representation
  • Zorro: people creatively incorporate materials from the culture industry into public expressions

Southern Andean diablada

  • Ethnographic perspective
  • History of the diablo dancers and connection to the image of the Virgin of Candlemas

Goal: embed knowledge and scholarly methodology

  • Role play participants as well as scholars and spectators
  • Enacts aspects of reflexive methodology (Ruby 1980, Pack 2006)
  • Evokes experience and privileges subjectivity
  • Exploits digital medium’s interactive and imitative nature (Pink 2001)
  • Making design and interpretation process transparent as model for public anthropology in digital age