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Souvenirs, animals, and enchantment: encountering Texas cowboy boots

Chapter


Abstract


  • I disembarked the plane and followed the signs to the baggage carousel, passing glass display cabinets filled with cowboy boots. There were all

    sorts-brown, black, multicolored, snakeskin, lizard skin-with Cuban heels

    and ornate, ostentatious designs: inlaid sewn butterflies, chilies, and scorpions.

    At any other airport, waiting for a suitcase, one might linger in front of a

    TV screen showing a loop of local news and weather updates. Here in Texas, there is a cabinet filled with locally crafted cowboy boots, Welcome to El

    Paso-the cowboy boot capital of the world.

    The cowboy boot is the quintessential souvenir of Texas and a product

    of an artisanal trade with deep regional historical roots. It is also an

    enchanted object-a fashion-souvenir whose constituent materials and the animals from which they come evoke unsettling combinations of feelings and

    sensory responses among tourists. Through this seemingly parochial item we

    can reflect on how humans make and enchant material things via geographical and popular cultural mythologies and entangle ourselves in increasingly

    complex flows of people, animals, and place (Ramsay 2009)-connecting

    tourists with circuits of craft, commodification, and collecting across cultural difference. Seemingly trivial, cowboy boots are an entry point into questions of morality and materiality, mobility, and the value of local cultural production within processes of tourism commodification.

Publication Date


  • 2018

Edition


  • 3

Citation


  • Gibson, C. (2018). Souvenirs, animals, and enchantment: encountering Texas cowboy boots. In S. Gmelch & A. Kaul (Eds.), Tourists and Tourism: A Reader (pp. 211-224). Long Grove, United States: Waveland Press.

International Standard Book Number (isbn) 13


  • 9781478636229

Book Title


  • Tourists and Tourism: A Reader

Start Page


  • 211

End Page


  • 224

Place Of Publication


  • Long Grove, United States

Abstract


  • I disembarked the plane and followed the signs to the baggage carousel, passing glass display cabinets filled with cowboy boots. There were all

    sorts-brown, black, multicolored, snakeskin, lizard skin-with Cuban heels

    and ornate, ostentatious designs: inlaid sewn butterflies, chilies, and scorpions.

    At any other airport, waiting for a suitcase, one might linger in front of a

    TV screen showing a loop of local news and weather updates. Here in Texas, there is a cabinet filled with locally crafted cowboy boots, Welcome to El

    Paso-the cowboy boot capital of the world.

    The cowboy boot is the quintessential souvenir of Texas and a product

    of an artisanal trade with deep regional historical roots. It is also an

    enchanted object-a fashion-souvenir whose constituent materials and the animals from which they come evoke unsettling combinations of feelings and

    sensory responses among tourists. Through this seemingly parochial item we

    can reflect on how humans make and enchant material things via geographical and popular cultural mythologies and entangle ourselves in increasingly

    complex flows of people, animals, and place (Ramsay 2009)-connecting

    tourists with circuits of craft, commodification, and collecting across cultural difference. Seemingly trivial, cowboy boots are an entry point into questions of morality and materiality, mobility, and the value of local cultural production within processes of tourism commodification.

Publication Date


  • 2018

Edition


  • 3

Citation


  • Gibson, C. (2018). Souvenirs, animals, and enchantment: encountering Texas cowboy boots. In S. Gmelch & A. Kaul (Eds.), Tourists and Tourism: A Reader (pp. 211-224). Long Grove, United States: Waveland Press.

International Standard Book Number (isbn) 13


  • 9781478636229

Book Title


  • Tourists and Tourism: A Reader

Start Page


  • 211

End Page


  • 224

Place Of Publication


  • Long Grove, United States