Mapping Museums in New Zealand: The Representation of Place Identity in the Permanent Exhibition at the Puhoi Bohemian Museum

  • Christopher SommerEmail author


Sommer offers a new perspective on the musealization of immigration in settler societies, focusing not on institutions of national significance but instead on a small volunteer-based museum located in Puhoi, New Zealand. Employing multimodal analysis of the permanent exhibition—presenting the exploits of a group of Bohemian immigrants—and qualitative interviews with staff and visitors, he shows that dominant multicultural narratives on a national level are not readily embraced by smaller institutions; rather, the focus lies on creating hybrid identities and fostering of local ethnic narratives. Faced with representing an immigration story touched by expulsion and conflict with indigenous groups, the museum employs a nonalignment strategy and shows the potential and pitfalls of community representation in a nonprofessional environment.

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  1. Permanent Exhibition. Puhoi Bohemian Museum, 80 Puhoi Road, Puhoi 0994, New Zealand. Date of visit: 2013, February 10, April 27–28, June 8–9, June 15–16, June 22–23, July 6–7; 2010, May 22–23.Google Scholar

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Carl von Ossietzky University of OldenburgOldenburgGermany

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