Publication Date



Welsh Patagonia; identity commodification; heritage tourism; globalisation; material culture; 'Welsh Tea'

Document Type



Celtic Studies | English Language and Literature | Folklore | History | History of Art, Architecture, and Archaeology | Linguistics | Theatre History


The present article will explore how globalization and its economic implications have resulted in the commodification of Welsh heritage in Gaiman, a small town in the Argentine province of Chubut, with a special focus on the collectivity-defining custom of 'Welsh Tea' as offered by the local tea houses. After providing some background on the history of the Welsh community in Patagonia, the discussion will consider how the surge in heritage and culture tourism and tourism-related services has added new value to Welsh Patagonian culture and encouraged the positioning of Welsh cultural products and other aspects of heritage as marketable commodities, and how the struggle to control a particularly lucrative heritage experience unleashed the so-called 'War of the Tea Houses'.