Indigenous cosmovision against settlervision: Ranjeeva Ranjan, Alexis Castillo, Karla Morales, ‘Mapuche cosmovision and territorial rights: An interdisciplinary approach to understand the conflict of Wallmapu, Chile’, Rupkatha Journal on Interdisciplinary Studies in Humanities, 2021


Abstract: The indigenous population of Latin America has been suffering from a sense of alienation since the arrival of Columbus in 1492 who referred to this land as “Nuevo Mundo”. There is a long history of environmental exploitation in Chile which has severely strained the relationship amongst the Mapuche community, the State and private entities (hydroelectric and timber industry). Although this conflict seems to be economic-productive associated with land, wherein land attains a “tangible material good”, in the Mapuche cosmovision, land (Mapu means land in Mapudungun, the language of Mapuche) acquires a connotation of “intangible material and immaterial good”. There is a profound imperceptible connection between nature and Mapuche and their traditions and culture are strongly rooted in the land. The industrial expansion has promoted a series of negative externalities like habitat fragmentation, loss of native forest, biodiversity reduction, water availability, etc. These affect the “idiosyncrasy” of this community (Mapuche-Nature relationship) and loss of their land could represent an identity loss. The Chilean indigenous policy appears to be inadequate and fail to recognize the socio-cultural and territorial rights for all indigenous peoples, including Mapuche, given the multidimensionality of the land under the indigenous cosmovision. The socio-political measures imposed by the Chilean government until now to make their life “modern” boomeranged alienating them further from society. This paper proposes to look at the territorial rights of the Mapuche with an interdisciplinary approach and focuses on developing the conceptual framework of Mapuche cosmovision of land and territory. The study follows a brief analysis of the historical context of the territorial conflict between the Chilean State and the Mapuche people and how the implementation of national and international normative framework on indigenous rights has not been effective in resolving this territorial conflict. The study tries to synthesize and talks about integrating the Mapuche land cosmovision in the socio-political discourse and be considered while formulating any land policy involving Mapuche and other indigenous peoples inhabiting in Chile in future. The discussions and analysis have been carried out through a comprehensive literature review and integrate an interdisciplinary approach to look at this issue, both from the philosophical perspective and from the socio-political policy framework of government.

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