Indigenous sovereignty as the ‘restless state’: Tom D. Dillehay, ‘Reflections on Araucanian/Mapuche resilience, independence, and ethnomorphosis in colonial (and present day) Chile’, Chungará (Arica), 48, 4, 2016
Excerpt: This essay addresses an anthropological and historical understanding of the concepts and practices of an indigenous sovereignty, specifically the Araucanian polity, from the early Spanish contact period to briefly the present. The Araucanians or Mapuche, as they are known today, are located in the south-central Andean region of Chile. Although the primary focus is on the middle 16th to middle 17th centuries during the Arauco War (~AD 1551 to 1641), the Mapuche successfully resisted the Spanish conquest for more than 250 years by forming a confederated proto-state or polity comprised of partner domains (i.e., Catiray, Arauco, Tucapel, Puren) and different ethnic groups. The Spanish called this polity the “Estado Indomito” (“unconquered state”; see Ercilla y Zúñiga  1982). In 1641, the Spanish Crown recognized the polity as a sovereign political order. The Chilean historian Alberto Medina interprets the meaning of the term estado as it was used in the 16th century.
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