The political vitality of Mapuche stones: Heteronomy and political decision making
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In the ethnographic literature on Mapuche culture from the late 19th century to the present, there are many references to the existence of stones charged with symbolic, magical, religious and even political powers. These range from large rocks that are the object of collective worship to small stones that are put to (more-or-less) personal use. This article focuses on the political role of these stones. In many cases, they are depicted as subjects that form alliances with their owners and create the conditions for victories in politics and war thanks to their oracular powers and the force and prestige they confer. This article also includes an analysis of how these stones are inscribed in a certain logic of Mapuche decision-making, in which that activity is often moved to a heteronomous space (dreams, omens, divine voices and other signs) in which these stones seem to participate as subjects. This suggests that Mapuche society has a specific relationship with political decision-making and the problem of sovereignty, one that stands in opposition to both Carl Schmitt's authoritarian decisionism and the rationalism of liberal democracy.
Project Fondecyt 1140921
Artículo de publicación ISI
Quote ItemJournal of Material Culture 2017, Vol. 22(3): 334– 347
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