Political Geography

The long memory of the land: Pre-colonial origins of Mapuche mobilization in Chile


Carla Alberti , Juan Pablo Luna

Sergio Toro-Maureira, Eugenia Gayo


We aim to explain the long-term territorial patterns of conflict across Mapuche communities in southern Chile. The Mapuche indigenous people have resisted external invasions by colonial settlers and the Chilean state for about five centuries. However, not all Mapuche communities have mobilized for their demands. While conflict between communities and external invaders has been a historical constant in certain areas, in others, Mapuche communities have remained largely passive. We explain subnational patterns of Mapuche mobilization by identifying path-dependent sequences –that range between conflictive and passive– that trace back to the social complexity of pre-colonial societies