Territories of Fire: Indigenous Communities, Land, and Anarchy among a Highland People in Mindoro

  • Christian Rosales University of the Philippines Los Baños

Abstract

The article challenges the assumption that land tenure is contingent on acquiring a land title. It argues that for Indigenous peoples a land may be delineated, occupied, utilised, and collectively owned through the concept of territoriality. Through a combined ‘anarchist anthropology’ and political ecology the article provides ethnographic evidence from among the Tau-Buhid as a case in point to show that through their everyday relationship with fire and ignition practices territoriality is reinforced among their communities as a basis of land tenure. Thus, despite efforts of the Philippine state to phase out all kinds of fire practice on theirland, a portion of which is a declared protected area, ignition continues as a way of orchestrating territorial autonomy against state sovereignty in the highlands. Ultimately, through such practices Indigenous lands have metaphorically transformed into ‘territories of fire’, a frontier where the state is irrelevant to Indigenouslife and where state-control apparatuses are inoperable. 
Published
2022-12-08
How to Cite
ROSALES, Christian. Territories of Fire: Indigenous Communities, Land, and Anarchy among a Highland People in Mindoro. Journal of Ethnology and Folkloristics, [S.l.], v. 16, n. 2, p. 239–272, dec. 2022. ISSN 2228-0987. Available at: <https://jef.ee/index.php/journal/article/view/469>. Date accessed: 09 feb. 2023.
Section
Articles (special issue)