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versión impresa ISSN 0716-1557versión On-line ISSN 0719-2789


FIGUEROA BURDILES, Noelia  y  VERGARA-PINTO, Francisca. China Muerta National Reserve: Reflections about the biocultural conservation of nature, forest fires and the colonial wound in indigenous territories. Cult.-hombre-soc. [online]. 2018, vol.28, n.1, pp.102-127. ISSN 0716-1557.

This paper presents the main results of an exploratory qualitative study, about the China Muerta National Reserve’s forest fire (La Araucanía Region), which occurred in February 2015. Through a qualitative methodological design and an ethnographic approach, it was possible to identify different social actors associated to the reserve, and to approach the memories meanings and practices that link them to this protected wild area and their visions about the forest fire as a disaster, through their discourses. Two main dimensions were identified in this connection: the notion of the material use of its natural resources and the symbolic-spiritual relationship with the territory it constitutes. The results show how the fire was a scenario that made the sociocultural diversity of a territory visible, involving different subjectivities in the understanding of this socio-natural disaster and of the territory itself; through the mechanisms of participation, action and containment of the fire, as well as through the questioning about the future of the territory and the name of the reserve, China Muerta (Dead China), which, in our opinion, reveals a colonial wound that remains open. Finally, more than conclusions and as an opening for future research, this paper proposes to investigate how cultural expressions present in territories where human populations and protected habitats coexist, contribute to value the nature-culture relationship, expanding the dimension of natural heritage to the notion of biocultural heritage.

Palabras clave : China Muerta National Reserve; forest fire; colonial wound; biocultural heritage.

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