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Legal Imaginaries: Recognizing Indigenous Law in Colombia

Studies in Law, Politics, and Society

ISBN: 978-1-78052-080-3, eISBN: 978-1-78052-081-0

Publication date: 30 June 2011


The recognition of indigenous law in the 1991 Colombian Constitution initiated significant social, political, and cultural transformations within indigenous communities. This article explores how the indigenous law of Pijao communities in Tolima is being constructed, imagined and (re)produced by indigenous leaders who are simultaneously staking out their own political position through an engagement with these processes. The article suggests that this new generation of indigenous leaders seeks to ground its political legitimacy by drawing on the (legal) realm of the state; at the same time, challenges to its legitimacy are also increasingly framed in a legal idiom.


Brunnegger, S. (2011), "Legal Imaginaries: Recognizing Indigenous Law in Colombia", Sarat, A. (Ed.) Studies in Law, Politics, and Society (Studies in Law, Politics, and Society, Vol. 55), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. 77-100.



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