Macario Lacbawan


Macario Lacbawan, doctoral student in Cultural Anthropology

My project is situated at the intersection of indigenous land rights and vulnerability. Using experiences of local indigenous communities in the Philippines, I will trace how claiming for ancestral domains involves the deployment of strategies ranging from an overt reproduction of memory to an instrumentalization of ontology. By and large, I find this project as a counterpoint to the dominant image of indigenous communities as a population that is forever at the mercy of a hegemonic state or the expanding vortex of a liberal regime. By describing how they assemble strategies to formalize their rights to ancestral domains, I wish to capture how groups under extreme vulnerability could actively mobilize and present claims to the state or, in some instances, against other indigenous communities.