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The MountainA Political History from the Enlightenment to the Present$
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Bernard Debarbieux and Gilles Rudaz

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780226031118

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: May 2016

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226031255.001.0001

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The Mountain and Colonial and Postcolonial Territoriality

The Mountain and Colonial and Postcolonial Territoriality

(p.141) Six The Mountain and Colonial and Postcolonial Territoriality
The Mountain

Bernard Debarbieux

Gilles Rudaz

, Jane Marie Todd

Martin F. Price

University of Chicago Press

Chapter 6 focuses on the place of "mountains" in the colonial project. In the first place, the colonial power optimized its occupation and control of the territories it had claimed by identifying and mapping all the landforms that served as natural ramparts and obstacles to free movement. Second, it circumscribed populations judged singular from the start, using the mountain environment as a social indicator and as a vehicle for naturalizing the peoples encountered there. The category of “the mountaineer” proved, once again, to be useful for this purpose, for qualifying both local people living in the mountains and mostly Western mountain climbers who were to promote oropolitics in the Himalayas, the Caucasus and the Andes.

Keywords:   cartography, borders, colonization, Tsarist Empire, Indochina, South-East Asia, Caucasus, Berbers, Himalayas, Oropolitics

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