Making the Miskitu: Indigenous Ethnogenesis in Colonial Central America


ACLS Fellowship Program




This project explains the ethnogenesis (the emergence of a shared ethnic identity) of the Miskitu, a mixed-race group indigenous to the Caribbean coast of Nicaragua and Honduras, arguing that the Miskitu emerged as a recognized ethnic group during the colonial period. The formation of Miskitu identity is traced by examining Miskitu relationships with the Spanish and British empires, and other Indigenous groups from the 1630s to the 1840s. This project explores the way Miskitu identity was created, impacted, defined, and re-negotiated over the course of these two centuries.