Journal Article

The Local Politics of Indigenous Self-Representation: Intraethnic Political Division among Nicaragua's Miskito People during the Sandinista Era

Eric Rodrigo Meringer

in The Oral History Review

Published on behalf of Oral History Association

Volume 37, issue 1, pages 1-17
Published in print January 2010 | ISSN: 0094-0798
Published online March 2010 | e-ISSN: 1533-8592 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ohr/ohq038
The Local Politics of Indigenous Self-Representation: Intraethnic Political Division among Nicaragua's Miskito People during the Sandinista Era

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This essay examines the local politics of indigenous activism among Nicaragua's Miskito population before and after that country's Sandinista Revolution. It recounts details of the transformation of Miskito political representation in the wake of the 1979 Sandinista Revolution and immediately prior to the Miskito rebellion of the 1980s. Perspectives presented here are of Miskito activists of the pre-revolutionary and pre-rebellion era. These are perspectives that in the 1980s were silenced by intraethnic political rivals among the Miskito leadership and by a complicit Western scholarship that at the time was engaged in promoting subaltern voice in Central America as stories of ethnic rebellion. In revising accounts of a local political power struggle, this essay examines the process of history creation in an indigenous community. By including alternative perspectives and reviving previously silenced voices in Nicaragua, it more broadly charts the evolution of oral history as methodology since its popularization in the area of Central American indigenous studies in the 1980s.

Keywords: ethnicity; identity; indigenous self-representation; Miskito; Sandinista

Journal Article.  5922 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Oral History

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