Identity differentiation between the Sambo and Tawira Miskitu in eastern Nicaragua and northeastern Honduras is examined with respect to African integration, settlement geography, differential relations with British settlers and Spanish officials, neighboring Indians, and market economies for the period 1620 to 1790. Research draws from sixteen months of fieldwork in the Mosquitia from 1994-7 and documentary research among British, Spanish,Moravian church, Nicaraguan, and U.S. archival sources. Findings suggest that a salient yet paradoxically overlooked dynamic of Miskitu ethnohistory was the geographically circumscribed animosity between the Sambo and Tawira Miskitu.

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