The early eighteenth century witnessed the rise to power of the Miskitu Zambos within the Miskitu Kingdom on the Caribbean coast of Honduras and Nicaragua. The Zambos were the offspring of African slaves from a pirated slave ship and the indigenous inhabitants of the region engaged in long-range raiding. Their rise is explained here by showing that the original core of the group, some 200 slaves taken from two Portuguese vessels by Dutch privateers in 1636, were prisoners of war captured from the army of Mbwila, a small kingdom in today's Angola. Their cohesion and military skills helped them maintain a special identity within the Miskitu Kingdom and then wage a civil war against its indigenous leaders. The subsequent history of the Miskitu Kingdom involved rivalry between the Zambos and the indigenous Miskitu (Tawira) components of the population, involving the English and Spanish in their ongoing conflict.