Miskito(people) are of predominantly mix Indian and Black ancestry, who occupy the east coast of Nicaragua and the Gracias a Dios region in Honduras. They speak a tongue that is part of the Misumalpan family.


During the early centuries, the region was in the sphere of the English world. English Puritans and Privateers occupied the east coast. Among the English was a large slave population. The Spanish found the east too inhospitable and never settle the east coast of Nicaragua. In the mid-1600s, African slaves escaping a sinking ship, made the region home. Slaves eventually began mixing with the native population, assimilating a predominant native culture producing the Miskito identity. The Miskito because of their trade connection with the English world was able to acquire guns and expand their territories.

During the 1980s, the Miskito, who strongly identified with the English culture, was viewed with suspicion by the Sandanista central government. They fought a brief war with the government, on the side of the Contra, armed and trained by the US. Some fled to Honduras.


Miskitos speak Miskito(Marquito, Mískitu, Mísquito, Mosquito), belonging to Misumalpan Family of languages.

Most Miskitos live in poverty. They are in the most under-developed regions of Nicaragua, with no paved roads and electricity. Most make a living planting corn, banana, and cassava.

Works Cited


Lewis, M. Paul (ed.), 2009. Ethnologue: Languages of the World, Sixteenth edition. Dallas, Tex.: SIL International. Online version: http://www.ethnologue.com/.

tags: amerindian black indians zambo