The nearly 700 Rama Indians live in the Atlantic-coast region of Nicaragua, in the departments of Zelaya Norte, Zelaya Sur, and Río San Juan. Only 15 or 20 people now speak the Rama language, although many more speak Rama Cay Creole.

The social dislocations caused by the wars of Spanish Conquest produced a mixed group of Voto, Suerre, and Guetar Indians, and out of this mixed group was formed the modern Rama people. The Miskito Indians, allies of the English, conquered and then dominated the Rama in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. The Rama were among the many victims of the Nicaraguan military and political fighting of the 1980s. They have lived in an autonomous political zone since 1987.


Centro de Investigaciones y Documentación de la Costa Atlántica, ed. (1987). Ethnic Groups and the Nation State: The Case of the Atlantic Coast in Nicaragua. Edited by CIDCA/Development Study Unit. Stockholm: University of Stockholm, Department of Social Anthropology.

Vilas, Carlos Maria (1989). State, Class, and Ethnicity in Nicaragua: Capitalist Modernization and Revolutionary Change on the Atlantic Coast. Translated by Susan Norwood. Boulder, Colo.: L. Rienner Publishers.

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