The Amerikas Colloquium
3 December 2020, 18:15, Zoom-Meeting
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Prof. Dr. Markéta Křížová (Ibero-American Studies, Charles University, Prague):
Imperial rivalry and cultural syncretism on the Mosquito Coast, 19th century
This presentation focuses on the Mosquito Coast, eastern part of present-day Nicaragua, that in the 19th century became the point of intersection of imperial interests of Great Britain, the United States and the Central American republics. At the same time, it was a place of intense cultural interchange and mixing of various groups: the natives, Africans – former slaves – from the Caribbean and immigrants from various European countries. Until 1860 there existed a formally independent political entity (“Mosquito Kingdom”) under the protection of Great Britain, after 1860 the territory was incorporated into Nicaragua as autonomous “reservation” and in 1898 the autonomous status was cancelled and the region became fully integrated into the republic of Nicaragua. Witnesses and participants of these developments were German-speaking missionaries, members of the Moravian Church (renewed Unity of Brethren), who were active as consultants and secretaries of Mosquito kings and at the same time followed up with their own social-reform and spiritual goals. These efforts they documented in detail in the form of correspondence, diaries and published reports. Precisely these sources served as a basis for the study of the complicated processes of cultural syncretism and political development of the Mosquito Coast.
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