Rama people

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Rama cay.jpg
Rama Cay, 2010
Total population
approximately 900
Regions with significant populations
Rama, Spanish, Rama Cay Creole
predominantly Moravian
Related ethnic groups
Miskito (culturally), Kuna (linguistically)

The Rama are an indigenous people of Nicaragua. The 900 ethnic Rama live within a thirty mile radius of the Rama Cay island on the Caribbean coastline.[1]


The Rama are hunters, fishers and agriculturalists growing mainly bananas and white cacao beans.


The Rama language, which is a Chibchan language related to Maléku language of Costa Rica is considered moribund and only 24 elderly people still speak it fluently.[citation needed] However in recent years language revitalization efforts have been made and the Rama community has tried to reclaim their language, with some amount of success.

Rama land rights[edit]

The Rama have struggled against the Nicaraguan government and mestizo landowners for rights to their ancestral lands and have joined forces with the other Nicaraguan indigenous groups the Miskito and the Sumo peoples. Particularly the Rama have had to fight against displacement when confronted with the Nicaraguan government's wish to build a cross-isthmian freight corridor. The government allowed American companies to prospect the possibilities for building a railroad which would pass through Rama lands. After this foreign land speculators claimed rights to Rama lands, and have begun logging and exploiting the area's natural resources. Rama resistance to the expropriation of their lands has been met with violence.[2]

The Nicaraguan government and landowners are collectively called "the Spaniards" by the Rama and others within the semi-autonomous political framework of the collective indigenous peoples of the north Atlantic. Mestizo is a term commonly used outside of the peoples of Nicaragua and usage ignores the common and numerous geographic and traditional group self identifications.


External links[edit]