Ama had his lands taken by the wealthy coffee planting family, the Regalados, during which he was hung by his thumbs and beaten. This was in the context of liberal reforms which stripped the indigenous population of access to their communal lands, which were appropriated by private landowners.
Ama was a day laborer in Izalco. He married Josefa Shupan, who came from an influential Pipil family in Izalco. In 1917, he became a member of the catholic brotherhood Cofradía del Corpus Christi.
His father-in-law Patricio Shupan was mayordomo of the brotherhood, who died in 1917 after participating at a dinner with president Carlos Meléndez. After Shupan's death Feliciano Ama became head of the brotherhood, which consisted exclusively of Pipil.
In the early morning of January 22, 1932 Feliciano Ama lead the Pipil peasants of Izalco into the uprising against the landlords. With several hundred supporters he marched to the capital of the department Sonsonate. There the mayor was killed by insurgents from Juayúa, but landlords accused Ama, who fled into the hills of Izalco. There he was found by soldiers from the garrison of Izalco under commander Cabrera, captured and hanged in the center of Izalco.
- Miguel Marmol y Oscar Martínez Peñate sobre José Feliciano Ama (eltorogoz.net)
- Comision Cívica Democrática de El Salvador: José Feliciano Ama es un mártir popular
- Paige, Jeffrey (1997). Coffee and Power: Revolution and the Rise of democracy ni Central America. Cambridge: Harvard University Press. p. 108.