The Awakening Coast


The Awakening Coast

An Anthology of Moravian Writings from Mosquitia and Eastern Nicaragua, 1849-1899

Edited, translated, and annotated by Karl Offen and Terry Rugeley

448 pages
14 photographs, 2 drawings, 4 maps, 3 tables


June 2014


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eBook (PDF)
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June 2014


$75.00 Add to Cart
eBook (EPUB)
Ebook purchases delivered via Leaf e-Reader

June 2014


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About the Book

The indigenous and Creole inhabitants (Mosquitians of African descent) of the Mosquito Reserve in present-day Nicaragua underwent a key transformation when two Moravian missionaries arrived in 1849. Within a few short generations, the new faith became so firmly established there that eastern Nicaragua to this day remains one of the world’s strongest Moravian enclaves.
The Awakening Coast offers the first comprehensive English-language selection of the writings of the multinational missionaries who established the Moravian faith among the indigenous and Afro-descendant populations through the turbulent years of the Great Awakening of 1881 to 1882, when converts flocked to the church and the mission’s membership more than doubled. The anthology tracks the intersection of religious, political, and economic forces that led to this dynamic religious shift and illustrates how the mission’s first fifty years turned a relatively obscure branch of Protestantism into the most important political and spiritual institution in the region by contextualizing the Great Awakening, Protestant evangelism, and indigenous identity during this time of dramatic social change.

Author Bio

Karl Offen is an associate professor of geography at the University of Oklahoma. He is the coeditor of Mapping Latin America: A Cartographic Reader. Terry Rugeley is a professor of history at the University of Oklahoma. He is the author of Rebellion Now and Forever: Mayas, Hispanics, and Caste War Violence in Yucatán, 1800–1880.


"The Awakening Coast is essential reading for experts on Mosquitia and a welcomed addition to Latin American cultural-historical geography."—Andrew Hilburn, Journal of Latin American Geography

The Awakening Coast is of utmost importance because it shows us—firsthand through the lens of the missionaries—how indigenous peoples as late as the nineteenth century could or could not respond ideologically, economically, politically, and socially to the imposed new trends from the ‘outside,’ including their incorporation in 1894 to Nicaragua. How much deeper can one go into finding appropriate sources?”—Christine Hünefeldt, author of Paying the Price of Freedom: Family and Labor among Lima’s Slaves, 1800–1854

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
Translator’s Note
1. Extract of a Letter from H. G. Pfeiffer, 1849
2. Extract from the Diary of Bluefields, 1854
3. Establishing a Mission at Rama Key
4. Report on a Journey North in 1859
5. The Hurricane of October 1865
6. A Visit to the Tungla Indians of Walpasiksa River, 1869
7. Trade among the Miskito Indians, 1870s
8. Mythology of the Miskito Indians
9. Sorcery at Kukalaya, 1877
10. Trading with the Sumu Indians, 1878
11. Life in Tasbapauni (Bethany), 1870s
12. An Early Awakening at Karata, 1879
13. Bluefields Coup and Kukalaya Awakening, 1881–1882
14. The Awakening at Karata, 1883
15. Visit to Nicaraguan Territory, 1883
16. Kaisa! Travel to Nicaragua, 1886
17. Proposing Timber over Gold, 1889
18. Pictures Tell the Story, 1891
19. Christian Law, 1891
20. Visions of the Prophet Wima, 1891
21. The Sambo and Tawira Miskito, 1892
22. Political Disturbances at Sandy Bay, 1892
23. The Indians of Dakura and the Wangki River, 1893–1894
24. Nicaraguan Occupation of the Mosquito Reserve, 1894
25. Commencing Work along the Wangki River, 1896
26. A New Mission at Sandy Bay, 1897
27. Sandy Bay and Wasla, 1898
28. The Gospel in the Miskito Territory, 1881–1882
29. Changes in Dakura, 1890s
30. The Sumu Indians of Prinzapolka River, 1899
31. Quamwatla
Selected Bibliography

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