Cover

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pp. 1-1

Title Page, Copyright

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pp. 2-7

Contents

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pp. 8-9

Figures

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pp. ix-11

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Preface: Listening to Language in a Contact Zone

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pp. xi-xiv

Many ways of speaking have been heard over time along the Atlantic Coast of Nicaragua,1 including indigenous languages of the Caribbean and Central America, Europe an languages imported from abroad, and regional varieties of western Caribbean Creole English. The three languages that are most relevant for Corn Island, the site of study in this book, are Miskitu ...

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Acknowledgments

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pp. xv-xviii

The deepest debt of gratitude I have accumulated in this project is to the families who opened their homes and lives to me on Corn Island, as well as other residents of Nicaragua’s Atlantic Coast who helped me carry out this research. I cannot mention by name the participants in the study for reasons of confidentiality, but they are continually in my mind and heart. ...

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1. Voices of Play

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pp. 1-21

One March afternoon in 2003, I stopped by the home of some Miskitu kids on Corn Island, some fifty-two miles off the Atlantic Coast of Nicaragua.1 After five months of research, my presence in Miskitu children’s play groups on the island had become relatively normal, and the kids knew I was interested in studying their speech, song, and play. Their family was from ...

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2. Histories and Contexts of Communication

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pp. 22-45

Coral and China, ages seven and nine, were closely related and had been raised as sisters. Their parents, originally from the northern mainland region of the Atlantic Coast, identified as Miskitu, and when they were raising their older kids, they spoke mostly Miskitu to them. But when Coral and China were ...

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3. Vocal Play in Multilingual Speech and Song

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pp. 46-77

I met Leyla during one of my early visits to Corn Island before starting fieldwork. After the Sunday ser vice at the Moravian church, there was a community meeting outside to talk about land problems that Miskitu people were facing on the island, and I found a shady spot to stand at the edge of the crowd. A tall, slender girl with a beautiful dimpled smile ...

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4. Performing Gender in Song Games

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pp. 78-104

One June afternoon, when there was a break in the rainy weather, some kids between the ages of seven and eleven were playing marbles in an open space between their houses. It was determined that Coral and Ruby had won the game, but there was an argument about the number of punishments that should be infl icted on the losers. The punishments were ...

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5. Power and Intertextuality in Pretend Play

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pp. 105-136

When I appeared at the houses of young Miskitu friends on Corn Island, they often called out “Kaia pulaia!” (Let’s play!) and took advantage of my interests to engage in some pleas ur able activity— song games, marbles, doll play, chasing games. These were the kinds of activities they had names for, activities whose repeated forms had crystallized into recognizable ...

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6. Subjectivity and Citizenship in Institutional Performances

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pp. 137-165

These verses of Nicaragua’s national anthem are intoned by schoolchildren across Nicaragua at least once a week. On an island fifty-two miles away from the mainland, in the margins of an autonomous region that has always been a contested zone among nation-states, children’s patriotic perfor mances may be especially important ...

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7. Intercultural Voices, Political Transformations

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pp. 166-181

In August of 2008, I attended the fi fth annual Sihkru Tara (Big Sihkru) in Bilwi, the capital of the North Atlantic Autonomous Region on Nicaragua’s Atlantic Coast. The sihkru was once an indigenous ritual event that had both spiritual and social significance for Miskitu people, but it was condemned by missionarie ...

Notes

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pp. 183-194

References

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pp. 195-211

Index

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pp. 213-218

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About the Author

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pp. 219-240

Amanda Minks is an assistant professor in the Honors College of the University of Oklahoma, where she is affi liated with sociocultural anthropology, Native American studies, and women’s and gender studies programs. ...