On the Boundaries of a Culture. Miskitu Migrants between Tradition and Modernity.
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This study has sought to identify the ways in which everyday processes of ethnic identity construction take place among the Miskitu of Pearl Lagoon, and how these processes are linked to the remembering of a shared past. I have aimed to contribute to the existing knowledge on the Miskitu people by studying them outside of their traditional sphere: as migrants living as an ethnic minority in a 'modern' society. Even though adaptation to the hegemonic culture often seemed to be a beneficial strategy as discrimination and stereotypes were manifest in everyday life, nearly all Miskitu stayed true to their Miskitu roots and (unconsciously) resisted adaptation by continuing Miskitu ideas and practices in their daily lives. Social memory stimulated the continuance of these traditional practices (such as the Miskito language, traditional healing practices, and the autonomous lifestyle) by functioning as a referential unit and as a counter-hegemonic consciousness (Mittelman, 2002). The 'lived past' and knowledge of historical events served as a legitimization of traditional practices, and in some cases also gave these practices a future dimension.