still herePosted: August 31, 2011
From the Nicaragua Network:
Eighteen indigenous Mayangna leaders in the North Atlantic Autonomous Region (RAAN) have graduated from a program to become proficient in their ancestral tongue offered by the Autonomous Regional University of the Nicaragua Caribbean Coast (URACCAN). The Mayangna are the smaller native group in the region dominated by the Miskito people. Indeed, one of the reasons the language is in danger of extinction in some Mayangna communities is that the Moravian Church conducts services in Miskito. As a result of work by the Institute for the Promotion and Investigation of Language and Culture (IPILC), of URACCAN, some Moravian churches are now offering church services in the Mayangna language. Music and storytelling in the Mayangna language are also being revived. Orlando Salomon said that it is now the responsibility of the leaders of the communities of Fruto de Pan, Dibakil, Kalmata, Musawas and others, who graduated from the program to see that the language does not disappear but rather that its use increases among the population. (La Prensa, Aug. 21)
One of the things that the Campaign has done since the start of our contact with Nicaragua’s Caribbean Coast is look in detail at the developments to try to save the Coast’s languages. The news last week about the Mayangna people is another step forward in the process. The URACCAN, the Coast’s community university, has been central to supporting indigenous people in rescuing their languages and cultures. Solidarity has also played a part. Amongst the people who have worked with the Mayangna over the years is Jane Freeland, from Southampton University, and an old friend of the Campaign.
Since 1994 many from Wales have travelled to Nicaragua, to see the struggle of the indigenous people on the Coast. One of them is Angharad Tomos, who spoke in the El Sueno Existe conference about the influence of Nicaragua on her. ESE has newly published an interview from a member of UNITE with Angharad, and also with other speakers in the conference, the Venezuelan Ambassador Samuel Moncada, and Dafydd Iawn. See here for details.