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dc.contributor.advisorJanzen, John M.
dc.contributor.authorHerlihy, Laura Hobson
dc.date.accessioned2011-08-02T18:21:30Z
dc.date.available2011-08-02T18:21:30Z
dc.date.issued2002-05-01
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/1808/7862
dc.descriptionThe University of Kansas has long historical connections with Central America and the many Central Americans who have earned graduate degrees at KU. This work is part of the Central American Theses and Dissertations collection in KU ScholarWorks and is being made freely available with permission of the author through the efforts of Professor Emeritus Charles Stansifer of the History department and the staff of the Scholarly Communications program at the University of Kansas Libraries’ Center for Digital Scholarship.
dc.description.abstractThis dissertation examines gender and ethnic identities in the Mi ski to community of Kuri and in the Rio Platano Biosphere Reserve (RPBR), a pluri-ethnic protected area on the Miskito Coast of Honduras. The study is based on long-term field research consisting of participant observation, interviews, and the collection of ethnic terms of reference, songs, and incantations. The research focuses on how Miskito identities are constructed, maintained, and negotiated as viewed through the eyes of the Kuri women. The central research problem combines instrumentalist and constructivist approaches with ethnicity and gender theory in an effort to explore how Miskito individuals use situational identities to gain access to scarce resources in their homeland. The results show how the control of resources affects the types of identities that Miskito individuals construct within the complex of power and gender. Three major research objectives are accomplished. Data reveal that 1) Miskito individuals use "situational identities'" (they manipulate cultural markers) during interactions with indigenous and ethnic Others, including the neighboring Tawahka Sumu, Pech, Ganfuna (Black Carib), Ladinos, Creoles, and Islenos populations; 2) Miskito ethnic identity is constructed in matrilocal groups which leads to "female autonomy" tempered by "male authority" and 3) members of Miskito society participate in distinct discourses of gender ideologies—the male-dominant discourse revolving around the lobster economy and the subversive discourse surrounding supernatural potions, spoken in the household and other female-centered domains. Miskito women's various ethnic and gender identities shift back and forth depending on the context at hand to ensure their households' economic survival while also passing down Miskito language and culture to their children. Thus, the situational use of identities among Honduran Miskito women is a significant and strategic social adaptation to living in the Rio Platano Biosphere Reserve, one that ensures their survival and strong identity.
dc.format.extent369
dc.language.isoen_US
dc.publisherUniversity of Kansas
dc.rightsThis item is protected by copyright and unless otherwise specified the copyright of this thesis/dissertation is held by the author.
dc.titleThe Mermaid and the Lobster Diver: Gender and Ethnic Identities among the Río Plátano Miskito Peoples
dc.typeDissertation
dc.contributor.cmtememberDean, Bartholomew
dc.contributor.cmtememberHanson, F. Allan
dc.contributor.cmtememberKuznesof, Elizabeth
dc.contributor.cmtememberStansifer, Charles
dc.thesis.degreeDisciplineAnthropology
dc.thesis.degreeLevelPh.D.
kusw.oastatusna
kusw.oapolicyThis item does not meet KU Open Access policy criteria.
dc.rights.accessrightsopenAccess


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