An historical geography of chicle and tunu gum production in northeastern Nicaragua

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5 Scopus citations


This paper describes the historical geography of tunu and chicle gum production in Nicaragua. In the first section, I utilize primary sources to trace how the wider world came to understand and disseminate knowledge about Nicaragua's tunu and subsequently how Nicaragua came to know and legislate its tree latexes. This section ends with a consideration of the World War II rubber demand on the later decision by the Wrigley company to invest in latex production in Nicaragua. In part two, I utilize information acquired during fieldwork in Nicaragua in 1991-92, 1994, and 1995-96 to describe how tunu and chicle production operated at the local level between 1950 and 1980, when all production ended. By dividing the paper in this way, I hope to contexturalize living memories of a regional and transformative industry within historical and more global cultural-political processes that unite science with commerce, knowledge with national territorial authority, and power with human-environment relations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)57-73
Number of pages17
JournalConference of Latin Americanist Geographers Yearbook
StatePublished - 1998
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Development
  • Political Science and International Relations


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