Creating Mosquitia: mapping Amerindian spatial practices in eastern Central America, 1629-1779

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36 Scopus citations


By examining the spatial practices of Mosquito Indians, this paper contends that colonial maps reflect the activities of colonized peoples. Situated between the Spanish and British empires in eastern Central America, the Mosquito carved out an independent kingdom for themselves between 1629 and 1779, and far beyond. My argument is that many period maps respond to, and re-present, Mosquito spatial practices. I define a spatial practice as any political feat, economic activity, forceful claim, or social performance that asserts and demonstrates authority over people and space. Through a chronological and thematic reconstruction of primary documents, my objective is to show that colonial subjects in general, and the Mosquito in particular, can and do contribute to their own spatialized representations through their actions and discourses. Without Mosquito spatial practices, there would have been no Mosquitia to map, only some other place.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)254-282
Number of pages29
JournalJournal of Historical Geography
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Central America
  • Colonialism
  • History of cartography
  • Mosquito Indians
  • Spatial practices

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • History
  • Archaeology


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