Sumu in Nicaragua

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People Name: Sumu
Country: Nicaragua
10/40 Window: No
Population: 12,000
World Population: 21,600
Primary Language: Mayangna
Primary Religion: Christianity
Christian Adherents: 85.00 %
Evangelicals: 1.40 %
Scripture: Complete Bible
Online Audio NT: Yes
Jesus Film: Yes
Audio Recordings: Yes
People Cluster: Central American Indigenous, other
Affinity Bloc: Latin-Caribbean Americans
Progress Level:

Introduction / History

The Sumu of Nicaragua are known as “Mayangna,” or “the people,” in their own language. At one time, the Sumu occupied a large part of Central America. Primarily nomadic, they took traditional occupations of hunting, fishing, gathering and farming. The invasion of European peoples negatively affected the population rate, and the Sumu suffered from new diseases and slavery. After the introduction of firearms to Nicaragua, the Miskito people conquered the Sumu. Survivors lived in isolation from outside influence. In the 1980s, conflict between the Nicaraguan government and Indian resistance forces decimated the Sumu population. Since then, the Nicaraguan government has created a more accepting atmosphere for the Sumu, and many have begun to reclaim cultural identity. However, they are a fading people group, and may soon be absorbed into the Miskito.

What Are Their Lives Like?

Today, the Sumu are a rainforest people, settling near rivers. Their houses are designed with thatch or tin roofs, split bamboo, elevated palm floors, and post-and-pole framed structures. Farming is still a dominant profession, with plantains and bananas being staple foods. Hunting is also a popular activity, though weapons have morphed from archery, spears and blowguns to rifles and shotguns. Fishing provides an additional source of sustenance and income.

What Are Their Beliefs?

Little is known about the pre-colonial Sumu beliefs. Today, the Sumu adhere to Moravian spiritual teachings. They believe in the Christian design of the universe, holding to the traditional doctrines on sin, heaven and hell.

What Are Their Needs?

The Sumu need to put Christ first in their lives.

Prayer Points

Praise God for providing the Bible for this people group.
Ask him to enable the Sumu to follow Jesus and make disciples.
Pray for workers to be sent into the harvest, sharing the gospel in a culturally relevant way.
Pray also for believers among the Sumu to take the gospel to the unreached in their region. Ask God to protect this people group from false doctrine.
Pray for unity among believers, as well as a commitment to Biblical truth.

Text Source:   Joshua Project