The Ulwa Language Project

Ulwa is a Misumalpan language spoken in the Eastern (Atlantic) region of Nicaragua. The Misumalpan languages include Miskitu, the now extinct Matagalpa-Cacaopera, and the small Sumu language subgroup, exemplified today only by Ulwa (spoken in the community of Karawala in the Southern Atlantic Autonomous Region---R.A.A.S.), and its close cousin, Mayangna, spoken by a few thousand people in the Northern Atlantic Autonomous Region (R.A.A.N.) of Nicaragua as well as along the Río Patuca in Honduras. The shaded area on the map approximates the original territory of the Ulwa people before European contact. Today the only significant remaining population resides in the village of Karawala. Here the language is still spoken by some 400 people, although very few of these are children.