This paper seeks to understand the outbreaks and the development of grisi siknis , a form of mass spirit possession among the Miskitu of. Miskito villages line the Atlantic coasts of Nicaragua and Honduras. Nietschmann ( 47) estimated the number of Miskito speakers in Nicaragua at in. Grisi siknis (which literally means “crazy sickness”), is characterized by long periods of anxiety, dizziness, fear, and irrational anger. The most.

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Even though it is not clear why or how the illness exactly comes about, it is clear that it is attacking a certain location and group of people. George 29 January Group discussions, narratives and informal and semi-structured interviews were carried out, as well as participation in healing rituals.

In all cases, the patients have the same symptoms: According to Prof Dennis, grisi siknis is a “culture-bound syndrome” unique to the Miskito, comparable to anorexia nervosa which is known only in the affluent west. She fled across the Coco river into Honduras, reaching the village of Panzap where she died.

He claims that his treatment, which involves local plants and ancestral rituals, cures most sufferers in 15 to 30 days. Folk Illnesses of Psychiatric and Anthropological Interest. Sikins of grisi siknis were registered in Nicaragua in March in Puerto Cabezas and Siuna where many students of the National Institute of Technology and other schools, suffered attacks.

Views Read Edit View history. Although grisi siknis behaves like a virus, researchers have not been able to trace anything irregular in the blood samples of victims. Westport, CTUnited States: The affliction has griso been considered a ‘culture-bound syndrome’ only occurring among the Miskitu. Then moving onto Miskito healers many of the victims ziknis reported to being healed 15 to 30 days later, using the ancient rituals of the native healers.


George Vrisi, believes that amok with very similar symptoms to grisi siknispibloktoq, latah, “falling out”, “indisposition”, and the “fits” are all related to impulse control disorders, and thus are associated with trichotillomaniacompulsive gambling, pyromania, and kleptomania in Western medicine. Dordrechtthe Netherlands: Culture and Psychiatric Diagnosis: The causes of grisi siknis are unknown, says the American Psychology Associationbut the prevailing Western theory calls this syndrome a “psychological disorder due to stress, upheaval and despair”.

Involuntary mass spirit possession among the Miskitu.

It is clearly an illness that greatly griei a certain cultural group. Cultural Politics and Health: She said there was no indication that a virus was responsible, but many different tests were being carried out. The Miskito people argued that it was due to the action of black sorcerers to oblige the people to pay the expensive cures.

This is a disputed fact, as not all cases involve sexual encounters.

Mental and behavioural disorders Miskito Culture-bound syndromes. I believe this illness should be considered a culture-bound syndrome.

Hopefully if Grisi Siknis is categorized as a CBS then more aiknis will hear about the illness and try to help the Nicaraguan people. Mr Taylor is one of five healers sent to Raiti, where 25 of the 60 sufferers are said to be responding well to treatment.

Phil Dennis of Texas Tech Universitygrisi siknis is typically characterized by longer periods of anxiety, nausea, dizziness, irrational anger and fear, interlaced with short periods of rapid frenzy, in which the victim “lose[s] consciousness, believe[s] that devils beat them and have sexual relations with them” and runs away.


Nicaragua village in grip of madness | World news | The Guardian

Many were successfully treated by a healer, Carlos Salomon Taylor, who is part of the team now working in Raiti. In Simons, Ronald C. Simons, professor emeritus of psychiatry and anthropology at Michigan State Universityas quoted by Nicola Ross in The Walrus magazine, upholds this argument, proposing that grisi siknis is caused by poverty and stress among the Miskito. Grisi siknis has been the subject of anthropological studies and is defined as a culture-specific malady found only in the Miskito culture, although with many similarities to pibloktoq, or “arctic hysteria”, found in indigenous peoples of Greenland.

University of Puerto Rico. Culture is something that I feel makes us very unique depending on where we come from and the traditions and beliefs we choose to follow.

Grisi siknis

In the Western culture, it would probably be treated as one of the above illnesses. Both articles describe the ineffectiveness of western medicine in healing this illness and how it should be recognized as a true disease because we should realize an illness is not solely based on biological markers but complex intertwining of various aspects of culture with human social conduct.

Richard Castillo, as quoted by Dr.