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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Richard Castillo, as quoted by Dr. A different approach to studying this condition could involve different research trials to try and pinpoint the origin of the condition and try to find a solution to fixing the problem.

In all cases, the patients have the same symptoms: 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.

CS1 Spanish-language sources es Use dmy dates from January The last major outbreak of grisi siknis began in and affected dozens of Miskito communities throughout the region for 20 years. Grisi siknis is generally only cured by traditional Miskito healing methods, according to The Journal of the American Botanical Council.

Dr Levy confirmed that the Miskito healers were leading the fight to bring the outbreak under control. According to local press reports, they have extraordinary strength and often four people are required to restrain them. A team of doctors, psychiatrists, and anthropologists have reached a remote Miskito community in the jungles of northern Nicaragua where 60 people are suffering from a mysterious “collective madness”. Archived from the original on 4 June Grisi siknis in Miskito languagefrom the English, means “crazy sickness” is a contagious, culture-bound syndrome that occurs predominantly among the Miskito People of eastern Central America and affects mainly young women.

However, when viewed in a more contemporary context and cross-cultural perspective, grisi siknis shows similarities with other forms of involuntary mass spirit possession, particularly in the ways it is manifested, experienced and appears to be spreading. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. She said there was no indication that a virus was responsible, but many different tests were being carried out.

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I feel like this illness should be considered a CBS because I think that the ways of life of the Nicaraguan people may cause them to go into these madness episodes. Mr Taylor is one of five healers sent to Raiti, where 25 of the 60 sufferers are said to be responding well to treatment. Retrieved from ” https: Toronto, OntarioCanada: An advantage to labeling the illness as a CBS is to make it more well known.

Folk Illnesses of Psychiatric and Anthropological Interest. The research took place during 11 months from to in the port town of Puerto Cabezas. Although it has not discovered organic cause, says Dennis, grisi siknis still “follow[s] the classic model for contagious disease”.

Grisi siknis – Wikipedia

Other cases have appeared in three other nearby communities. Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders: 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.

A total of 38 informants were interviewed. Most of the victims are young girls from 15 to 18 years old. July 20, at 4: According to the American Psychiatric Association, a Western medical condition similar in many aspects to culturally bound syndromes, particularly the “running” syndromes, of which grisi gisi is part, is dissociative or psychogenic fugue.

He claims that his treatment, which involves local plants and ancestral rituals, cures most sufferers in 15 to 30 days. In the news article Widdicombe they explain that 60 people of the remote jungle tribe in Nicaragua known as the Miskito.

You must be logged in to post a comment. Leave a Reply Cancel reply You must be logged in to post a comment. I thought that this sickness was very interesting to read about because it reminded me of someone basically having a nervous breakdown.

Dordrechtthe Netherlands: Hopefully if Grisi Sikns is categorized as a CBS then more people will hear about the siknsi and try to help the Nicaraguan people.

Grisi siknis

I agree with rgisi fact that illness does not only involve ziknis interruption of your physical health but also your mental state. Many were successfully treated by a healer, Carlos Salomon Taylor, who is part of the team now working in Raiti.


I would define culture as the similar beliefs and traditions between a group of people that involve lifestyle, spiritual, and similar ways of life that make them different from another group of people. 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.

The anthropological field technique of participant-observation was used. Community leaders in Raiti grisii the outbreak of grisi siknis is the result of a curse. I believe culture is a way for people to identify with other people that they can relate to.

The paper argues that the phenomenon should no longer be considered a ‘culture-bound condition’ but in fact a Miskitu version of involuntary mass spirit possession. The Miskito people argued that it was due to the action of black sorcerers to oblige the people to pay the expensive cures.

Mental and behavioural disorders Miskito Culture-bound syndromes. Westport, CTUnited States: The paper shows that socio-economic, cultural, personal as well as environmental factors all contribute to sikniis of grisi siknis. 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”.

Further research that seeks to understand other forms of involuntary mass spirit possession should emphasize the social, personal and environmental context as well as cross-cultural comparisons in order to encompass fully the role of culture in relation to illness and suffering.

This paper seeks to understand the outbreaks and the development of grisi siknis, a form of mass spirit possession among the Miskitu of north-eastern Nicaragua. He witnessed four attacks during his research and said the patients were “clearly in another state of sikni. The American Journal of Psychiatry. This illness sounds like the people are experiencing hallucinations, a bit of dementia, and having mental breakdowns.

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