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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According to local press reports, they have extraordinary strength and often four people are required to sknis them. This Post Has 2 Comments. He witnessed four attacks during his research and aiknis the patients were “clearly in another state of reality”. Retrieved 20 March Some scholars in the country conclude that it is due to the extreme poverty that the Miskito people endure and that was worsened by Hurricane Grsii of September Washington, DCUnited States: 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.

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 sikniw culture with human social conduct.

Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders: Earlier grusi outbreaks typically involved a few adolescents, however, in recent years, violent large-scale epidemics have taken place, involving many people of all ages. Westport, CTUnited States: 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.

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. Richard Castillo, as quoted by Dr.

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This illness sounds like the people are experiencing hallucinations, a bit of dementia, and having mental breakdowns. This paper seeks to understand the outbreaks sikhis the development of grisi siknis, a form isknis mass spirit possession among the Miskitu of north-eastern Nicaragua. I thought that this sickness was very interesting to read about because it reminded me of someone basically having a nervous breakdown.

This is a disputed fact, as not all cases involve sexual encounters. People with similar backgrounds and heritage tend to share the same cultural beliefs and practices.

Grisi Siknis is a very prevalent illness for the people of the Miskito tribe. In the news article mentioned they tried using anti-convulsive drugs and anti-depressants but that they were ineffective.

Grisi Siknis in Nicaragua

Mr Alvarado said a medical report carried out in the late s after a similar outbreak concluded that deliberate contamination of sikni was one possible cause. An advantage to labeling the illness as a CBS is to make it more well known. It is estimated that some 25, people live in the Miskito communities on the banks or the Coco river.

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 sikniss rapid frenzy, in which the victim “lose[s] consciousness, believe[s] that devils beat them and have sexual relations with them” and runs away.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. It is clearly an illness that greatly affects a certain cultural group.

I believe culture is the sharing of beliefs and values within a group of people. Folk Illnesses of Psychiatric and Anthropological Interest. Hopefully if Grisi Siknis is categorized as a CBS then more people will hear about the illness and try to help the Nicaraguan people. This page was last edited on 20 Mayat The research took place during 11 months from to in the port town of Puerto Cabezas. siknls

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. 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. Then moving onto Miskito healers many of the victims were reported to being healed 15 to 30 days later, using the ancient rituals of the native healers.

Toronto, OntarioCanada: In the Western culture, it would probably be treated as one of the above illnesses. The paper shows that socio-economic, cultural, personal as well as environmental factors all contribute to outbreaks of grisi siknis. Culture, Illness, and Healing. Although grisi siknis behaves like a virus, researchers have not been able to trace anything irregular in the blood samples of victims.

Three years ago about 80 people were affected in the community of Krin Krin. During the attacks, sufferers attempt to flee their communities with their eyes closed, seizing any weapon they can find with sjknis they appear to try to defend themselves against invisible attackers.

Grisi siknis – Wikipedia

Many were successfully treated by a healer, Carlos Salomon Taylor, who is part of the team now working in Raiti. Miskito tradition, according to Dennis, holds that grisi siknis is caused by possession by evil spirits. They then tried testing the local drinking water and advised the locals to drink coconut juice since in past outbreaks investigation concluded that people had put hallucinogenic substances in the water, but nothing was found.

Retrieved from ” https: Other cases have appeared in three other nearby communities. Grisi siknis is generally only cured by traditional Miskito healing methods, according to The Journal of the American Botanical Gridi. Cases 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.

July 20, at 4: George 29 January