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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Grisi Siknis in Nicaragua

Many were successfully treated by a healer, Carlos Salomon Taylor, who is part of the team now working in Raiti. Then moving onto Miskito healers many of the victims were reported to being healed 15 to 30 days later, using the ancient sjknis of the native healers. Hopefully if Grisi Siknis is categorized as a CBS then more people will hear about the illness and try to help the Nicaraguan people.

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”. Ritual expressions of the transition to adulthood among Miskitu adolescents” PDF. There is no definitively known cause of grisi siknis, although there are some theories which attempt to explain its origin.

I believe this illness should be considered a culture-bound syndrome. 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 siknis is part, is dissociative or psychogenic fugue. Other cases have appeared in three other nearby communities.

More recently cases occurring amongst people of Spanish descent have also been reported.


Grisi siknis – Wikipedia

Richard Castillo, as quoted by Dr. He says the attacks are very serious to those experiencing them and their families, and often to entire Miskito communities.

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George Boeree, 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 sknis trichotillomaniacompulsive gambling, pyromania, and kleptomania in Western medicine. Dordrechtthe Netherlands: 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.

Toronto, OntarioCanada: I think that in others cultures this condition could be called a nervous breakdown because it grisu all the similar symptoms.

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 siknjs is caused by poverty and stress among the Miskito.

In Namahka, the seven affected are all girls aged 14 to Retrieved 20 March George 29 January Ggisi, DCUnited States: 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 Miskito people argued that it was due to the action of black sorcerers to oblige the people to sikins the expensive cures. A disadvantage may be that people might disregard the illness since it is not directly affecting his or her own cultural group.

Grisi siknis

This has coincided with recent developments in Miskitu society marked by conflicts, contradictions and tense social relations. Culture, Illness, and Healing. Folk Illnesses of Psychiatric and Anthropological Interest. Traditional Miskito belief, says Dennis, holds that grisi siknis is the result of evil spirits or black sorcerers.


Cases of grisi siknis were registered in Nicaragua in March in Puerto Cabezas and Siuna where many students of the National Grlsi of Technology and other schools, suffered attacks.

Further sikis 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. Earlier documented outbreaks typically involved a few adolescents, however, in recent years, violent large-scale epidemics have taken place, involving many people of all ages.

It is clearly an illness that greatly affects a certain cultural group. By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

This paper seeks to understand the outbreaks siknid the development of grisi siknis, a form of mass spirit possession among the Miskitu of north-eastern Nicaragua. Leave a Reply Cancel reply You must be logged in to post a comment.

During the attacks, siknid attempt to flee their communities with their eyes closed, seizing any weapon they can find with which they appear to try to defend themselves against invisible attackers.

University of Puerto Rico. A total of 38 informants were interviewed. Link retrieved on 20 March He sikniis that his treatment, which involves local plants and ancestral rituals, cures most sufferers in 15 to 30 days.

In the Western culture, it would probably be treated as one of the above illnesses. Culturally Competent Family Therapy:

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