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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She said there was no indication that a virus was responsible, but many different tests were being carried out. He claims that his treatment, which involves local plants and ancestral rituals, cures most sufferers in 15 to 30 days. 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 siknnis are associated with trichotillomaniacompulsive gambling, pyromania, and kleptomania in Western medicine.

Although it has not discovered organic cause, says Dennis, grisi siknis still “follow[s] the classic model for contagious disease”. Culture and Psychiatric Diagnosis: Dr Levy confirmed that the Miskito healers were leading the fight to bring the outbreak under control. Although grisi siknis behaves like a virus, researchers have not been able to trace anything irregular in the blood samples of victims. There is no definitively known cause of grisi grsi, although there are some theories which attempt to explain its origin.

I believe culture is the sharing of beliefs and values within a group of people. During the attacks, sufferers 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.

Location and origin of a group of people also has a role in culture. In all cases, the patients have the same symptoms: 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 sikni, is dissociative or psychogenic fugue.

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Grisi Siknis is a very prevalent illness for the people of the Miskito tribe. July 20, at 4: Community leaders in Raiti claim the outbreak of grisi siknis is the result of a curse. In the news article Widdicombe they explain that 60 people of the remote jungle tribe in Nicaragua known as the Miskito.

Westport, CTUnited States: Views Read Edit View history. A team of doctors, grisu, and trisi have reached a remote Miskito community in the jungles of northern Nicaragua where 60 people are suffering from a mysterious “collective madness”.

Grisi siknis – Wikipedia

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. 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.

A total of 38 informants were interviewed. 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.

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. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. In the news article mentioned they tried using anti-convulsive drugs and anti-depressants but that they were ineffective. Culture, Illness, and Healing.

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Griso Miskito belief, says Dennis, holds that grisi siknis is the result of evil spirits or black sorcerers. Most commonly the illness is found to strike women but is known to ransack through entire villages.


Grisi siknis is a very serious health problem for Miskito people. Richard Castillo, as quoted by Dr.

I agree with the fact that illness does not only involve the interruption of your ssiknis health but also your mental state. Link retrieved on 20 March Cultural Politics and Health: Leave a Reply Cancel reply You must be logged in to post a comment.

Involuntary mass spirit possession among the Miskitu.

Other cases have appeared in three other nearby communities. The research took place during 11 months from to in the port town of Puerto Cabezas. More recently cases occurring amongst people of Spanish descent have also been reported.

Simons, professor emeritus of psychiatry and anthropology at Michigan State Universityas quoted by Nicola Ross in The Walrus magazine, upholds grisj argument, proposing that grisi siknis is caused by poverty and stress among the Miskito.

The causes of grisi siknis are unknown, says the American Psychology Associationsikniss the prevailing Western theory calls this syndrome a “psychological disorder due to stress, upheaval and despair”.

The outbreak of the malady, known as grisi siknis in the local Miskut language, began in the Sjknis community near the Honduran border a month ago. Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders: 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. And because of this, Grisi is considered a disease.

Archived from the original on 4 June frisi 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.