Grisi Siknis in Miskito

I chose to read an article on Grisi Siknis in Miskito. This disease is usually found in teenage girls, ages fourteen to eighteen, who enter another state of mind. Grisi Siknis is when a female of the Miskito community suffers from unconsciousness similar to that of a coma, but it is periodically interrupted by episodes of sporadic behavior. During these episodes a person will try to run from their community grabbing any weapon they come across on their way out. They use these weapons to try to defend themselves against invisible attackers. Raiti community leaders believe that these girls have had a curse placed upon them. When this disease was first being studied a medical team recommended that the people of Miskito stop drinking the well water. They later found that when people placed hallucinogenics in the well and were then later combined with symptoms of the disease they cause the specific type of behavior discussed above. It has been found that anti-convulsive and anti-depressent drugs do not show any signs of improvement in someone who has this illness. The only way they have found to help these girls overcome Grisi Siknis is from the help of Miskito healers. However, these healers are hard to come by. There’s not much a doctor can do when these outbreaks occur, they just have to offer their support and hope the healers can use their knowledge to prevent more girls from suffering. A person who is undergoing treatment from a healer usually is cured anywhere between fifteen and thirty days. Even though Grisi Siknis is only found in Miskito it is said that is similar to pibloktoq which affects the people of Greenland. It is a very serious disease for the person who is directly affected, their families and the entire communities. As of now the healing techniques seems to be working a lot of the time and hopefully it will continue to do so.


Widdicombe, Rupert. “Nicaragua Village in Grip of Madness.” The Guardian. Guardian News and Media, 16 Dec. 2003. Web. 17 July 2014. <>. 

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