What is the Best Way to Translate Grisi Siknis?
Dear Tico Times:
I read your article about “grisi siknis” with great interest (“Miskito Village Beats Grisi Siknis,” NT, Aug. 7).
I wish that you were allowed more space to explain some of the sociological explanations for the phenomenon.
Though I’m not certain, I believe that your article mistakes the origin of the word “grisi siknis.” In the article, you said that the term comes from a Miskito word.
However, while working with a Miskito group, I was told several times that the term comes from the English.
Hence, “grisi siknis” is a mispronunciation of the English term “crazy sickness.”
I could be wrong, of course. Since then, I’ve also read that “grisi siknis” translated to English means “jungle madness.”
Santa Barbara, Heredia, Costa Rica
Editor’s Note: ‘Grisi Siknis’ is a Miskito word that translates directly as ‘crazy sickness,’but it is more of an adaptation of English words rather than a mispronunciation. In Miskito language, which has taken several words from English, ‘grisi’ means crazy and ‘siknis’ means sickness.
For more information about this mysterious cultural-bound syndrom and a more in-depth explanation of Grisi Siknis, see “Grisi Siknis Outbreak Pits Town Against Evil Spirits”, NT, April 3, 2009.
You may be interested
Costa Rica approves law against child abuse prepared by alleged victims of priestAFP and The Tico Times - April 24, 2019
Costa Rica’s congress approved on Tuesday a bill that extends the statute of limitations for the crime of sexual abuse…
International drug rehab in Costa Rica with the Costa Rica Treatment CenterThe Tico Times - April 24, 2019
Costa Rica Treatment Center understands the process of addiction recovery from personal experience. Their evidence-based treatment programs are engineered to…
Costa Rica meets with Inter-American Commission on Human Rights to discuss Nicaragua, Venezuela, indigenous rightsAlejandro Zúñiga - April 23, 2019
Costa Rica’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Manuel Ventura Robles, met with the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) this week…