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Masks and madness : ritual expression of the transition to adulthood among Miskitu adolescents.

By Mark Jamieson


This article considers two forms of action among Miskitu adolescents, both of which encode in ritualised form anxieties and desires concerned with the imminent categorical transition from adolescence to adulthood. The first of these is a masked dance known as ‘mosko’ which is performed mainly by both young unmarried man and women in the village of Kakabila. The second is a supposedly culture-bound, and evidently contagious, condition known as ‘grisi siknis’ which afflicts mainly young unmarried women in Miskitu-speaking communities throughout eastern Nicaragua and Honduras. Analysis of this material suggests that where rituals directly enacting transformations to adulthood are absent, modes of action allowing individuals to express concerns surrounding this change of status are likely to be particularly dramatic

Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Year: 2001
DOI identifier: 10.1017/S0964028201000209
OAI identifier:

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