Culture Bound Syndrome

Topics: Antisocial personality disorder, Cannibalism, Mental disorder Pages: 3 (1062 words) Published: December 1, 2005

Culture Bound Syndrome (CBS) is defined by the DSM-IV as recurrent, locally specific patterns of deviant behavior and troubling experience that may or may not be linked to a particular DSM-IV diagnostic category. Such patterns of behavior are indigenously considered to be an "illness" or at least an affliction, and most have names specific to the region or culture in which they originate. Many CBSs are not literally syndromes; they are more like ways of explaining any of a wide array of misfortunes. In the following pages I will attempt to explain the CBS known as windigo. Over the course of the following pages I will attempt to describe the various types of windigo stemming from the folklore of the cannibalistic spirit. In accordance with knowledge that has been collected relating to windigo, it seems that there are three different classifications of windigo. The first classification is that of an evil spirit that haunts the sub artic forests of eastern and central Canada and the northeastern United States. The second classification of the windigo is that of windigo psychosis, where the afflicted person is overcome with cannibalistic tendencies and severe antisocial disorders. The third type of windigo is a legend in which windigo is a towering creature of the wilderness resembling the Sasquatch. Legends of the Native American cultures of the northeastern United States and central and eastern Canada state that there is an evil spirit that haunts the forests of the area called windigo. During the winter when food is scarce and famine is threatening the windigo, it will seek out a human, seize him, and then soar off into the night with him, flying over the forests with the bone chilling screams of the victim and the inhuman howling of the windigo echoing behind. The windigo will then posses the body of the human in order to feed on the flesh of other humans. Thus once possessed, legend states that the skeleton and heart of the human turns...
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