Ambiguity in the Interpretation of Suicide: Female Death in Papua, New Guinea (IN: Why Women Kill Themselves, ed. by D Lester)

This article details suicidal behavior in New Guinea, emphasizing female suicide. The author describes suicide in this country as a culturally recognized behavior that acts as a form of social sanction. She presents many case examples of suicides brought on shame, an unwanted marriage, etc. Compensation is usually paid to the suicide victim’s family by […]

Among the Boughs of the Hanging Tree: Male Suicide Among the Bimin-Kuskusmin of Papua New Guinea

The author examines male suicide among the Bimin-Kuskusmin of the West Septik Province of Papua, New Guinea. This study is based on 2 sets of suicide data, 131 (out of 1293 deaths) suicides that occurred before the author’s field research, & 33 (out of 58 deaths) occurring during his period of research. Findings are discussed […]

Suicide in Contemporary Papua New Guinea: An Attempt at an Overview

The author comments on the incidence of suicide in Papua, New Guinea, from his work with the Papua native population: It occurs among all ethnic groups; rates vary greatly internally & with respect to societies elsewhere; most suicides are among those in traditional sociocultural settings; acculturation has had a negative effect; increasing suicide & suicide […]

Suicidal Behavior Among Black Communities in Three Countries

This paper reports a study of consecutive cases of attempted suicide seen in the University Teaching Hospital in Lagos, Nigeria. Findings are compared with earlier observations of Black Americans in Newark, New Jersey & of subjects in Papua, New Guinea. Detailed results are given. (LH)

Revenge Suicide by Lusi Women: An Expression of Power (IN: Rethinking Women’s Roles, ed. by D O’Brien and S Tiffany)

Using data from the Lusi-speaking Kaliai of northwest New Britain, the author demonstrates that suicide is part of a pattern of behaviour for powerless people, that this pattern is communicated in oral literature, that it follows rules, & that it has predictable results. In this context, suicide is a political alternative that permits the powerless, […]

Stone Age Crisis: A Psychiatric Appraisal (RC 451 P34 B85 1975)

Transcultural psychiatrist Dr. B.G. Burton-Bradley presents several papers based on his anthropological research in New Guinea. Included are Stone Age to 20th Century, Cargo Cult,Suicide, Amok, Mixed-Race Marginality, & Papua New Guinea Psychiatry. He discusses the difficulty in determining the prevalence of suicidal acts in an underdeveloped country. 21 cases of suicide, of whom 18 […]

Akro and Gagandewa: A Melanesian Myth

The author uses the myth of Akro & Gagandewa to gain insight into the Kalia, culture of Northwest New Britain, Papua New Guinea. The myth includes a belief in the spirits of suicide thought to exist beyond the boundaries of their villages. Suicide is believed to be precipitated by another’s evil behavior & to be […]

Cargo Cult in Papua New Guinea: As a Model of Economic Group Suicide

The obvious material wealth of the Europeans still creates occasional outbursts of self destructive behvior in Papua, New Guinea, known as “Cargo Cult: activities. People believe that sacrifice will bring them the goods being brought to the country by aircraft & ships. Law enforcement is usually the only effective intervention. The psychopathology of this strange […]

Suicide and Social Control in New Britain

An anthropological study of suicide among native people in New Britain. The author illustrates that these suicides result from motives he describes as a form of “social deception”. (NBB)

Suicide in a Remote Preliterate Society in the Highlands of Papua New Guinea

Suicide has been examined in a remote preliterate Papua New Guinea highland population. Twenty six cases occurred over an eight year period (17 cases per 100,000 population per year); 23 of these were female. The method chosen by all females was hanging. In 16 cases interpersonal conflicts appear to have been the precipitating factor.

Fighting Back is Not the Way: Suicide and the Women of Kaliai

A case study of the suicide of a young Kaliai girl in northwest New Britain, Papua New Guinea introduces a disussion of suicide as an expression of power by otherwise powerless people, and a consideration of the validity of using the legal terms suicide & homicide in a cross cultural context. Data on self-killing practiced […]

Revenge Suicide and Lusi Women: Deviance or Political Behavior?

The author argues that revenge suicide is not deviant, but a behavioural alternative among the Lusi-speaking Kaliai of NW New Britain. Using numerous case examples, Counts shows that suicide is part of a behavioural pattern for powerless people (often women), that this pattern is communicated in the oral tradition, that it follows rules & has […]

A High Incidence of Suicide in a Preliterate-Primitive Society

A 1966 survey of the Kandrian District, New Guinea, showed a suicide rate double that of some Western countries. Although similar to other New Guinea societies, Kandrians differ in the strength of the suicide option where an interpersonal relationship has been disrupted. The suicide taboo either fails or is actively reversed. This may be due […]

Of Suicide and Folly