Beaten Wife, Suicidal Woman: Domestic Violence in Kaliai, West New Britain

The author first looks at ethnographic evidence for Papua New Guinea that suggest women there who attempt or commit suicide often do so after they have been beaten. Secondly, she examines the options that are available to such women. Counts argues that suicide in Kaliai is a strategy that permits a woman to retaliate against […]

Female Suicide and Wife Abuse: A Cross-Cultural Perspective

Data from a number of societies, including North America, indicate that wife abuse may be one of the most significant precipitants of female suicide. Anthropological analysis indicates that in some societies female suicide is a culturally recognized behavior that enables the weak to influence the strong &/or take revenge on those who oppress them. Case […]

Aspects of Dying in Northwest New Britain

Three detailed case studies and more general discussion of aspects of death in northwest New Britian, Papua New Guinea, demonstrate Kaliai concepts of good and bad death. The consequences of both kinds of death for the dying person and for survivors are noted, and it explores why a person might choose a bad death.

The Clear and the Hidden: Person, Self and Suicide Among the Telefolmin of Papua New Guinea

Among the Telefolmin, women’s suicide is culturally recognized while men’s suicides are held to be exceptional; contrary to cultural expectations. Analysis of motives reveals that men tend to commit suicide in the face of rupture in marital relations. Marriage affords a priviledged relation in which a man’s self is permitted to emerge, while marital disruption […]

Of Suicide and Folly