Category Archives: Americas

INCREASE MATHER
(1639-1723)

A Call to the Tempted: A Sermon on the Horrid Crime of Self-Murder

  Increase Mather, commonly considered the most gifted member of the prominent Mather family and the first to be born in America, was a religious, educational, and political leader of early Puritan New England. A graduate of Harvard and Trinity … Continue reading

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KASKA

#47 Suicide and Intoxication
     (John Joseph Honigmann, 1943-1945)

All evidence agrees that completed suicide is very rare in Kaska society. In the other hand, observations and communications agree that attempted suicide by men is of frequent occurrence and very likely to appear during intoxication. There is a general … Continue reading

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TLINGIT

#46 Paying Damages for Suicide
     (Livingstone F. Jones, 1893-1914)

If a man commits suicide, a cause is always sought, and he who is regarded responsible for the cause is blamed and his tribe made to pay damages… A man committed suicide simply to make trouble for one who offended … Continue reading

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TLINGIT

#45 Slaves: An Honor to Die at the Master’s Funeral
     (Albert F. Niblack, 1887)

The custom with regard to slaves that died a natural death was to throw the bodies into the sea or otherwise cast them aside. Certain slaves, however, were selected by a master to be killed or sacrificed at his funeral … Continue reading

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TLINGIT

#44 Holding Others Responsible for Suicide
     (Aurel Kruase, 1881-1882, 1956)

Lütke declares that suicide is unknown among the Tlinglit. He says that there is not even an instance of a slave taking his life. According to our findings, suicide is not such an unknown act. An injured person who has … Continue reading

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TALKOTIN

#43 Barbarities Practised on Widows
     (Ross Cox, citing M’Gillivray, 1794-1795)

The ceremonies attending the dead are very singular, and quite peculiar to this tribe. The body of the deceased is kept nine days laid out in his lodge, and on the tenth it is burned. For this purpose a rising … Continue reading

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KWAKIUTL

#42 Shame
     (Ruth Benedict, 1934)

The Kwakiutl recognized only one gamut of emotion, that which swings between victory and shame. It was in term of affronts given and received that economic exchange, marriage, political life, and the practice of religion were carried on. Even this, … Continue reading

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SALISH

#41 Suicide by Hanging
     (W. Cline, 1930)

Some data on suicide was obtained from Johnie Louie which may be added here. The pattern for suicide seems to be by hanging. No one was ever hung for punishment. Suicide was rare among men, but common enough among girls. … Continue reading

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SALISH

#40 Strained Sex Relations
     (V. F. Ray, 1928-1930)

Strained sex relations sometimes resulted in suicide. When eloping couples were overtaken and brought back it was not uncommon for the girl to kill herself. Forced marriage to an undesirable husband sometimes resulted in a like action, but more often … Continue reading

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KLAMATH

#39 The Stigma of Suicide
     (Lucy Thompson, 1916)

The Klamath Indians are very much prejudiced against one taking their own life. They look down on the act, and if one should take his own life, which we call o-motch-ser-mer-yer, there is no chance for them to be saved … Continue reading

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