Category Archives: Oceania

SAMOA

#10 Who Will Go With Me?
     (George Turner, 1884)

. . . In encouraging each other, on going to battle, they said, “Well, if we die, we shall not have to die over again. It is only the death we should have to die some other day.” Suicide was … Continue reading

Leave a Comment

Filed under Indigenous Cultures, Oceania, Oceanic Cultures

CHUUK

#9 Group Rejection and Suicide
     (Thomas Gladwin and Seymour Bernard Sarason, 1953)

While the lineage or other kin group provides a large degree of economic and undoubtedly psychological security for the individual, the possibility of rejection by the members of such groups must be a source of very serious anxiety. We have … Continue reading

Leave a Comment

Filed under Indigenous Cultures, Oceania, Oceanic Cultures

CHUUK

#8 Sea Spirit Spasms
     (Frank Joseph Mahony, 1950-1968, 1970)

One evening during my stay on Fano Island, another man was severely reprimanded by his mother on the suspicion that he had stolen some hoarded household funds and gambled them away. The noisy argument that ensued, which took place next … Continue reading

1 Comment

Filed under Indigenous Cultures, Oceania, Oceanic Cultures

GUAM

#7 A Tale of Two Lovers Tying Their Hair Together
     (Freycinet, 1819)

The nobles were strictly forbidden not only to ally themselves with the mangatchang girls, but even to take them as concubines. Still, instances of the breaking of that rule are cited. In such a case, though, the matua who was … Continue reading

Leave a Comment

Filed under Indigenous Cultures, Oceania, Oceanic Cultures

PAPUA NEW GUINEA
KIRIWINA/THE TROBRIAND ISLANDS

#6 The Kaliai: Good Death, Bad Death
     (David R. Counts and Dorothy Ayers Counts, 1983-1984)

A good death—or a bad one—may be either voluntary or involuntary. Volition is not enough in itself to be definitive. Involuntary deaths, like those that have an external cause, may be either good or bad, while, with the exception of … Continue reading

Leave a Comment

Filed under Indigenous Cultures, Oceania, Oceanic Cultures

PAPUA NEW GUINEA
KIRIWINA/THE TROBRIAND ISLANDS

#5 Suicide as an Act of Justice; Expiation and Insult: Jumping from a Palm
     (Bronislaw Malinowski, 1916, 1926)

Suicide as an Act of Justice There are three classes—death as the result of evil magic, death by poison, and death in warfare. There are also three roads leading to Tuma, and Topileta indicates the proper road according to the … Continue reading

Leave a Comment

Filed under Indigenous Cultures, Oceania, Oceanic Cultures

SOLOMON ISLANDS

#4 Tikopian Attitudes Towards Suicide
     (Raymond Firth, 1967)

Tikopia attitudes toward suicide are closely connected with their attitudes toward death in general. Summarily stated, these attitudes express regret concerning death rather than fear of it; . . .the timing of the moment of cessation of bodily functioning is … Continue reading

Leave a Comment

Filed under Indigenous Cultures, Oceania, Oceanic Cultures

FIJI

#3 Deaths of the Old Chief and his Wives
     (Thomas Williams, 1858)

When a chief is either dead or dying, the fact is announced to his various connexions; and should he be of supreme power, the principal persons in his dominions come to pay their respects, and offer a present to him. … Continue reading

Leave a Comment

Filed under Indigenous Cultures, Oceania, Oceanic Cultures

FIJI

#2 Elderly Parents and the Time to Die
     (Charles Wilkes, 1845)

…a belief in a future state is universally entertained by the Feejeeans. In some parts of the group, this has taken the following form, which, if not derived from intercourse with the whites, is at least more consistent with revealed … Continue reading

1 Comment

Filed under Indigenous Cultures, Oceania, Oceanic Cultures

FIJI

#1 The Principal Wife of the Chief
     (William Mariner, 1820)

A man may have several wives; but the greatest chief, that is, she who is of the best family, is the principal wife; and in respect to her, — if her husband die first, she must be strangled on the … Continue reading

Leave a Comment

Filed under Indigenous Cultures, Oceania, Oceanic Cultures