Articles Suicide Cleanup Narrative
If we look at the history of suicide cleanup, we find little written down. In the earliest times, suicide cleanup following the same patterns of death cleanup. A simple removal of the decedent and, perhaps, kicking soil over the blood and other potentially infectious materials (OPIM) were adequate for blood cleanup, of course, the risk of wild animal incursions into the death scene was probably much higher than we would expect today. So maybe a small group would find another place to locate after performing their various rites and rituals over the death scene, the suicide scene.
Other than this, it's hard to imagine much more occurring for suicide cleanup among prehistoric people. In fact, we do not find much history written down for future generations until the Egyptians began writing their own histories.
The death cults surrounded the various Egyptian Phoreos made graphic images of the leaders' afterlife and the means to reach their promised land.
Still, suicide itself has been a part of human history since recorded time began, most likely. There were too many reasons to select individuals to commit suicide. Motives for suicide included starvation, altruistic suicide, critical injuries creating excruciating pain, critical injuries causing risks to the group, and so forth.
We do know from history that the word suicide has a recent origin. It did not show up in the Old Testament. It did not show up in the early Christian writings, but it did show up in the Latin. Although, there was no original single, Latin word for the act. The Romans did use a phrase to express a thought.
Suicide first appeared in 1662 in the New World with Edward Phillips' use. Suicide was thought of as a "barbarous" word, more appropriately derived from sus, a sow, for a swine that part of a man killing himself. We find the negative context of committing suicide in the middle-ages, then. Then, we find the Oxford English Dictionary states that suicide was first used in English as early as 1651. According to this dictionary, the Latin word suicidum arose in response to the suicide act's growing recognition as a cause of death.
Combining the pronoun "self" the verb "to kill" puts the matter straight and forward, but would take 100 years. Then, in 1752, the word suicide appeared in France. This is an interesting outcome. Four, it's in France that the famous sociologist Emile Durkheim began studies in suicide in a scientific manner. Up until that time, it was thought that suicide was a byproduct of civilization and, therefore, unknown in preliterate societies. And to some extent, this idea influenced the notion of "happy Savage." Rousse (1712 – 70) forged this phrase into Western Civilization consciousness, which then became used wholesale among romantic writers and actors.
But we know from anthropology that suicide existed in numerous primitive tribes around the world for eons, most probably. In 1894, suicide was reported among the North and South American Indians, Bedouins, and people of the Caucuses, Indians, Melanesians, Micronesian's, Polynesians, and Indonesians. Interestingly, we find that two prescribed suicide methods aided the Trobriand Islanders' suicides. One, they jumped from the top of a palm tree. Or, two, they swallowed a fatal poison derived from the gallbladder of the globefish. It would seem that jumping from a palm tree would make more sense, while causing less pain, besides have an instant effect; the poison approach to suicide takes longer, causes sickness and nausea, all of which lead to a terrible death by suicide. Poison does have the benefit of aiding the suicide actor by offering an often used method, swallowing. This would deliver an easier method as opposed to climbing a palm tree, but lead to a slower suicide death, of course.
Some researchers reported a relatively high suicide rate among the Tikopia, a Polynesian tribal community in the Western Pacific,
Researchers didn't find suicide among the Yahgans of Tierra del Fuego. Now, this is saying something. We know from the research of Charles Darwin that Tierra del Fuegians lived just above the sustenance level of wild animals. Besides existing nearly naked, they often lied upon sharp, slippery outcrops along the coastal regions, along shorelines. Here, they found shellfish to harvest and barter. In fact, Capt. Fitzroy, captain of the HMS Beagle, removed three Tierra del Fuego's to Britain and added them "civilized." Returning these "savages" to their coastal home aided their return to their Savage lifestyle. Still, suicide is not a part of the world for these people, in spite of their meager resources.
We do know that attitudes towards suicide have varied a lot over history. Usually, the psychological and cultural patterns of a society lead either to acceptance or shirking suicidal behavior as an option. Most often, suicide becomes associated with superstition in preliterate societies where suicide does occur. Magic also played a role in some preliterate suicides.
Taboos on suicide would help to stem the tide of completed suicides when famine, disease, and war arose. Taboos would invoke suspicion of evils that were thought to accompany suicide, for instance. Taboos were thought to keep the spirit of the suicide victim in prison. In essence, the suicide victim could not haunt the living, causing the suicide victim to remain in limbo forever.
Suicides took two forms, social and individual. Social suicides were generally committed, depending on the nature of the offense at hand. For example, in the case of altruistic suicide among the Eskimos, one was expected to commit suicide when they became old and sick and no longer an asset to the survival of their society. Their sacrifice would help to ensure the survival of their group.
Individually derived suicides followed other thoughts and attitudes. We know that in primitive cultures, using the word "primitive" advisedly, suicide became a way of expressing anger and revenge in a rigidly prescribed manner. For example, violating a tribal taboo would, at times, cause the offender to climb to the top of a palm tree. He would name an accuser that somehow impinged upon his honor, and then jump headfirst from the tree. Such individual-oriented suicides were a matter of preserving one's honor and reducing any sign of cowardice. Other sources for motivating suicide included termination of pain, preservation of virginity, escape in disgrace at the hands of an enemy, and, eliminating the pain and anxiety created by the loss of a loved one (alienation).