Cleane S. de Oliveira
Médica Psiquiatra do Ambulatório de Ansiedade do Instituto de Psiquiatria do Hospital das Clínicas da Faculdade de Medicina da Universidade de São Paulo
Francisco Lotufo Neto
Professor Associado do Departamento de Psiquiatria da Faculdade de Medicina da Universidade de São Paulo.


Suicide etiology is related to several different factors: sociological, economics, political, religious, cultural, psychological and psychopathological, and finally genetic and biological. Suicide world statistics, with emphasys where is more critical, specially the frightening figures of traditional societies, were reviewed. Data on brazilian indigenous populations were discussed. Suicide is prevalent in several indian groups, as the Guarani Apapokuva, the Urubu-Kaapor, the Paresi and the Yanomani. The Ticunas have a 28% suicide rate among all deaths between 1994 and 1996. The Caiowá had a 40 times higher rate than the brazilian population. Among the Sorowahá the situation is dramatic: A community with 130 members has probably one of the highest world suicide rates: 1.992 for 100.000 inhabitants.

Keywords:Transcultural psychiatry; Natives; Indigenous people/ Brazilian indians; Suicide rates.