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Maya religion and traditions: Influencing suicide prevention in contemporary Mexico 

Maya religion and traditions: Influencing suicide prevention in contemporary Mexico
Chapter:
Maya religion and traditions: Influencing suicide prevention in contemporary Mexico
Author(s):

Gaspar Baquedano

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780198570059.003.0012
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date: 18 August 2019

Although suicide appears to be an individual act, this auto-destructive behaviour occurs in a wider context. Comprehension of this process can be improved through an analysis of its psychological, sociocultural and economic dimensions. Suicide occupies an important place in Maya religion and practices. In fact, it is the only pre- Hispanic culture strongly linked with suicide. For example, the Maya had a suicide goddess. The southeast region of Mexico, which geographically corresponds to the Maya area, where Maya worshippers lived, and still live, has the highest rate of suicide in the country today. What are the other factors behind suicide? There are many ways of exploring this question, and one of them could be a psycho-anthropological approach, elucidating attitudes and perceptions concerning life, death and suicide. In this chapter, an overview of Maya religion and traditions in regards to suicide are given.

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