Enquiry into the occurrence and the pattern of S.† in different cultures promises to reveal information of importance, but there is as yet inadequate material from which definite conclusions can be drawn. Cavan (1928) and Dublin and Bunzel (1933) devoted chapters of their works on S. to this aspect of the subject. These, however, were but poorly assorted collections of descriptive items from various ethnologists, orientalists, and historians, and from them few significant relationships between S. and culture could have been deduced. Zilboorg (1936, 1937) tried to build a concept of S. as a preformed, archaic behavioural reaction on ethnological data, but it must be admitted that valuable though this formulation is he has made somewhat tendentious use of his material in weaving them into the fabric of psycho-analytic theory. His arguments have been subjected to criticism by Wile (1937). Ellenberger (1953) cited examples of S. from various cultures that could be classified under the three components of the S. impulse described by Menninger (1938), viz., the wish to die, the wish to be killed, and the wish to kill. Such a classification, however, cannot cover all the facts. The social sanctioning of S. for different motives in different cultures would seem to argue against the notion that S. everywhere involves the same “components”. The view that S. is rare in elementary and compactly organized societies has long been held, and has recently been confirmed as far as the Yorubas of West Africa are concerned by Lambo (1956).