A survey was conducted of psychotic persons in a peasant society where psychiatric services were not available. Their age distribution and duration of psychosis indicated that they had a reduced longevity as compared to the general population. Intensive study of six fatal and near fatal cases suggested that violence and infection accounted for their early demise. Those with organic psychosis appeared to have a greater mortality than those with functional psychosis. As our social policies toward the mentally ill change, these findings may have applicability in our own society.