Topics: Marae, Māori culture, Māori Pages: 3 (1098 words) Published: December 14, 2012
Describe Tapu and comment on its relevance during a Tangihanga using a detailed example. Tapu (forbidden, sacred, prohibited, restricted) ruled out most maori culture and society and had numerous meaning and references and is still most important part of nowadays Maori society. In contemporary maori society, tapu is not only considered as meaningful traditional matter but is still largely recognized in relation to their daily lives and gives guideline which may lead them to distinguish the way of living and even death. Furthermore, the concept of Tapu can be illustrated through their several customs including tangihanga and whakanoa(Michael & Shirres, 1994:5) and through understanding other concepts of mana and noa. Tapu is not only meaning as restriction but can be represented in many ways. To avert the common misconception of Tapu, we must understand world view of maori and their belief which are originated from mythological story of atua (ancestors) and their wakanga (geneology). As the story passed down either orally or by correction of manuscripts of maori themselves, this can vary within each tribes and there are also many different aspects of view within, but certain elements such as names, places and concepts are held in common (Michael & Shirres, 1994:6). However, the widespread thought about the ancestral and spiritual world, which is closely linked to the world in which we live rather than isolating apart from (Michael & Shirres, 1994:6). In the aspect of their view and belief, we are all closely associated with atua (ancestors) and interconnected with tapu, mana (status, power) and noa (normal, ordinary)(Duncan, 2012). Therefore, Tapu can be described in many ways in regard to their view of world, mainly divided into intrinsic or extended, according to context itself. For the primary meaning of intrinsic Tapu can be described as mana of the spiritual power or being potentiality for the power. Tapu of itself, tapu of object or tapu of...
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