Taboo

Topics: Death, Culture, Body Pages: 3 (882 words) Published: October 29, 2013

TABOO
Taboo is a Polynesian term. It means prohibited. Thus taboo is a prohibition. It prevents from so many activities. Its disobedience is not a crime but a sin. Therefore, the society or the state cannot punish him but his own conscience pricks. And yet the power of taboo is more than that of law. Man does not so much fear law as the abstract power behind taboo. At the back of law is the power of the state, at the back of taboo is the sanction of religion. Therefore, taboos are more strictly observed. Its non-observance is supposed to lead to the wrath of gods. Taboo is an important part of magic. According to Majumdar and Madan, "The woof and warp of magical beliefs and practices is made up of positive and negative strands, and taboo is later. Its purpose is threefold, productive, protective and prohibitive." The productive purpose of taboo is the growth of cultivation and other occupation. Its protective purpose is the safety of the individual, family and tribe. Its prohibitive purpose is to prohibit the members of tribe from doing some specific activities. Throughout the world, death and the rituals that surround it are steeped in taboos. Death is celebrated, embraced and feared. Around death and the dead, cultures put in place diverse restrictions and practices associated with clothing, food and ritual. From the Wari people of Western Brazil who eat their dead to the medical examiners in Potter’s Field who examine them. Though vastly different in culture both societies perform their roles as a way to finalize death and give a proper farewell. For the Wari people eating one’s relative was done to erase reminders of the dead. They do this as a way to cope and lessen their grief. The person's name was not spoken and his or her house was burned. During three days of mourning, the body decayed. As the mourning peaked, the dead person's

in-laws cut up the body and cooked and ate portions of it. Though, it may appear savage to outsiders, it was...
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