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What is a Taboo?

zebra1Taboos prohibit or restrict behaviors or actions. These revolve around sex, food, rites of passage, sacred objects, and sacred people. Taboos function to control the ecology, distinguish between social groups and control them, and to threaten violators with supernatural punishment. These proscriptions are put into place to counter threats to existence and/or social stability. The Jewish peoples have a series of taboos regarding the eating of certain animals. Breaking a sacred taboo is a “sin”, as opposed to a mere civil disobedience. Taboos are the restraint we put upon ourselves. We’ve been doing it for tens of thousands of years and we still do. Hmmm…..

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1 comment to What is a Taboo?

  • @anarchists

    “Taboos” are also a simplified means of codifying natural law.In Jewish example,not eating “fish without scales” links directly to high mercury levels in those species(i.e. shark,eel ). Taboos relating to harvesting seafood trees and even intercommunity interreaction are common and widespread among indigenous dwelling cultures.They were simply the rules by which society must live in order to ensure the reperpetuation of human, other life and earth forces,put in a way which is simple enough for a 4 year old to understand, enduring enough to be consistent transcending the generations.
    Taboo is actually an anglicization of the Maori word Tapu , whose closest euro equivalent is Verboten with all the attendant connotations.

    The substantial difference between “traditional taboo” necessary eco law “social taboo” fluctuating etiquette and “religious taboo” there to serve a 3rd party agenda, is worthy of exploration:)

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