Taboo

Taboo (tabu; tapu) – All cultures distinguish between appropriate and inappropriate behaviors. Rules govern the ways in which people should or should not engage with others and with places, times, objects, and ideas. The word taboo derives from Polynesian languages and refers to prohibitions that may be either temporary or permanent. Shamans in many cultures, for example, among the Inuit of the Arctic, are deemed necessary to mediate between humans and powerful other-than-human persons who have been offended by breaches of taboo (whether deliberate or inadvertent).

SOURCE:

Historical Dictionary of Shamanism by Graham Harvey and Robert J. Wallis 2007

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