Taboo

[Briffault. The Mothers. Macmillan, New Ypork. 1927, 3 vols]

“Primitive man dreads to have anything to do with tabu…The deterrent motive is dread of the consequences.” [362, vol 2].

[Frazer, J.  Man, God and Immortality.  Macmillan, 1927]

“…taboo is so far a negative application of practical magic…The aim of positive magic or sorcery is to produce a desired event; the aim of negative magic or taboo is to avoid and undesirable one” [224]

“…holiness, magical virtue, taboo, or whatever we may call that mysterious quality which is supposed to pervade sacred or tabooed persons, is conceived by the primitive…as a physical substance…with which the sacred man is charged…”. [313].  “…in order to preserve the charge from running to waste, the sacred or tabooed personage must be carefully prevented from touching the ground…he must be insulated…” [313].

“…in many cases apparently the insulation of the tabooed person is recommended as a precaution not merely for his own sake but for the sake of others.” [313]. “But things as well as persons are often charged with the mysterious quality of…taboo; hence it infrequently becomes necessary reasons to guard them…” [314].

“One of the most conspicuous features of egalitarian maternal society was the difference of men toward the female sex. Indeed, so carefully did they abide by the taboos and rules of avoidance laid down by women, and so extended were the periods of time in which they were segregated from women, that primitive man’s knowledge about work and general activities of women was extremely limited.” (Read. 103).

“…women mad themselves taboo and inaccessible to men during hunting and fighting expeditions and that the same segregation took place when women were in their menstrual periods or in a menstrual cycle.” (Read, 136).

“Where totemism exists, there also we find the tabooed woman, the woman in authority.” (144).

“…food produced by each was distributed between them, and this system of co-operation was maintained by means of a taboo on the direct appropriation of the totem species.” [Thomson.  Prehistoric Aegean. 39].

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