Page:Totem and Taboo (1919).djvu/44

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things, b) the kind of prohibition which results from this character, and c) the sanctity (or uncleanliness) which results from a violation of the prohibition. The converse of taboo in Polynesia is ‘noa’ and allied forms which mean ‘general’ or ‘common’ . . .

“Various classes of taboo in the wider sense may be distinguished: 1. natural or direct, the result of ‘mana’ (mysterious power) inherent in a person or thing; 2. communicated or indirect, equally the result of ‘mana’ but (a) acquired or (b) imposed by a priest, chief or other person; 3. intermediate, where both factors are present, as in the appropriation of a wife to her husband. The term taboo is also applied to ritual prohibitions of a different nature; but its use in these senses is better avoided. It might be argued that the term should be extended to embrace cases in which the sanction of the prohibition is the creation of a god or spirit, i.e., to religious interdictions as distinguished from magical, but there is neither automatic action nor contagion in such a case, and a better term for it is religious interdiction.

“The objects of taboo are many: 1. direct taboos aim at (a) protection of important persons—chiefs, priests, etc.—and things against harm; (b) safeguarding of the weak—women, children and common people generally—from the