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Taboo scoop meaning is wide enough, generally hangs matters are forbidden. Taboo system is often worn to defend the norm of law that occurs. Because that taboo is equalize with holy matters or sacred.

Taboo is one that should be obeyed. In medium society and primitive, taboo is a law which arranges the level does the person. Taboo is law delegation in modern society. Obey taboo mean acting according to moral that there is.

In Mentawai, taboo can different as:

  1. Action Taboo
    mean taboo in the food and drinks, in associate and concerned with foreigner (from quarter differently), remove scraps and others.
  2. Taboo for Personal
    i.e. restriction for head, lady who gives birth, persons who buries the person die, fisherman, fight person or kill.
  3. Taboo comprises things
    Restriction towards sharp weapons, the similar food, blood, metal, conclusions, ring, thrifty and the other equipments.
  4. Tabu Kata-Kata
    Name person's taboo and name of family, name of figures who had died or names of holy figure.

Mentawai's Taboo

Term that is worn to show taboo is Keikei. Term to show something that is holy is Suru and one matter that became holy was called Ma-suru.

In Mentawai, most that is assumed taboo, because evil person or Bajou who influences horrible. Besides that there are also good souls that can influence the evil souls. Between different taboo, that will be shown only several units:

A. Taboo for Ukui

Man who had married was call Ukui. Family's father must obey taboos such as below this:

  1. Forbidden insert something into land or plant something, kill animal whatever, snake or frog.
    If he is not unheeded, his child will fall sick.
  2. Forbidden to eat the filthy food, such as squirrel, mouse, turtle, fish that is smelly, animal that drowns or is infected by disease and is also forbidden eat the salt food.
    If these restrictions are disobeyed, the follower's souls will is angry and result in that children will fall sick.
  3. Forbidden any sexual act outside of marriage for man who is marriage. The collision causes the souls will is angry and bring in big disaster, also can disarm folks and tot for them.

B. Taboo for Rimata

Rimata as chief of clan and kerei as his assistant in presenting, besides taboo that imposed as man who had been married, was added by other several taboos, among other things:

  1. Rimata cannot hold something that burns. If would like to smoke, should the youth who switching on and hold digs the fire. If Rimata holds something that is hot at his hand, all family member (inhabitant house) about fever.
  2. Rimata cannot draw water, feed the pig and chicken. Cannot hunt and fish as long as there is punen, except outside from punen.
  3. Rimata's job must be carried out by his children. If it not have child is replaced by his nephew. Its assistants cannot also feed caring animal, but not are forbidden hunting.

C. Taboo in Party (Punen)

  1. As long as there being Punen, all family members are forbidden to cut grass, to plants, shoulder the wood, cutting cane, make basket and etc. All jobs should be mutually carried out. Only Youth who is enabled to field and prepare the chicken's food. Besides that, they are also forbidden immerse pillar to hole.
  2. In particularly for punen, man who had been marriage is forbidden concerned with his wife. In second that is forbidden youths go steady or associating with lady's persons. When restrictions that is disobeyed, punen's souls feel that himself is humiliated until infuriate. Eventually the poison bring in disaster for person.
  3. When is held by punen, is forbidden visit other village, on the other hand cannot also be visited. Punen for only specific quarter only.

D. Taboo in Hunting

  1. Cannot beat the dog in time hunt so that punen's souls are not angry.
  2. For them that gone hunting, is forbidden to wash hair. If the matter is carried out, they not will find the hunt result.
  3. Forbidden to prepare jurut. If not is obeyed, arrow not will concerning the target, because the arrow eye is closed until cannot see his victim.
  4. They cannot sleep time prepare the arrow poison. If they are fall asleep, arrow will become tasteless and causing monkey that had been still shot with bow and arrow is depended on the tree, doesn't fall to land. Also cannot bathe, because the poison that is prepared will become tasteless also.
  5. The hunt result should be divided-give. Otherwise, preparation will become tasteless.
  6. When men is hunting, lady cannot angry in order to husband avoids from accident in the forest, for example peck by snake or striking the barb mine of poison full lalatek.

E. Taboo in Fishing

  1. At night before men catch the turtle, they must tell to their children don't scream and fighting when catch it. Should taken care of so that turtle souls reach doesn't roam enters village.
  2. Period to go to fish, cannot be known by person taking mesh that keeps in the house. Mesh cannot appear, because sea's soul will close the livelihood and disallow turtle to enter into the mesh.
  3. While man in sea, his family which lives in the home cannot drive away the dog, chicken and pig. Because turtle will exit from mesh, as if chicken fly exit the sty.
  4. Cannot ignite the fire or pulling the most spread mat in the house. Those who live in village also cannot dig the hole or planting something, because the matter can distance turtle from mesh. Forbidden to chop the wood so that turtle doesn't reach mesh damage to curb.
  5. Are forbidden to remove coconut. While head of family is forbidden distort wet clothes because turtle run from in the mesh.
  6. Forbidden to cut grass too.
  7. To temporarily fishing, the family member cannot associate and speak with others, to fishermen doesn't fall sick.
  8. Fishermen are forbidden angry, to bathe, wash hair and oil. If the matter is carried out, then mesh will strike the mud and turtle will not be caught. Are forbidden also discussing same an other. They can sleep, but that leg one is aligned and other was folded so that the mesh doesn't free from anchor.

F. Taboo in the River and Sea

  1. Forbidden to remove the rubbish into river, because water family
    will is angry. Fire cannot be extinguished with water. Cannot remove water that boils or hot. The matter can create the fever.
  2. Forbidden by fish's menuba, where the division hilir has several villages in the water resource interior. Cannot Cultivate where there is the den of monkey (pillar soul), because wait for water family will bring in disease.
  3. If being the field in the river edge, is not enabled remove the rubbish into the river, or shout at river bank. If the matter is carried out, water family will feel that himself is humiliated and are ridiculed. It will be angry and bring disaster.


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