chapter  XV
30 Pages

THE CONCEPTION OF TABOO

T HE terms taboo and mana have frequently been used by me in this work to denote the Indian belief in a mysterious super­natural power or influence. In numerous cases I have, more­ over, been able to show that this power is closely connected with the animistic ideas of the Indians. The present, as well as the following and last chapter of my work, will be devoted to a more systematic statement of the results reached by me with regard to these funda­ mental notions in primitive religion. The conception of taboo, with which I am concerned in this chapter, will furthermore be illustrated with some rites and ceremonies which show how religious and magical beliefs have come to influence the morality and institutions of savage and barbaric peoples.