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THE TABOO IMPOSED, CHAPTERS II-IX

W E have seen reason to suppose that men and women at marriage, women during menstruation, pregnancy and child-birth, boys and girls at puberty, infants, not to mention other critical conditions and circumstances, are regarded by early man as being in that mysterious religious state which necessitates the imposition of restrictions and safeguards, of taboos in a word, and to which mourners and kings, warriors and priests alike are called. In the last case cited from the Maoris we see very clearly the two-fold nature of the state in which these sacrae personae find themselves. Sir James Frazer has here most happily applied the language of electricity. The person charged with this electric force, which is both dangerous and beneficent, must be insulated by various taboos.