Rus Articles Journal

Forbidden food: ate - and it is punished by

Having heard as the person refuses an entertainment with words: “It is impossible for me“, we will consider that it on a diet. At the worst, we will suspect that put, perhaps, in religion. Meanwhile food bans existed long before emergence of the main world religions and especially diets. At our today`s look, they look exotically.

are not eaten

“The cannot be eaten“: this rule works in any cultures. A question in another: by what principle to select the.

Principle of the patron. Many people of Africa, Asia, America and Australia exist or has a totemizm - an identification of the tribe or a sort with a certain animal who is considered an ancestor. Of course, the ancestor it is forbidden to eat. Some people have legends explaining how there were similar representations. Pygmies of a mbuta (the Democratic Republic of Congo) spoke so:“ One person killed and ate an animal. Unexpectedly he got sick and died. Relatives of the dead drew a conclusion:“ This animal - our brother. We should not touch it““. And the gurunsa people (Ghana, Burkina - Faso) kept a legend which hero was for various reasons forced to kill three crocodiles and from - for it lost three sons. So the community of a gurunsa and their totem - a crocodile became clear.

Violation of a food ban at many tribes is perceived by

the same as violation of a ban sexual. So, in the Ponape language (Caroline Islands) in a word the incest and eating of a totemic animal is designated.

Totems: for example, at different childbirth of a mbuta it is a chimpanzee, a leopard, a buffalo, a chameleon, different types of snakes and birds, the people of Uganda have a monkey kolobus, an otter, a grasshopper, a pangolin, an elephant, a leopard, a lion, a rat, a cow, a sheep, fish, and even a bean or a mushroom. The Oromo people (Ethiopia, Kenya) do not eat a big antelope of Koudou because it believes that it was created by god of the sky in one day with the person.

Often the tribe is divided

into groups - their ethnographers call fratriya and clans. For each of groups food bans. At one of the Australian tribes on the staff Queensland people of one of clans could is opossums, a kangaroo, dogs and honey of a certain species of bees. For other clan this food was forbidden, but it emus intended, bandinut, a black duck and some species of snakes. Representatives of the third ate meat of a python, honey of other species of bees, the fourth - porcupines, flat turkeys and so on.

Principle of common language. Even the people practicing a cannibalism, as a rule, have a ban to eat the people speaking on the general with them language. Talking in other languages can quite fit in food: all the same they are not perceived as full-fledged people.

the American ethnographer Margaret Meade living among Papuans of New Guinea wrote

about one history connected with a similar ban. In New Guinea there are more than 600 languages, locals, besides the native language, often know several more languages of the neighboring tribes therefore not only the concepts “the language“ and “foreign language“, but also “language, related to ours, but already others“ are familiar to them. It is possible to eat speaking foreign language; but the one who will eat speaking on the by all means will die.

I here one group of Papuans - mundugumor settled out to other place. Throughout some time of representatives of this group it was forbidden to eat, they kept the mundugumorsky language, but once someone, or without having understood haste, or is casual, ate one of moved. Began to wait whether the death will comprehend the violator of a taboo. He did not die, then mundunumor considered that language of immigrants changed already enough to be considered as the stranger. Before the European linguists too often there is such problem: how to distinguish that before them - different languages or two dialects of one. But the Papuan method of its permission is inaccessible to linguists.

Disgusting, otherworldly, therefore - inedible

Exists many beliefs forbidding to eat mushrooms (on this sign of culture sometimes divide on mikofobny and mikofilsky).

About what is muck - mushrooms, their names in various languages demonstrate. For Indians sechelt (British Columbia) mushrooms were “the Thunder excrement“. Altaians called a mushroom atyn sideg “horse urine“. Eskimos read out from Saint Lawrence Island that meteors are an excrement of stars and where meteors fall to the ground, mushrooms grow. Who will become of own will it is?

the Part of the mikofobsky people considered that mushrooms are connected in some way with the other world: the Nivkhs living on Sakhalin considered that the mushroom is “devil`s ears“. Ears of the devil mushrooms and Eskimos called. In language of the North American Indians of a hopa who are also not eating mushrooms, the name of mushrooms - maskiisi - means “a corpse shadow“. There is an old Flemish name of mushrooms dyvelsbrood - “bread of a devil“, Indians of the ojibway call food of the dead mushrooms.


- and you will become same

the Ban on eating of a certain food was connected with belief that, having eaten it, it is possible to adopt its some unnecessary properties. To take, for example, fighters of sumo: for maintenance of muscle bulk they have to eat both meat, and fish, and rice, and seafood. But in days of competitions they eat only chicken meat, refusing pork and beef. It speaks simply: chicken goes on two legs, and a pig and a cow - to four. And for a sumoist to touch lands something, except two by a foot, means defeat.

the Violator will be punished by

you Should not think that violation of a food taboo for representatives of these people will become only a spot on conscience. Ethnographers described many cases when they had to pay for similar offense with life. Inhabitants of Africa or Oceania, having learned that they out of ignorance broke a taboo and ate forbidden food, during short time died without the visible reasons. The belief that they have to die became the reason. Sometimes during an agony they let out cries of the animal eaten by them. Here the story about the Australian who ate a snake, forbidden for it, from the book of the anthropologist Marcel Moss: “During the day to the patient it became worse and worse. It was required three men to hold it. The spirit of a snake nestled in his body and from time to time with hissing proceeded from his persons, through a mouth...“ .

But most of all food bans connected with unwillingness to adopt properties of the eaten animals surrounded pregnant women. Here some examples of such bans existing at the different Slavic people. That the child was not born the deaf, future mother could not eat fish. To avoid the birth of twins, the woman should not eat accrete fruits. That the child had no sleeplessness, was forbidden to eat hare meat (on some beliefs, the hare never sleeps). That the child did not become snotty, it was not allowed to eat the mushrooms covered with slime (for example, slippery jacks). In Dobrudja there was a ban on eating of meat of the animals who are lifted up by wolves, otherwise the child will become a vampire.


- and you will do much harm to yourself or surrounding

the Known ban not to mix meat and dairy food is peculiar to

not only for Judaism. It is widespread, for example, at the cattle breeding people of Africa. It is considered that in case meat and dairy it is displaced (all the same - in ware or in a stomach) cows will die or, at least, will lose milk.

nyoro (Uganda, Kenya) the interval between acceptance of meat and dairy food had to reach

At the people not less than 12 hours. Masa every time before to pass from meat food to dairy, accepted strong emetic and a depletive that in a stomach there is no trace of former food left also. The Shambala people (Tanzania, Mozambique) were afraid to sell milk of the cows to Europeans who out of ignorance could mix milk and meat in the stomach and it to cause a murrain.

some tribes had a total ban on the use of meat of these or those wild animals. The people a bough (Kenya, Tanzania) considered that if someone from them eats wild pork or fish, then its cattle will cease to give milk. At living in the neighbourhood of a nanda the water goat, a zebra, an elephant, a rhinoceros and some antelopes reckoned forbidden with them. If for hunger of people it was forced to eat someone from these animals, then to it it was forbidden to drink after that milk within several months. Shepherds - masa in general refused meat of wild animals, hunting only on the predators attacking herds. In former times antelopes, zebras and gazelles were fearlessly grazed near the Masai villages. The antelope of Cannes and a buffalo were exceptions - masa considered them similar to cows therefore dared them to eat.

the Pastushesky tribes of Africa often avoided mixture of dairy and vegetable food. Same reason: was considered that it harms cattle. The traveler John Henning Speke who discovered Lake Victoria and sources of White Nile remembered that in the Black settlement did not begin to sell it milk because saw that he ate beans. Eventually, the leader of the local tribe allocated one cow whose milk they could drink at any time for travelers. Then Africans ceased to be afraid for the herds. Nyoro, having eaten vegetables, could drink milk only next day, and if it were beans or sweet potato - only in two days. To shepherds in general it was forbidden to eat vegetables. Division of vegetables and milk strictly observed masa. At them full refusal of vegetables was required from soldiers. The Masai soldier would die for hunger rather, than broke this ban. If someone all - committed such crime, it would lose the soldier`s rank, and any woman would not agree to become his wife.