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What is the difference between taboo and abomination? : Random Thoughts : Nigerialog.com - Nigeria's Premier Online Forum

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What is the difference between taboo and abomination?

By: dayan (M) |Time : August 20, 2018, 08:56:50 AM
Could anyone please explain to me the difference between "Taboo" and "Abomination"?

I noticed that most of the abominations in my part of Africa were tagged taboos by the European colonialists of the time, and it has stuck.
Example, in Igboland, stealing of farm produce is an abomination - or "aru". There are no "Lite" versions of aru or forbidden acts in Igboland. Anything forbidden, was (is)  strictly (usually spiritually) forbidden. And if violated, a ritual was needed to cleanse the land of that act.

But in most of the historical books I've read, these types of things were simply described as taboo.

Methinks that they are not the same -at all.

But Europeans are fond of using peculiar terms to describe "native" situations.

It is analogous to the situation whereby the European colonialists simply used the term "paramount chief" to describe or label an African king, instead of "King" or "Queen".

To the colonialists, the African kingdoms were not "civilized", hence could not have kings.

In one funny Youtube video documentary I watched some years back, King Sobuza II of Swaziland was described as "the paramount chief of the savages".

Could it be that Africans were not expect to have abominations, hence the preferred use of the term "taboo" to describe strictly forbidden practices or acts in colonial Africa?


Nigerialoggers, what do you think?

Re: What is the difference between taboo and abomination?

By: Adenosine (M) |Time : August 20, 2018, 10:16:22 AM
They are similar somehow but not totally similar. From my own point of view i can classify Abomination as the term which means forbidden act in a culture or tribe, in my language (Yoruba) they called it Eewo. When someone said something is an abomination, it sounds stronger than saying taboo. Like Oga Dayan said Taboo is like a practice which restrict people from doing a particular thing maybe social custom or in any other area.

Re: What is the difference between taboo and abomination?

By: dayan (M) |Time : August 20, 2018, 05:08:33 PM
They are similar somehow but not totally similar. From my own point of view i can classify Abomination as the term which means forbidden act in a culture or tribe, in my language (Yoruba) they called it Eewo. When someone said something is an abomination, it sounds stronger than saying taboo. Like Oga Dayan said Taboo is like a practice which restrict people from doing a particular thing maybe social custom or in any other area.

Thanks for this submission!
The fact that you have a term for "Abomination" in Yoruba proves the point I'm trying to make.
It  seems a matter of degree (that separates the two terms); but the European colonizers simply used more of "taboo" when documenting our cultural practices that we clearly regarded as "Abomination".

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