The Taboo around Death

Death affects us all.

No matter how vitamin-packed your daily Nutribullet, there is simply no escaping the Grim Reaper.


So why is there such a taboo around death in Western culture?

What is a taboo anyway?

Is our fear of death justified?

And what kind of weird and wonderful ways have people around the world tried to protect themselves against the fear of death?

These are some of the questions we are going to get into this week.

As a starting point, here is an interesting couple of facts for you.

  1. Did you know that the word “taboo” comes from the Tongan “tapu” or Fijian “tabu” (“prohibited”, “disallowed”, “forbidden”).

  2. For the indigenous Shuswap tribe in British Columbia, when a man’s wife dies or vice versa, the widow/widower is completely secluded from the rest of the tribe, and forbidden to touch their own head or body. If anyone goes near the widow or widower, s/he would get instantly sick. The ghost of the deceased is kept at bay by using thorn-bushes as pillows. Ouch!

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