Last week I visited the Power and Taboo exhibition at the British Museum. For the inhabitants of the Polynesian islands in the eastern Pacific, the gods were always present in the world. But, while their powers could be life-enhancing, they were also potentially dangerous and had to be contained. Godly power was controlled by means of the concept of tapu, from which the word taboo is derived.The power of the gods of the eastern Pacific could be present in people, places, objects and activities. This power was potentially good, but potentially harmful and had to be managed and contained. The concept of tapu describes the practices of controlling godly power. Strictly observed tapu restrictions were applied to a range of activities on the islands of the eastern Pacific. Tattooing was one of these. It was fab and really amazing to learn all about the sacred objects that the polynesian’s made that embed their values of the various gods.
Kou (an important beverage for high-ranking people. It is made from the root of a shrub, the pepper plant Piper methysticum and acts as a mild sedative, relaxing both the body and mind.) woodbowl