Das Recht Der Dschagga,


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When a Chagga wishes to be excused from his service on the land of the chief because of a childbirth at home, he says, "A mother is sick at my house." The messenger understands that a birth is involved but must ask, "Is it your wife or a cow?" The tabu of the word for birth is easy to understand as will appear later. It is the fear of naming an event, whether connected with a woman or a cow, which is more closely connected with sib unity than any other. In former times if a married man in conversation with a youth were asked where children came from and replied that they were born, he made a public scandal and was taken before the court of the chief. As one who had betrayed marriage secrets he was fined three oxen, one for the child, one for the old men, and one for his age class.2

The Chagga policy differs from the Australian and Trobriand in assessing a fine for recognizing a fact, instead of claiming ignorance of it, but the same concept leads to similar policies. It may be noted also (as mentioned in Chap. XVII) that the Chagga themselves maintain a comparable ngoso fiction and attempt to conceal the truth from the women.

2Gutmann, B., n/an/ag/an/an/a 2–3.

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Chicago: Das Recht Der Dschagga, in Primitive Behavior: An Introduction to the Social Sciences, ed. Thomas, William I. (New York: McGraw-Hill Book Company, Inc., 1937), Original Sources, accessed June 19, 2024, http://originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=F8YM13GLWLLL7W5.

MLA: . Das Recht Der Dschagga,, in Primitive Behavior: An Introduction to the Social Sciences, edited by Thomas, William I., New York, McGraw-Hill Book Company, Inc., 1937, Original Sources. 19 Jun. 2024. http://originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=F8YM13GLWLLL7W5.

Harvard: , Das Recht Der Dschagga,. cited in 1937, Primitive Behavior: An Introduction to the Social Sciences, ed. , McGraw-Hill Book Company, Inc., New York. Original Sources, retrieved 19 June 2024, from http://originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=F8YM13GLWLLL7W5.