"The Tabu Tale"

Taffy's Still Tabu

THIS IS THE PICTURE that the Head Chief made of Taffy keeping the Still Tabu. It is done in the HeadChiefly style of the Tribe of Tegumai, and it is full of Tabu meanings and signs. The wolf is lying under what is meant to be a Tabu tree. He is made squarely because that was the Head-Chiefly way of drawing. All that wavy curly stuff underneath him is the Tabu way of drawing grass, and below the grass is a thing like a piece of stone wall, which is the Tabu way of drawing earth.

Taffy is always drawn in outline-quite white. You will see her over to the right, keeping the Still Tabu very hard. I do not know why they did not draw the water-rat that she was carrying, but I think it was because it wouldn't look pretty in the picture. Tegumai is standing over at the left, throwing his hatchet at the wolf. He is dressed in a cloak embroidered with the Sacred Beaver of the Tribe all turned into a pattern-to show that he belonged to the Tribe of Tegumai. He has a quiver with two arrows and a bow stuck into it, to show that he is hunting. He is making the Still Tabu sign with his left hand.

Up above in the right-hand corner you will see the Head Chief standing in Taffy's garden, throwing his axe at the wolf. It is not a portrait of the Head Chief, but a sort of picture-writing of all the Head Chief there was. The square cap and the feathers behind show that it is a Head Chief, and the Sacred Beaver drawn on the edge of his cloak shows that he is the Head Chief of the Tegumais. There is no face, because the face of a Head Chief does not matter.

The Double-Headed Beaver right in the middle of Taffy's garden shows that there is a Tabu on the garden; which is why the Head Chief couldn't get out. The black door to the left is supposed to be the door into Taffy's Cave, and those stepthings behind are hills and rocks drawn in the Tabu way. The curly things under the eight roses in pots are the Tabu way of drawing short grass and turf. This is a picture that really ought to be coloured, because half the meaning is lost without the colours.

ŠThe National Trust for Places of Historic Interest or Natural Beauty 2006