Some of the forms of the tapu were not to be played with, and were of a most virulent kind.
Thus they have prevented the ascent of Mount Tongariro, which is tapu, or sacred.
Or he selects a tree which will fashion into a good canoe; he distinguishes it with the tapu mark, and it becomes his own.
But the tapu is more often the instrument of wise and needful restrictions.
Anything animate or inanimate could be rendered tapu by the will, or even touch, of a man who was tapu himself.
Suffice it, that a thing which was tapu must not be touched, nor a place that was tapu visited.
He was in a terrible stew when this pig, killed on tapu ground, and consequently tapu itself, stranded on his beach.
When it was slightly scorched he would throw it away; it was tapu to Uenuku.
These twelve were tapu, and were all tino toa—tried and practised fighting-men.
It will be seen at once that this form of the tapu was a great preserver of property.