The morality of conventions: Ancestral taboos in Madagascar The Vezo of Madagascar have to obey many ancestral taboos which prohibit eating certain foods, uttering certain words, wearing certain clothes, walking to certain places or being intimate with certain persons. For them, the actions thus banned are neither right nor wrong; and a burdensome taboos can be lifted by observing special, if costly, rites. In this respect, Vezo taboos are conventional norms. However, compliance with with the intentions of the ancestors who originally established these taboos is the most distinctive moral act performed by a Vezo adult. The distinction between conventional and moral norms is explored by using data from field work
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