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Kapu refers to the ancient Hawaiian code of conduct of laws and regulations. The kapu system was universal in lifestyle, gender roles, politics, religion, etc. An offense that was kapu was often a corporal offense, but also often denoted a threat to spiritual power, or theft of mana. Kapus were strictly enforced. Breaking one, even unintentionally, often meant immediate death,<ref>http://www.islands.com/article.jsp?ID=47759&typeID=122&categoryID=0 </ref> Ko kapu. The concept is related to taboo and the tapu or tabu found in other Polynesian cultures. The Hawaiian word kapu is usually translated to English as "forbidden", though it also carries the meanings of "sacred", "consecrated", or "holy".

As these examples might suggest, the sense of the term in Polynesia carries connotations of sacredness as much as forbiddenness. Probably the best way to translate kapu into English is as meaning "marked off" or ritually restricted. The opposite of kapu is noa, meaning "common" or "free".
Kapu sections
Intro  Kapuhili  [[Kapu?section=Ai_Kapu|Ai Kapu]]  Aloha \u02bb\u0100ina  Modern usage  Representations in media  Terms  See also  References  

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