Compare Nacirema and Voodoo

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Anthropology is the study of humanity, nature and society in all places and throughout time. When anthropologists study far off exotic cultures, different people may hold different attitudes. One may criticize on a backward culture, and others may judge on it fairly. Like the authors of “Body Ritual Among the Nacirema” and “Voodoo in Haiti”, they hold quite different attitudes and views to these exotic cultures. Broadly speaking, Horace Miner, the author of “Body Ritual Among the Nacirema”, criticizes Nacirema’s uncivilized culture. In the article, Miner describes how the tribes perform the strange sadism rituals to very extreme level. The holy-mouth-man uses a variety of tool to enlarge the client’s mouth and put magical materials into the holes. What makes Miner more uncomfortable is that women even bake their head in small ovens for an hour. He thinks that “the magical beliefs and practices of Nacirema present such unusual aspects that it seems desirable to describe them as an example of the extremes to which human behavior can go.” And Miner calls the Nacirema a masochistic and magic-ridden people. On the other hand, Professor Markley holds a quite neutral attitude to the Voudou. When she defined the “Traditional Cultures”, she judged on these cultures unbiasedly. In the reading material, she wrote that traditional cultures “have limited technology but extensive knowledge of environment.” She considered both the limit and advantage of an exotic culture. What’s more, Professor Markley use Alfred Metraux’s “Voodoo in Haiti” to introduce what is Vodou, the history of Voudou, central believes, healing and code of ethics. The article is much more like a scientific document and tells us some background knowledge of the Voudou. Besides, Markley quoted the interviews with Haitian practitioners of Voudou when introducing the one creator God-Le Bon Dieu. For example, “He conjures up no precise image, he’s too far away for there to be much point even in addressing...
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