The Nacirema are a society obsessed with the presservation and maintenance of their bodies. They have many body rituals, some thats are conducted in private, others that require the assistance of certain knowlegable medicine men. After reading about this tribe I was shocked at how much they focused on their appearance.
"Body Ritual Among the Nacirema" was actually written about Americans. Horace Miner chose not to directly reveal this, in order to demonstrate people' ethnocentric tendencies. From the time we are born we learn the "norms" of our society and we then use those "norms" to judge other sociological groups. As I read about the Nacirema I couldn't help but think how odd their body rituals are, when in fact they are the very rituals I have been taught my whole life and practice daily.
The ceremonies performed at the Latipso are among the most bizarre practices of the Nacirema. I did not originally understand why people would willingly go to a temple where so many people die. After further analysis I realized that the Latipso is a hospital, the medicine men are doctors, and the vestal maidens are nurses. To an outsider the hospital may seem like a place of death but from within the civilization it is considered a place for healing. It is human nature to consider your own culture the best. From this point of view it is easier to see negative aspects of other cultures and only the positive within your own.
After first reading about the Nacirema, I though their practices were strange. However, once I established that I am in fact a member of the Nacirema, the customs seemed less foreign. Though I would like to think I am not one to judge others and their ways of life, after reading this article find it is hard to look objectively at other societies.
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