Rituals Among the Nacirema

Topics: Human body, Magic, Body Pages: 1 (327 words) Published: February 10, 2008
Horace Miner's article first prepares us to find an example of the extremes to which human behhavior can go. He gives us the locations of the Nacirema,their myth of origin and their market orientation. He introduces his topic ritual activity,the main point of the article of which is the human body,the way it looks and health. "The fundamental beliefunderlyinig the whole system appears to be that the human body is ugly and that its natural tendency is to debility and disease." Nacirema people work hard ritually in order to fix these characteristics. As Miner goes on to give us descriptions of the shrine in which some are private and secreat. THe box or chest containing charms and magical potions located in the shrine which no native believes he could live. Beneath the box is a small font,in which everyday a family memeber will enter the shrine room and sort holy water in the font. He mentions the "holy-mouth-man" refering the specialist as to health and romantic,horror and fascination with the mouth. He writes about visits to the holy-mouth-man,arguing that their sadism curiously contrast with general masochism of people. Examples of masochism,referring to men rubbing their faces with sharp scrappers ans women baking their heads in small ovens. The Nacirema people engaged in so many weird and extreme ritaul behaviors such as harsh ceremonies,some of which violate the norm of bodily secrecy and the rich gifts that need to tendered. Also, it's mentioned of the Nacirema "listeners" and their remarkable theories about the influence of early memories and parents,well mainly mothers,in bewitching their children. Miner mentions as well treatments of body fat and thinness,breast size,excretion,intercourse and reproduction. Which for the americans it's something out of this world,but nce you read and overlook at this article. You see ans understand that there are similarities to American culture.
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