“Body Ritual among the Nacirema”

Topics: Ritual, Religion, Human body Pages: 3 (918 words) Published: February 16, 2014
“Body Ritual among the Nacirema”

Horace Miner, an anthropologist of the nineteenth century, conducted a study on a local tribe known as Nacirema. According to his research their culture, like many others, is viewed as a strange way of life. He focused his studies on their religious belief, means of health, economics and overall way of life. During his research he found there are many vary surprising characteristics of the Nacirema culture. They have many different things they do in their lives within a days’ time. They seem to be very strange. Cultures differ in many various ways.

The religious beliefs of the Nacirema culture consist of many different rituals and ceremonies. Professor Linton brought the Nacirema to the attention of anthropologist about twenty years ago. The Nacirema is a very poorly understood culture. The Nacirema culture is located between Canadian Cree, the Yaqui and Tarahumare of Mexico. They believe that the human body is ugly and that it’s a weakness and disease. Every household has at least one shrine. People that are wealthier have more than one shrine in their home. Your home is judged by home many shrines you have. Shrine rooms that are in wealthy homes are made of stone. Poor families just try to imitate and hang portraits in the shrine to make it seem like they fit in. The ceremonies they do in the shrines are not for the family. The ceremonies are held privately and as a secret. The rights are only discussed with the children of the families. The main focus in the shrine is the chest that is built into the wall. Many things are kept in the chest such as charms and magical potions. Each family member enters the shrine daily so that they can wash up and get clean. Everyone in the family gets a mouth rite. The ritual consists of inserting hog hairs in the mouth and moving them in circular motions. You also put magical powders in with the hog hairs. If you go to have intercourse it has to be scheduled and they try to...
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