Body Ritual Among the Nacirema

Topics: United States, Culture, Human body Pages: 3 (813 words) Published: November 4, 2012
Connor Doyle
Summary of Body Ritual among the Nacirema
Introduction to Sociology
The Nacirema
Horace Miner depicted this cultural group located in Northwest America "living in the territory between the Canadian Cree, the Yaqui and Tarahumare of Mexico, and the Carib and Arawak of the Antilles" (Miner 503). Closely imitating the United States of America. If you take a look at the Nacirema's name spelled backwards, its American. The concept behind this is that Miner wanted to describe American's rituals in a way that people would deem crazy. But in all actuality, it's what us humans do everyday and never think twice of it. For if we forgot to do one of these things, we would feel uncomfortable all day long.

"According to Nacirema mythology, their nation was originated by a culture hero, Notgnihsaw," Hines describes that, "he was known for two great feats of strength---the throwing of a piece of wampum across the river Pa-To-Mac and the chopping down of a cherry tree in which the Spitit of Truth resided" (Miner 503). This is referring to, what many religions call, God. It's a universal feeling that everyone wants to encounter, that their is a higher power somewhere. He then goes on to say the "Nacirema culture is charecterized by a highly developed market economy which has evolved in a rich natural habitat" (Miner 503). This is refering to our Free Market Economy. The way we evolved in a "rich natural habitat", is that we've always been prosepering since our birth as a country. With the exceptions of some down falls, we have been the world's leading power. It states that the Nacirema focus a lot of activity on the human body and its appearance. He states that it is a dominate concern, making every other aspect in life second best. Though many cultures have similar rituals to this, regarding the body, these aspects on society are quite unique. They even believe that their own human body is ugly making it a natural reaction to try...
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