Body Ritual among the Nacirema

Topics: Culture, Witch doctor, Ritual Pages: 3 (1003 words) Published: February 23, 2014
Brooklin Jefferies
Body Ritual among the Nacirema
In the Article, “Body Ritual among the Nacirema” anthropologist Horace Miner talks about a group of people known as Nacirema, or better yet, Americans. This article was to show how American’s are very ethnocentric. This is when we think our cultures are superior and everyone else is inferior. We find other cultures to be weird, but yet we’re not perfect. We think everything we do is perfect and better than everyone else. That is not the case at all. Miner talks about a lot of things American’s do that other cultures do not do. Here are a few things he interprets.

Miner proceeds to talk about how we have “charm boxes”. When he says a charm box, he is talking about our medicine cabinets. He says that we think our bodies are ugly and we have the need to stop illnesses from taking over our bodies. He says the “medicine men,” or doctors, do not give us the medicine, but decide what ingredients we need and writes it down in an ancient secret language. We then proceed to take the ancient secret language to another medicine man who understands what is written down and gives us a “charm”. Medicine Women also do this same thing. They are known as doctor. This is what other cultures think we do. This is weird or unusual to other cultures. When in all reality, we see it as going to a doctor for an illness, getting a prescription, getting medicine, taking the medicine, and feeling better. We don’t see it any other way then that, but some people think that is unordinary.

Miner then talks about how we are so worried about our teeth. He says the people who are below the “medicine men” are “holy-mouth-men”. We call these people Dentist. Miner says that if we don’t go to a dentist, we think our teeth will fall out, our gums will bleed, our jaws will shrink, and our friends and lovers will reject us. He also says some of us get “magical materials” put into holes of our teeth to repair them. They think we go through...
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