Body Rituals of the Nacirema

Topics: Culture, Sociology, Cultural anthropology Pages: 2 (657 words) Published: February 9, 2013
Body Rituals of the Nacirema tells a story of a tribal group’s lifestyle and the rituals of it. Miner is actually talking about the American culture. As most of us know, Nacirema is American spelled backwards. In this article, Miner’s intention is not to express the extreme human behavior with the Nacirema, but the way it affects our perception of an unfamiliar culture. If we were to look at the Nacirema’s behaviors with regards to appearance and hygiene without the slightest bit of knowledge about their culture, all of their actions might seem absurd and baffling. Ceremonies performed at the Latipso are among the most interesting practices of the Nacirema. Initially it puzzled me as to why people would fork out money for expensive gifts and willingly go to the temple when a full recovery or survival cannot be guaranteed. The rituals to exorcise sickness or purify patients are often more harmful than the sickness itself. A closer observation of the article indicated that the Latipso actually stands for a hospital, while the medicine men are doctors and the vestal maiden nurses. The temple seems to portray death to some but it is considered a haven for healing from within the civilization. Miner made the effort to allow others to realize that the way studies were representing distinctive culture was biased. Without the proper understanding of any society, cultural misunderstandings are bound to occur. While we take a step further into the discussion on the Nacirema as an alien group of people, we have to understand their customs and rituals from a cultural perspective. Nothing could be more interesting than to present a cultural analysis of the Nacirema and discern the true nature of their existence. From a sociological point of view, the Nacirema culture depicts a traditional practice through acceptable and respected rituals which help us gain knowledge of an influential custom whereby followers are the ones enlightened with the truth as our society looks...
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