Nacirema Case Paper
Managing Global Diversity – HRM 582
June 2, 2013
The Nacirema case study reminds us how cultural rituals were many years ago and how some of them are still existing today. The Nacirema tribe has many unconventional practices of how they live day to day. From the article “Body Ritual Among the Nacirema,” it is clear that they believe their bodies are not attractive and should not be presented in a promiscuous way. Professor Linton documented the North American Tribe who think their bodies as naturally disgusting. They perform daily magic rituals to their bodies to prevent it from being decayed or diseased in anyway. Some of the rituals use potions, charms and physical suffering. One ritual they focused on was the one that was concerning the mouth. The Nacirema tribe believed that there is a strong relationship between their mouth and their social life. If they did not perform the oral rituals, it was correlated to them losing their friends and families. They perform a daily “mouth-rite” which is done by “inserting a magic bundle of hog hairs into the mouth, along with certain magical powder, and then moving the bundle in a highly formalized series of gestures.” (Allard 20) This body ritual is performed daily by everyone in the Nacirema Tribe. If I was to relate this ritual to something similar in the American culture, I would relate to people brushing their teeth every morning. The bundle of hog hairs (pretty disgusting to put in your mouth) is the same as the American toothbrush. The magic powder is similar to the toothpaste and the action of moving it in a series of formalized gestures is the same as us moving our toothbrush around our mouth to brush our teeth (I’m pretty sure everyone has a routine of how they brush their teeth every morning – I know I do).
Along with that, the people also visit the “mouth-men” voluntarily once or maybe twice a year for torturous mouth rituals. The “holy-mouth-man” enhances any existing
References: Allard, Carol Harvey and M. June. Understanding and Managing Diversity, 4th Edition. Pearson Learning Solutions. <vbk:9781256083795#outline(10)>.