Among different “exotic” rituals practiced by the “Nacirema”, an important one involves the “shrine”, for it is almost impossible to find a household without it. Each person worships in front of the “charm box” in the shrine, which holds vast amount of magical drinks and remedies whose components are only known to the medicine men (Miner 172). The “shrine” is referring to the bathroom in each American household, and the “charm box” being the medicine cabinet and the “medicine men” referring to doctors. The “worshipping” behavior shows Americans’ obsession with appearances, as they fear the ugly natural form of the body, and perform the daily routine of cleansing and examining themselves in front of the mirror (172). This most usual routine for average Americans can be seen as bizarre and exotic when judged from an outside culture.
Miner further describes another significant ritual, the “sacred mouth practice” which involves inflicting pain by a specialist of the mouth area to prevent its deterioration, along with a different procedure done by the individual privately on a daily basis. The Nacirema fears the decay of the mouth area, and believes its condition also affect their social
Cited: Miner, Horace. “Body Ritual Among the Nacirema”. American Anthropologist. June 1965: 503-507. Print.