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Horace Miner’s Body Ritual Among the Nacirema

– Horace Miner’s Body Ritual Among the Nacirema In Horace Miner’s article, “Body Ritual Among the Nacirema”, he talks about a tribe and describes their odd behavior. He tells about how the tribe performs these strange daily rituals and how their peculiarity is extreme, but in fact he is actually speaking of Americans as a whole (Miner). Miner uses this style of writing to more effectively prove his point: that Americans are ethnocentric. Miner does an exceptional job in disguising the Nacirema as Americans….   [tags: Horace Miner Body Ritual Among the Nacirema]


Better Essays

580 words | (1.7 pages)
| Preview

Socialization of the Nacirema Tribe

– Societies often exercise complicated religious ceremonies and daily services that are seemingly irrational, but define their culture and give them a distinct personality. In “Body Ritual among the Nacirema”, author Horace Miner (1956) recalls his studies about a “North American group called the Nacirema, living in the territory between the Canadian Cree, the Yaqui and Taraumare of Mexico, and the Carib and Arawak of the Antilles” (Miner, 1956). During his expedition, Miner (1956) viewed many outwardly odd Nacirema practices such as “using magical potions and charms to defend against ailments, or drilling holes in their teeth, so they can insert supernatural substances that draw friends” (Min…   [tags: Sociology]


Strong Essays

1138 words | (3.3 pages)
| Preview

Body Ritual Among the Nacirema

– Body Ritual Among the Nacirema What is the precise geographical location of this strange tribe, the Nacirema. The Nacirema is a North American group living in the territory between the Canadian Cree, the Yaqui and Tarahumare of Mexico, and the Carib and Arawak of the Antilles. Little is known of their origin, though tradition states that they came from the east. What are the private and secret shrines of the Nacirema. In the Nacirema, the belief is that the human body is ugly and that its natural tendency is to debility and disease….   [tags: Anthropology]


Better Essays

705 words | (2 pages)
| Preview

Body Ritual Among the Nacirema

– Would you want to live among the Naciremas. Why or why not. After reading Horace Miner’s Body Ritual Among the Nacirema I cannot say that I would want to be part of the tribe. A huge reason would be that I could never go from my own Christian faith to the religious practices of the Nacirema. My second reason for not wanting to be part of the tribe is that I could never be subjected to the horrific medical practices and “magical potions” used on every citizen in the tribe. One of the fundamental beliefs of the Nacirema is that “the human body is ugly and that its natural tendency is to debility and disease.” According to the Christian tradition, the human body is fallen and is therefore prone…   [tags: Horace Miner]


Good Essays

821 words | (2.3 pages)
| Preview

The Body Ritual of the Nacirema

– The Body Ritual of the Nacirema It is human nature to describe one’s own culture as the most advanced and most intellectual. Unfortunately, it is also common practice to look down upon the practices of another culture because they are not similar to one’s own traditions. The ability to do this can sometimes be a damaging characteristic for society as a whole. Horace Miner realized the implications of egocentric views and wrote a groundbreaking essay to open society’s eyes to their biases….   [tags: Horace Miner Egocentrism Essays]


Better Essays

607 words | (1.7 pages)
| Preview

The Nacirema: Another Look

– The Nacirema: Another Look Written by Horace Miner, this essay of the people group Nacirema is an interesting look at their everyday functions. The tribe Miner describes is seemingly primal and uncivilized, and yet somewhat familiar. The entire account of these mysterious people describes unusual and strange behaviors and activities. The brief overview on the Nacirema is graphic from Miner’s point of view. When the meaning of the story becomes clear, the purpose for writing it becomes either humor or disdain….   [tags: Essays Papers]


Better Essays

850 words | (2.4 pages)
| Preview

Truth Exposed in Body Rituals among the Nacirema

– Truth Exposed in Body Rituals among the Nacirema “Body Rituals among the Nacirema” is a document written by Mr. Horace Miner. Miner was a graduate of the University of Chicago, with a degree in anthropology. Throughout his life, Miner was dedicated to his studies ranging in anthropology to sociology. He was very interested in the study of anthropology, but Miner disagreed with the way that other cultures were represented. He thought American anthropologists believed that the American culture was “normal” and, that the other studied cultures were misrepresented (Hoogland)….   [tags: Essays Papers]


Better Essays

881 words | (2.5 pages)
| Preview

The Concept of Cultural Relativism

– Miner stated that “looking from far and above, from our high places of safety in the developed civilization, it is easy to see all the crudity and irrelevance of magic. But without its power and guidance early man could not have mastered his practical difficulties as he has done, nor could man have advanced to higher stages of civilization” (1956, p.507). This tells us that if we can see and understands everything that happens around us then we can move up but if we don’t then we can never advance in our life….   [tags: developed civilization, safety]


Better Essays

698 words | (2 pages)
| Preview

Perspectives On Society And Culture

– Perspectives on Society and Culture It is very difficult as a reader to make any sense of the rituals performed by the Nacirema. The Nacirema are a people who stress the importance of physical wellness and go to great and to the outsider horrific lengths to ensure this. A professor Linton was the first to shed light on the particularly bizarre lifestyle that is lived by the Nacirema. Physical wellness being so heavily stressed is not the bizarre aspect, it is the spiritual sense and seemingly blind faith they put into their beliefs that is bewildering….   [tags: essays research papers]


Free Essays

489 words | (1.4 pages)
| Preview

An Interesting Connection

– An Interesting Connection Many times people can be put into a situation that would make them feel uncomfortable. It may be even worse when a situation like that is the way and style that you live. In the two stories A Body Ritual Among the Nacirema, by by Horace M. Miner, and Reclaiming Culture and the Land: Motherhood and the Politics of Sustaining Community by Winona LaDuke, this situation is just that. In both of the stories, the main character or characters are living in a situation where they are considered the outsider or the outcast….   [tags: Rhetorical Analysis Culture Cultural Essays]


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717 words | (2 pages)
| Preview

Motherhood and the Politics of Native Americans

– Motherhood and the Politics of Native Americans Community, rituals, magical beliefs and practices are very important things to Native American people. Native American people live by these rituals and beliefs, they live around their community; their community isn’t just that, but their family as well. Parents don’t just raise their children but the whole community has a hand in raising all of the children. Family is a very important part of Native American people’s lives, they keep traditions going with their families, parents raise their children the same way that they were raised by their parents….   [tags: Culture Cultural Sociology Essays]


Free Essays

953 words | (2.7 pages)
| Preview

Two Views on Culture and Anthropology

– Two Views on Culture and Anthropology The take on culture and anthropology can be dissected in many different ways. Horace M. Miner takes a look at his culture through a view of which an anthropologist from another culture would look at it. While Roy Wagner takes the anthropologist view and dissects it. Both writers use find culture through anthropology, while Miner concludes with a result in Body Ritual Among the Nacirema, Wagner dissects the process of which is being used, The Idea of Culture….   [tags: Cultural Anthropology Essays]


Good Essays

476 words | (1.4 pages)
| Preview

Misrepresented Cultures

– Misrepresented Cultures Horace Mitchell Miner spent much of his life educating himself on anthropology before writing his confusing but brilliant article on American culture. He was born in Minnesota and then moved to Kentucky, where he became a museum curator before becoming an associate professor of anthropology and sociology at the University of Michigan at one point in his career. Although he was a member of the Executive Committee of the Sociology Department he was not very active due to the fact that his work was mostly field based….   [tags: Essays Papers]


Free Essays

940 words | (2.7 pages)
| Preview

Religion Provides a Humane Society as a Whole

– … One particular god, Horus, was needed to maintain order against chaos, the god Set. Therefore, a complex set of rituals were required to be performed by humans to sustain Horus in his battle against chaos (Ludwig, p326-327). Likewise, a variety of rituals common in ancient Mesopotamia were vial to harmonize the gods and goddesses to better ensure a stable cosmos (Ludwig, p329). Additionally, The Great Flood Story further validates to importance of harmony not only between the gods but also between the gods and humans….   [tags: theory, practice, sacred]


Better Essays

712 words | (2 pages)
| Preview

E. M. Fleming’s Model of Artifact Study and the Work Boot

– E. M. Fleming’s “Model of Artifact Study” and the Work Boot The work boot has become a hot item for many girls and young women. This artifact of appearance may reveal a lot about American culture and society in the 1990’s. By applying E. M. Fleming’s “Model of Artifact Study”, I will analyze this artifact in an attempt to shed some light on the values, priorities, and ideals of our society. Just like Fleming’s model suggests, this paper will be broken down into four major sections: Identification, Evaluation, Cultural Analysis, and Interpretation….   [tags: Sociology Society Culture]


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1739 words | (5 pages)
| Preview

Why Students Don’t Have Time

– Why Students Don’t Have Time When I was a student, my teacher once said to me that a large amount of time is only good when you can use it wisely. The tactics of the teaching profession that I, a modern educator, am about to describe, result in the very opposite. I. In the first place, ladies and gentlemen, the amount of time a student has outside of school, like Romeo’s love for Juliet, is precious for every minute. A student’s time is like a person’s income before taxes. Free time would be the amount remaining after all homework (taxes) was done….   [tags: Education Educating Time management Essays]


Free Essays

777 words | (2.2 pages)
| Preview

Kung Bushman

– The !Kung Bushman Most contemporary foraging groups, such as the !Kung and other Bushman tribes, are viewed as a “primitive” people. Some have even gone as far to say that they are “the last representatives of the stone age.” While it is true that these people have the most similar culture to what we believe primitive persons to have had, the analogies they can provide us with the people of the past are very inaccurate. These comparisons are so unrivaled due to factors such as time and the wrong sense of view many people have on them….   [tags: essays research papers]


Strong Essays

1035 words | (3 pages)
| Preview

Cultural Anthropology Book Report

– Classical Readings on Cultural Anthropology What do we have to learn through the study of different cultures. I was hoping for some wonderful revelation in the collection of writings. I may have found one. This book was a difficult read for me. I am not sure whether it’s my age or my inexperience with classical readings. I also found it difficult to formulate a report on a collection of readings, the last report I did was on Laura Ingall’s Little House on the Prairie. This reading was a little more challenging….   [tags: essays research papers]


Powerful Essays

1828 words | (5.2 pages)
| Preview

These results are sorted by most relevant first (ranked search). You may also sort these by color rating
or essay length .


Your search returned 18 essays for “nacirema“:

My Account

Your search returned 18 essays for “nacirema“:

  • Free Essays

  • Good Essays

  • Better Essays

  • Stronger Essays

  • Powerful Essays

  • Term Papers

  • Research Papers

Horace Miner’s Body Ritual Among the Nacirema

– Horace Miner’s Body Ritual Among the Nacirema In Horace Miner’s article, “Body Ritual Among the Nacirema”, he talks about a tribe and describes their odd behavior. He tells about how the tribe performs these strange daily rituals and how their peculiarity is extreme, but in fact he is actually speaking of Americans as a whole (Miner). Miner uses this style of writing to more effectively prove his point: that Americans are ethnocentric. Miner does an exceptional job in disguising the Nacirema as Americans….   [tags: Horace Miner Body Ritual Among the Nacirema]


Better Essays

580 words | (1.7 pages)
| Preview

Socialization of the Nacirema Tribe

– Societies often exercise complicated religious ceremonies and daily services that are seemingly irrational, but define their culture and give them a distinct personality. In “Body Ritual among the Nacirema”, author Horace Miner (1956) recalls his studies about a “North American group called the Nacirema, living in the territory between the Canadian Cree, the Yaqui and Taraumare of Mexico, and the Carib and Arawak of the Antilles” (Miner, 1956). During his expedition, Miner (1956) viewed many outwardly odd Nacirema practices such as “using magical potions and charms to defend against ailments, or drilling holes in their teeth, so they can insert supernatural substances that draw friends” (Min…   [tags: Sociology]


Strong Essays

1138 words | (3.3 pages)
| Preview

Body Ritual Among the Nacirema

– Body Ritual Among the Nacirema What is the precise geographical location of this strange tribe, the Nacirema. The Nacirema is a North American group living in the territory between the Canadian Cree, the Yaqui and Tarahumare of Mexico, and the Carib and Arawak of the Antilles. Little is known of their origin, though tradition states that they came from the east. What are the private and secret shrines of the Nacirema. In the Nacirema, the belief is that the human body is ugly and that its natural tendency is to debility and disease….   [tags: Anthropology]


Better Essays

705 words | (2 pages)
| Preview

Body Ritual Among the Nacirema

– Would you want to live among the Naciremas. Why or why not. After reading Horace Miner’s Body Ritual Among the Nacirema I cannot say that I would want to be part of the tribe. A huge reason would be that I could never go from my own Christian faith to the religious practices of the Nacirema. My second reason for not wanting to be part of the tribe is that I could never be subjected to the horrific medical practices and “magical potions” used on every citizen in the tribe. One of the fundamental beliefs of the Nacirema is that “the human body is ugly and that its natural tendency is to debility and disease.” According to the Christian tradition, the human body is fallen and is therefore prone…   [tags: Horace Miner]


Good Essays

821 words | (2.3 pages)
| Preview

The Body Ritual of the Nacirema

– The Body Ritual of the Nacirema It is human nature to describe one’s own culture as the most advanced and most intellectual. Unfortunately, it is also common practice to look down upon the practices of another culture because they are not similar to one’s own traditions. The ability to do this can sometimes be a damaging characteristic for society as a whole. Horace Miner realized the implications of egocentric views and wrote a groundbreaking essay to open society’s eyes to their biases….   [tags: Horace Miner Egocentrism Essays]


Better Essays

607 words | (1.7 pages)
| Preview

The Nacirema: Another Look

– The Nacirema: Another Look Written by Horace Miner, this essay of the people group Nacirema is an interesting look at their everyday functions. The tribe Miner describes is seemingly primal and uncivilized, and yet somewhat familiar. The entire account of these mysterious people describes unusual and strange behaviors and activities. The brief overview on the Nacirema is graphic from Miner’s point of view. When the meaning of the story becomes clear, the purpose for writing it becomes either humor or disdain….   [tags: Essays Papers]


Better Essays

850 words | (2.4 pages)
| Preview

Truth Exposed in Body Rituals among the Nacirema

– Truth Exposed in Body Rituals among the Nacirema “Body Rituals among the Nacirema” is a document written by Mr. Horace Miner. Miner was a graduate of the University of Chicago, with a degree in anthropology. Throughout his life, Miner was dedicated to his studies ranging in anthropology to sociology. He was very interested in the study of anthropology, but Miner disagreed with the way that other cultures were represented. He thought American anthropologists believed that the American culture was “normal” and, that the other studied cultures were misrepresented (Hoogland)….   [tags: Essays Papers]


Better Essays

881 words | (2.5 pages)
| Preview

The Concept of Cultural Relativism

– Miner stated that “looking from far and above, from our high places of safety in the developed civilization, it is easy to see all the crudity and irrelevance of magic. But without its power and guidance early man could not have mastered his practical difficulties as he has done, nor could man have advanced to higher stages of civilization” (1956, p.507). This tells us that if we can see and understands everything that happens around us then we can move up but if we don’t then we can never advance in our life….   [tags: developed civilization, safety]


Better Essays

698 words | (2 pages)
| Preview

Perspectives On Society And Culture

– Perspectives on Society and Culture It is very difficult as a reader to make any sense of the rituals performed by the Nacirema. The Nacirema are a people who stress the importance of physical wellness and go to great and to the outsider horrific lengths to ensure this. A professor Linton was the first to shed light on the particularly bizarre lifestyle that is lived by the Nacirema. Physical wellness being so heavily stressed is not the bizarre aspect, it is the spiritual sense and seemingly blind faith they put into their beliefs that is bewildering….   [tags: essays research papers]


Free Essays

489 words | (1.4 pages)
| Preview

An Interesting Connection

– An Interesting Connection Many times people can be put into a situation that would make them feel uncomfortable. It may be even worse when a situation like that is the way and style that you live. In the two stories A Body Ritual Among the Nacirema, by by Horace M. Miner, and Reclaiming Culture and the Land: Motherhood and the Politics of Sustaining Community by Winona LaDuke, this situation is just that. In both of the stories, the main character or characters are living in a situation where they are considered the outsider or the outcast….   [tags: Rhetorical Analysis Culture Cultural Essays]


Free Essays

717 words | (2 pages)
| Preview

Motherhood and the Politics of Native Americans

– Motherhood and the Politics of Native Americans Community, rituals, magical beliefs and practices are very important things to Native American people. Native American people live by these rituals and beliefs, they live around their community; their community isn’t just that, but their family as well. Parents don’t just raise their children but the whole community has a hand in raising all of the children. Family is a very important part of Native American people’s lives, they keep traditions going with their families, parents raise their children the same way that they were raised by their parents….   [tags: Culture Cultural Sociology Essays]


Free Essays

953 words | (2.7 pages)
| Preview

Two Views on Culture and Anthropology

– Two Views on Culture and Anthropology The take on culture and anthropology can be dissected in many different ways. Horace M. Miner takes a look at his culture through a view of which an anthropologist from another culture would look at it. While Roy Wagner takes the anthropologist view and dissects it. Both writers use find culture through anthropology, while Miner concludes with a result in Body Ritual Among the Nacirema, Wagner dissects the process of which is being used, The Idea of Culture….   [tags: Cultural Anthropology Essays]


Good Essays

476 words | (1.4 pages)
| Preview

Misrepresented Cultures

– Misrepresented Cultures Horace Mitchell Miner spent much of his life educating himself on anthropology before writing his confusing but brilliant article on American culture. He was born in Minnesota and then moved to Kentucky, where he became a museum curator before becoming an associate professor of anthropology and sociology at the University of Michigan at one point in his career. Although he was a member of the Executive Committee of the Sociology Department he was not very active due to the fact that his work was mostly field based….   [tags: Essays Papers]


Free Essays

940 words | (2.7 pages)
| Preview

Religion Provides a Humane Society as a Whole

– … One particular god, Horus, was needed to maintain order against chaos, the god Set. Therefore, a complex set of rituals were required to be performed by humans to sustain Horus in his battle against chaos (Ludwig, p326-327). Likewise, a variety of rituals common in ancient Mesopotamia were vial to harmonize the gods and goddesses to better ensure a stable cosmos (Ludwig, p329). Additionally, The Great Flood Story further validates to importance of harmony not only between the gods but also between the gods and humans….   [tags: theory, practice, sacred]


Better Essays

712 words | (2 pages)
| Preview

E. M. Fleming’s Model of Artifact Study and the Work Boot

– E. M. Fleming’s “Model of Artifact Study” and the Work Boot The work boot has become a hot item for many girls and young women. This artifact of appearance may reveal a lot about American culture and society in the 1990’s. By applying E. M. Fleming’s “Model of Artifact Study”, I will analyze this artifact in an attempt to shed some light on the values, priorities, and ideals of our society. Just like Fleming’s model suggests, this paper will be broken down into four major sections: Identification, Evaluation, Cultural Analysis, and Interpretation….   [tags: Sociology Society Culture]


Free Essays

1739 words | (5 pages)
| Preview

Why Students Don’t Have Time

– Why Students Don’t Have Time When I was a student, my teacher once said to me that a large amount of time is only good when you can use it wisely. The tactics of the teaching profession that I, a modern educator, am about to describe, result in the very opposite. I. In the first place, ladies and gentlemen, the amount of time a student has outside of school, like Romeo’s love for Juliet, is precious for every minute. A student’s time is like a person’s income before taxes. Free time would be the amount remaining after all homework (taxes) was done….   [tags: Education Educating Time management Essays]


Free Essays

777 words | (2.2 pages)
| Preview

Kung Bushman

– The !Kung Bushman Most contemporary foraging groups, such as the !Kung and other Bushman tribes, are viewed as a “primitive” people. Some have even gone as far to say that they are “the last representatives of the stone age.” While it is true that these people have the most similar culture to what we believe primitive persons to have had, the analogies they can provide us with the people of the past are very inaccurate. These comparisons are so unrivaled due to factors such as time and the wrong sense of view many people have on them….   [tags: essays research papers]


Strong Essays

1035 words | (3 pages)
| Preview

Cultural Anthropology Book Report

– Classical Readings on Cultural Anthropology What do we have to learn through the study of different cultures. I was hoping for some wonderful revelation in the collection of writings. I may have found one. This book was a difficult read for me. I am not sure whether it’s my age or my inexperience with classical readings. I also found it difficult to formulate a report on a collection of readings, the last report I did was on Laura Ingall’s Little House on the Prairie. This reading was a little more challenging….   [tags: essays research papers]


Powerful Essays

1828 words | (5.2 pages)
| Preview

These results are sorted by most relevant first (ranked search). You may also sort these by color rating
or essay length .


Your search returned 18 essays for “nacirema“:

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Key Points of “Body Ritual among the Nacirema” Article

Posted atJune 17, 2017
0 Comment

Body Rituals among the Nacirema

It’s hard to analyze one or another society correctly. Nevertheless, sometimes, these attempts are quite successful. We’ve written this essay to explain the article of Horace Miner under the name “Body Ritual among the Nacirema.”

What is Nacirema?

This term appeared not so long ago, after the publication of the article mentioned above. Nacirema means Americans (spell it backward). These days, this notion is widely used in sociology and anthropology. It describes different aspects of the particular behavior or society of the USA. It is a neologism, which is used with the aim to look at the American culture from the other perspective, to make sense of self-distancing. American anthropologists do this with the aim to explore the culture they live objectively.

Historical Facts

At first, it stands to learn when and why this term appeared and why it is still popular in the American society. For the first time, this notion was used in the article “Body Rituals Among the Nacirema,” written by Horace Miner in 1956.

We are going to describe the Nacirema (or Americans), a small tribe, residing in North America. Those who study sociology should read the work of this writer. At first gaze, he describes an ordinary tribe. Still, in reality, this group of people is Americans of 1950th. All traditions entirely coincide. Very often scientists consider this article to be a real confirmation of a gestalt shift, relating to sociology.

This simple, maybe even fantastic, article became very popular among the society. It was published in different textbooks, newspapers, books. Many scientists used it as the basis for writing their research papers or course works. The author of “The Bedford Reader” used it as an example of a process analysis. The article made Mr. Miner famous and now is regarded to be a constituent of the public domain.

Main Characteristic Features and Rituals of Nacirema

So, what is this article about? In sober fact, the main characters are people, called Nacirema and living on the territory of Canadian Cree, Tarahumare of Mexico and the Yaqui. Reading the article, you’ll be impressed with the Western oral cleanliness and their view on hospital care.

Besides, the tribe has a prosperous and robust market economy.

People, living in this tribe, spend the major part of the day working for economic aims. Thus, they also manage to spend lots of time in ritual activities. Such routine activities are critical for them.

The central belief of this tribe is that the body of the human being is ugly. They can’t choose the body to live in, and because of this issue, they have one common target – to defer to the power of different rituals. They spend lots of time engaged in various ceremonies. For this purpose they use shrines. Each member of a tribe has these shrines. The more shrines a person has, the more powerful he is. Mostly, their houses are poor, but the shrine rooms look very rich. It goes to show that the members of the tribe spend lots of money to make these rooms wealthy.

Reading this article, you will recognize the traditional attitude of the society to medicines. Each shrine has a special box where people keep different magical portions. All medications are prescribed by a particular man who should always be rewarded for his work. This person just writes the prescription to drugs on a specific piece of paper in a language which is not understandable to ordinary citizens. Only herbalists who prepare them can understand this secret language. Each person has many magical packets, and from time to time they even forget which one should be used to treat a particular illness.

One more body ritual of the Nacirema is the horror of their mouth. They believe that their mouth influences their social relationships. One of the rituals related to the mouth is that they think that their teeth can fall out. They care about their mouth, using different magical powers.
One more ritual is avoiding exposure of the body. All excretory acts are done at home in secrecy. The society shouldn’t see it. Among other body rituals, we can mention the following ones: making thin people fat and vice versa, making the breast of women larger, attempts to avoid pregnancy, etc.

Body Rituals of the Nacirema Summary

To sum up the information, we should say that the author showed the citizens of this tribe as magic-ridden people. Besides, the author wonders how they managed to live for so long under the heavy burden. Besides, this burden wasn’t imposed by other tribes. It was imposed by them.

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Key Points of “Body Ritual among the Nacirema” Article

Posted atJune 17, 2017
0 Comment

Body Rituals among the Nacirema

It’s hard to analyze one or another society correctly. Nevertheless, sometimes, these attempts are quite successful. We’ve written this essay to explain the article of Horace Miner under the name “Body Ritual among the Nacirema.”

What is Nacirema?

This term appeared not so long ago, after the publication of the article mentioned above. Nacirema means Americans (spell it backward). These days, this notion is widely used in sociology and anthropology. It describes different aspects of the particular behavior or society of the USA. It is a neologism, which is used with the aim to look at the American culture from the other perspective, to make sense of self-distancing. American anthropologists do this with the aim to explore the culture they live objectively.

Historical Facts

At first, it stands to learn when and why this term appeared and why it is still popular in the American society. For the first time, this notion was used in the article “Body Rituals Among the Nacirema,” written by Horace Miner in 1956.

We are going to describe the Nacirema (or Americans), a small tribe, residing in North America. Those who study sociology should read the work of this writer. At first gaze, he describes an ordinary tribe. Still, in reality, this group of people is Americans of 1950th. All traditions entirely coincide. Very often scientists consider this article to be a real confirmation of a gestalt shift, relating to sociology.

This simple, maybe even fantastic, article became very popular among the society. It was published in different textbooks, newspapers, books. Many scientists used it as the basis for writing their research papers or course works. The author of “The Bedford Reader” used it as an example of a process analysis. The article made Mr. Miner famous and now is regarded to be a constituent of the public domain.

Main Characteristic Features and Rituals of Nacirema

So, what is this article about? In sober fact, the main characters are people, called Nacirema and living on the territory of Canadian Cree, Tarahumare of Mexico and the Yaqui. Reading the article, you’ll be impressed with the Western oral cleanliness and their view on hospital care.

Besides, the tribe has a prosperous and robust market economy.

People, living in this tribe, spend the major part of the day working for economic aims. Thus, they also manage to spend lots of time in ritual activities. Such routine activities are critical for them.

The central belief of this tribe is that the body of the human being is ugly. They can’t choose the body to live in, and because of this issue, they have one common target – to defer to the power of different rituals. They spend lots of time engaged in various ceremonies. For this purpose they use shrines. Each member of a tribe has these shrines. The more shrines a person has, the more powerful he is. Mostly, their houses are poor, but the shrine rooms look very rich. It goes to show that the members of the tribe spend lots of money to make these rooms wealthy.

Reading this article, you will recognize the traditional attitude of the society to medicines. Each shrine has a special box where people keep different magical portions. All medications are prescribed by a particular man who should always be rewarded for his work. This person just writes the prescription to drugs on a specific piece of paper in a language which is not understandable to ordinary citizens. Only herbalists who prepare them can understand this secret language. Each person has many magical packets, and from time to time they even forget which one should be used to treat a particular illness.

One more body ritual of the Nacirema is the horror of their mouth. They believe that their mouth influences their social relationships. One of the rituals related to the mouth is that they think that their teeth can fall out. They care about their mouth, using different magical powers.
One more ritual is avoiding exposure of the body. All excretory acts are done at home in secrecy. The society shouldn’t see it. Among other body rituals, we can mention the following ones: making thin people fat and vice versa, making the breast of women larger, attempts to avoid pregnancy, etc.

Body Rituals of the Nacirema Summary

To sum up the information, we should say that the author showed the citizens of this tribe as magic-ridden people. Besides, the author wonders how they managed to live for so long under the heavy burden. Besides, this burden wasn’t imposed by other tribes. It was imposed by them.

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