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Body Ritual Among the Nacirema

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Introduction

Body Ritual Among the Nacirema Horace Miner 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. Every household has one or more shrines devoted to the hope that mans body will be changed through the use of the powerful influences of ritual and ceremony. ...read more.

Middle

The Nacirema believe if they did not perform such rituals their teeth would fall out, their gums bleed, their jaws shrink, their friends desert them, and their lovers reject them. The Nacirema seek out a holy-mouth-man once or twice a year. The holy-mouth-man opens the client's mouth and, using a variety of augers, awls, probes, and prods, enlarges any holes which decay may have created in the teeth. Magical materials are put into these holes. The extremely sacred and traditional character of the rite is evident in the fact that the natives return to the holy-mouth-men year after year, despite the fact that their teeth continue to decay. What is the latipso used by Nacireman medicine men? The medicine men have an imposing temple, or latipso, in every community of any size. ...read more.

Conclusion

Who is the witch-doctor "listener" who is able to cure bewitched people? Their remains on other kind of practitioner, known as a "listener." This witch-doctor has the power to exorcise the devils that lodge in the heads of people who have been bewitched. The Nacirema believe that parents bewitch their own children. The counter-magic of the witch-doctor is unusual in its lack of ritual. The patient simply tells the "listener" all his troubles and fears, beginning with the earliest difficulties he can remember. Is Miner's interpretation of Nacirema body rituals ethnocentric? Why or why not? In my opinion I feel that Horace Miner is being ethnocentric. I believe that he is judging the Nacirema's beliefs and rituals. Most of us see what we do as a culture as being normal. So for other cultures, they all believe in what they are taught. The Nacirema's body rituals may seem very sadistic but that is what they believe. ?? ?? ?? ?? 1 ...read more.

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