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Summary of Body Ritual Among the Nacirema Essay

nacirema group

They also put some wires around it, which when attached to the wall, make the tree look very bright. Even to young children this idea of cutting down the tree may seem familiar, and it should because it is really Washington that cut the tree down. These rituals that are talked about are made to sound like the culture that partakes in such things is crazy. People also stop and like to gather around the tree and gaze at it. They desire a different one, which holds more importance. For example, we can look at Christmas from the perspective of someone who is not a part of American culture. The daily ceremonies, like the rites of the holy-mouth-men, involve discomfort and torture.

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Body Rituals Among the Nacirema

nacirema group

¶ 13 The latipso ceremonies are so harsh that it is phenomenal that a fair proportion of the really sick natives who enter the temple ever recover. Most cultures exhibit a particular configuration or style. The magical packets are so numerous that people forget what their purposes were and fear to use them again. A star, or in some cases an angel or other figurine is put on top of the tree, and it seems to be an honor for the person who is allowed to put it there. The way in which he writes about the curious practices that this group performs distances readers from the fact that the North American group described actually corresponds to modern-day Americans of the mid-1950s. .

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Nacirema

nacirema group

Throughout his life, Miner was dedicated to his studies ranging in anthropology to sociology. The discovery of the widespread myth of the five-vowel system prompted the present writer to conduct a series of intensive interviews and administer questionnaires to a sample of Nacireman informants with a view to mapping the general outlines of Nacireman folk linguistics. The article, Body Ritual among the Nacirema, relates to many core aspects of sociology, including culture, cultural relativism, ethnocentrism, and conflict theory Our culture is the foundation of who we essentially are in life. No matter how ill the supplicant or how grave the emergency, the guardians of many temples will not admit a client if he cannot give a rich gift to the custodian. Along with the amount of medications, there are the trips to the hospital that most people find necessary. That is why people spend so much time getting ready in the morning, buy so many medications for every illness, and run to the doctor for stronger medications. 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.


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Anthropology Analysis of Ritual Among the

nacirema group

Why is so much trouble taken to offer the items to people, wrapped and put under this gaudy tree only to be given away? ¶ 12 The medicine men have an imposing temple, or latipso, in every community of any size. It is hard to understand how they have managed to exist so long under the burdens they have imposed upon themselves. Then how does Body Ritual among the Nacirema help us understand our own view of other cultures and how we are viewed by other cultures? Many people do not realize that words are backward; this idea gives readers the sense that this may actually be a tribe. As part of this ceremony, women bake their heads in small ovens for about an hour. 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 the higher stages of civilization. This part of the rite includes scraping and lacerating the surface of the face with a sharp instrument. Additionally, the powders associated with this ritual have generally been semi-liquefied.

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The Nacirema

nacirema group

The events that take place in our everyday lives are described as rituals. This research strategy ultimately provided compelling evidence that it is the ti'yčɨr caste that has disseminated the notion of the five-vowel system. Functionalist theory minimizes the importance of change. I viewed the things they did as bizarre, but on close analysis of our… 822 Words 4 Pages Would you want to live among the Naciremas? Consequently, a substantial part of their lives is spent on unusual rituals and customs to improve conditions of the body that are filled with magical components. I observed that those nearing marriageable age even decorate their teeth with strips of metal which are believed to improve their appearance. Incarcerated in such a body, man's only hope is to avert these characteristics through the use of ritual and ceremony.


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Miner's Ritual among the

nacirema group

Next why do some of the practices and rituals of other cultures seem odd or foreign to us? Structural-functional sociologist Emile Durkheim theorized that rituals support social order and roles and shared sets of values holds people together. Malinowsli, Bronislaw 1948 Magic, Science, and Religion. A huge reason would be that I could never go from my own Christian faith to the religious practices of the Nacirema. In this chest are kept the many charms and magical potions without which no native believes he could live. If there are no naturally occurring holes in the teeth, large sections of one or more teeth are gouged out so that the supernatural substance can be applied. The Nacirema have many magical beliefs, but the most interesting are those about their own bodies and how they should be cared for.

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Nacirema

nacirema group

The focus of this activity is the human body, the appearance and health of which loom as a dominant concern in the ethos of the people. The more elaborate ceremonies required to treat very sick patients can only be performed at this temple. Miner's article became a popular work, reprinted in many introductory textbooks and used as an example in the literature text. While much of the people's time is devoted to economic pursuits, a large part of the fruits of these labors and a considerable portion of the day are spent in ritual activity. In the article, Body Ritual among the Nacirema, Horace Miner relates his piece to culture, cultural relativism, ethnocentrism, and conflict theory. The sociological standpoint is that culture is based on rituals and that each culture defines its reality and acceptable behavior and chooses its authorities by rituals. It demonstrates how people will perform extreme procedures to achieve perfection, and even after this they will still feel they are ugly and not perfect.


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Body Ritual Among the Nacirema

nacirema group

The most peculiar act, however, has yet to be done. He describes how important culture is to them and portrays that Americans think their culture is so important yet their beliefs are not where they should be. ¶ 14 The supplicant entering the temple is first stripped of all his or her clothes. Natural History, 81 11 , pp. The following is an excerpt from one of the excellent papers I received from a student, Emily Ong used with her permission.


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Body Ritual Among the Nacirema

nacirema group

The holy-mouth-man opens the client's mouth and, using the above mentioned tools, enlarges any holes which decay may have created in the teeth. There are ritual fasts to make fat people thin and ceremonial feasts to make thin people fat. Though small children must be forced to undergo this punishment when they neglect the mouth ritual, adults willingly accept it. The mysterious fall of the Nacirema. They rip up all of the paper covering the boxes, and leave a mess on the floor. However, most the medications are used once or twice, but then left in the cabinet.

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Anthropology Analysis of Ritual Among the

nacirema group

¶ 17 In conclusion, mention must be made of certain practices which have their base in native esthetics but which depend upon the pervasive aversion to the natural body and its functions. At other times they insert magic wands in the supplicant's mouth or force him to eat substances which are supposed to be healing. New York, The Macmillan Co. Sorry, but copying text is forbidden on this website! Miner was a graduate of the University of Chicago, with a degree in anthropology. Each day every member of the family, in succession, enters the shrine room, bows his head before the charm-box, mingles different sorts of holy water in the font, and proceeds with a brief rite of ablution.

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