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Body Ritual Among The Nacirema Analysis

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The article Body Ritual Among the Nacirema by Horace Miner describes the rituals and society of the Nacirema, a North American group. The Nacirema group are described by Professor Linton as orthodox followers of their rituals and very superficial in their view of the human body. The article starts by illustrating to us how the houses of the Nacirema have a shrine dedicated for performing the rituals, with the powerful people having multiple shrines. The shrines contain various charms and magical potions; the items are important to the Nacirema as the article describes them as “without which no native believes he could live.” (Miner, 1956, Pg. 20) Furthermore, a ritual described as “involves scraping and lacerating the surface of the face” (Miner, 1956, Pg. 21) is performed by mostly men of the society. In addition, the article describes that people cleanse themselves with holy water from the “Water Temple.” (Miner, 1956, Pg. 20) The article continues by describing the roles of the “holy-mouth-men” (Miner, 1956, Pg. 20) who are responsible for rituals concerning the mouth and the …show more content…
It means that a person should try to understand and judge a culture based on its own term. In layman term, judging a culture based on its own context. In the article, the author is describing what activities many Americans do keep up their appearances. The amount of time spent on the outer appearances is ridiculous and can be considered borderline obsessive. For example, the time it takes to put put on makeup and visiting the dentists repeatedly to get white teeth can seem strange. However,to Americans, this is normal; but, a person from Japan can view it as quite odd as their idea of beauty is different from ours: Japan has a fascination for subtle makeup and crooked teeth. The point is that we should not judge a culture based on the cultural values of ours but based on its

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