When I first read about "Body Ritual Among the Nacirema" I was a little surprised, but it was about life, basically about survival. I chose to focus on the "mouth rite." This routine of cleansing the teeth is almost sacred as the Naciremea people perform it every day in order to maintain confidence in their physical appearance. It seems all of these rituals are ultimately to impress others. They worry about their teeth decaying and damaging their social lives. The act of brushing their teeth is crucial to the Nacirema in order to socialize and form relationships.
After reading Laura Bohannan’s Shakespeare in the Bush and Horace Miner’s Body Ritual Among the Nacirema, a common theme presents itself between the two articles. Ethnocentrism, particularly within the U.S., is elucidated through the actions of Bohannan while in West Africa, and the reaction of any American reading Miner’s piece about the “magical” Nacirema culture. In Bohannan’s piece, she struggles to prove that Hamlet is a universal story that any culture can easily understand. She speaks to the elders of the Tiv people, and is shocked to conclude that they do not understand Hamlet the way Americans understand it. In Miner’s piece, he cleverly presents the idea of the culture of the Nacirema people who are sadistic in nature, and lack logic
The article written by Miner was one in which seemingly forced the student to keep reading. The varying ways in which the author described traditions created and passed down through generations of the Nacirema people evoked interest and question in the students mind. The student had never read this article, nor had he read an article written in such a way to make him feel emotions quite like the ones he felt while scrolling though the pages of this article. Fortunately, the student was able to find that he was not the sole student amongst his peers who had many questions and concerns that came to fruition while reading the Nacirema article. Questions fluttered around the readers head as he finished the first few paragraphs of the article.
From the earliest encounters, explorers or colonists performed yet described the appearance, traits, or approaches concerning lifestyles about indigenous Americans. Rather than monsters at the facet of the recognized world, Christopher Columbus discovered “handsome” people, whose skin resembled to that amount on the “Canadians, neither black nor white.” The Tainos (Arawaks) were naked,” informed neither cities nor steel weapons nor idols. While it humans have been “timid,” the Caribs, a more “audacious race,” resembled the Tainos within appearance yet material culture, but blind a extraordinary language, performed fighting on theirs neighbors, and “eat the humans it do capture.” Columbus’s descriptions regarding faint innocents or fierce cannibals
After reading “Body Ritual Among the Nacirema” I believe the Nacirema are the Americans. First Nacirema is American spelled backwards. I also think it is America because it said “North American group living… Little is known of their origin, al- though tradition states that they came from the east.” I also believe it is America because it said, “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.” Because there is very few countries that believe that you have to look perfect. For example, wearing makeup, perfectly white straight teeth, BMI, hairstyle, and the fashion. I also believe it is America because of a YouTube video I watch where two guys discussed the
Although Native Americans are characterized as both civilized and uncivilized in module one readings, their lifestyles and culture are observed to be civilized more often than not. The separate and distinct duties of men and women (Sigard, 1632) reveal a society that has defined roles and expectations based on gender. There are customs related to courtship (Le Clercq, 1691) that are similar to European cultures. Marriage was a recognized union amongst Native Americans, although not necessarily viewed as a serious, lifelong commitment like the Europeans (Heckewelder, 1819). Related to gender roles in Native American culture, Sigard writes of the Huron people that “Just as the men have their special occupation and understand wherein a man’s duty consists, so also the women and girls keep their place and perform quietly their little tasks and functions of service”.
She introduces her primary intensions to replace orthodox archeological methods, by integrating Native American voices into her project. But, Spector’s specific motives to dismantle the ignorance people hold towards Native American specifically in archeology, is ineffective. Spector gives effective judgment when expressing her internal
The usual Western way of coping with some concept or ritual that seems 'other' or strange, is to search for an equivalent that will familiarise and anaesthetise the shock that there are other ways to exist and interact. The myth of the “vanishing Indian” is thoroughly brought out in Source 2 of Morgan’s Ancient Society, where the author’s superior, keen tone to the description of Native Americans and how they were all “savages” and were incapable of adapting the concepts of modern American civilization. As a result, Morgan’s thoughts were that Americans would pervade Native American territories, expecting American Indians to fail to subside to their way of life and thus result in war between the two, eventually leading to the decimation of Native
Throughout history, there have been many literary studies that focused on the culture and traditions of Native Americans. Native writers have worked painstakingly on tribal histories, and their works have made us realize that we have not learned the full story of the Native American tribes. Deborah Miranda has written a collective tribal memoir, “Bad Indians”, drawing on ancestral memory that revealed aspects of an indigenous worldview and contributed to update our understanding of the mission system, settler colonialism and histories of American Indians about how they underwent cruel violence and exploitation. Her memoir successfully addressed past grievances of colonialism and also recognized and honored indigenous knowledge and identity.
They are often labeled as uncivilized barbarians, which is a solely false accusation against them. This paper aims to address the similarities between Native American beliefs and the beliefs of other cultures based on The Iroquois Creation Story in order to defeat the stereotype that Natives are regularly defined by. Native Americans are commonly considered uncivilized, savage, and barbarian. Nevertheless, in reality the Natives are not characterized by any of those negative traits, but rather they inhabit positive characteristics such as being wise, polite, tolerant, civilized, harmonious with nature, etc. They have had a prodigious impact on the Puritans
He will invariably have a thin sexy wife with stringy hair, an IQ of 191, and a vocabulary in which even the prepositions have eleven syllables” (79). In this text, Deloria argues how anthropologists purposely contrast themselves from Indians on reservations with how they dress to show their overwhelming wealth and intelligence over Indians while also crudely mocking how anthropologists pretend to be hierarchical snobs. High school students would be intrigued with the sass Deloria uses in his writing. Another appropriate type of reading would be Native Americans’ personal narratives of their own experiences on colonization, American politics, cultural appropriation, and more. Dawnland Voices edited by Siobhan Senier, for instance, would be a spectacular reading for this proposed class since it includes intimate indigenous short stories, poems, and writings from the New England region.
A person’s culture is their way of life. From a young age, we learn to act within the norms of our culture and to be truly ethnocentric. What if one day someone came into your life and told you everything you were doing your entire life was wrong and stupid? Brian Moore’s Black Robe, tells the story of Laforgue, a Jesuit priest from 17th Century Québec who travels to an unfamiliar land called New France. Laforgue’s goal is to convert Algonquin Native Americans into God fearing Christians. Laforgue faces many cultural misunderstandings with the Natives along his journey; he finds the most difficulties understanding the native’s concept of death, why they value dreams, and overcoming ethnocentrism.
Science journalist, Charles C. Mann, had successfully achieved his argumentative purpose about the “Coming of Age in the Dawnland.” Mann’s overall purpose of writing this argumentative was to show readers that there’s more to than just being called or being stereotyped as a savage- a cynical being. These beings are stereotyped into being called Indians, or Native Americans (as they are shorthand names), but they would rather be identified by their own tribe name. Charles Mann had talked about only one person in general but others as well without naming them. Mann had talked about an Indian named Tisquantum, but he, himself, does not want to be recognized as one; to be more recognized as the “first and foremost as a citizen of Patuxet,”(Mann 24).
Ceremony and rituals have played a vital and essential role in Native American culture for a long time. Often referred to as “religion,” most Native Americans did not think their spirituality, ceremonies, and rituals as “religion,” the same way that Christians do. Instead, their beliefs and practices form an integral and seamless part of their being. Like other aboriginal people around the world, their beliefs were heavily influenced by their ways of getting food, – from hunting to agriculture. They also did ceremonies and rituals that gave power to conquer the difficulties of life, as wells as events and milestones, such as puberty, marriage, and death.