Nacirema Rituals

675 Words3 Pages
In the article “Body Ritual among the Nacirema” by Horace Miner, Miner explains, while adding his own critique occasionally, the very unique yet private culture and rituals found among the Nacirema people. Miner explains in this article that the Nacirema people have a very strong magic based belief system in their culture and that belief system, composed of rituals, along with the want for economic wealth is what drives them to complete the tasks in their everyday lives. The article also reveals how the people focus a great deal of time on their body, with a particular focus on their physical appearance, in addition to their economic standing. Miner describes a daily ritual that Nacirema people go through to help them focus on improving their…show more content…
Some of the other rituals that the author focuses on includes the, at least once a year, visit to the highly respected people, or “healers”, known as the holy-mouth-man, and the medicine men. Miner goes on to describe the barbaric sounding rituals that the Nacirema people experience when they visit each man respectably. For example, in the article, Miner explains how the holy-mouth-man appears to find happiness in causing people pain in their mouth when the man either drills holes into bad teeth or rips out teeth. Miner is astonished that the Nacirema people faithfully continue go back to these “healers” even when these “healers” seem to cause more pain for these people. In conclusion, the author has a hard time understanding how these Nacirema people have survived for so long as a culture while they seem to torment themselves by trusting in the magic of the healers and society who appear to cause them distress at least…show more content…
Also I was shocked to see how the Nacirema people could worship these “healers” in their society and continuously visit these “healers” at least yearly even though the Nacirema would usually go through extreme pain. I had to constantly remind myself when reading the article that I needed to leave my judgment out and respect the Nacirema’s rituals and culture. The Nacirema people are people who should be treated fairly and respected because no matter what they worship or what drives them, they are people like me. After reading this article, I realized that I need to learn more about social science since this science will help me expand my views on how humans interact in societies by looking at their attitudes and behavior so to get a better picture of that specific group of humans’ culture and thus respect it more. In order to help me better respect someone’s culture and rituals, I now realize need to step back and see what I may have in common with that person’s up-bringing. For instance, while reading the article, I started to see how the some of the “healers” that the Nacirema worship could be the equivalent to a highly respected medical profession here in America. A holy-mouth-man could be seen as a dentist in America and the medicine men could be seen as doctors. By seeing
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