Ritual Among The Nacirema Analysis

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Horace Miner's "Ritual Among the Nacirema" is an essay about American practices of

taking care of their bodies and the rituals that go with it. "Nacirema" is American spelled

backwards. Miner wrote this essay so we can read about the habits of the Nacirema culture from

an outsider's point of view, when in fact we are actually reading about our own culture.

Miner's satirical view of American health habits includes the Nacirema people's practice

of seeing medicine men (doctors), using a charm box (medicine cabinet), doing a mouth-rite

(brushing teeth), seeing holy-mouth men (dentists), and getting help from the

"listeners" (psychologists). Miner makes these ritual seem like tribal ceremonies, when in fact

these practices are all part of
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explains that these medicine men "have an imposing temple or latispso" in every community.

The latispso is another word for hospital. Miner continues to explain the various reasons the

people go to latispso ceremonies when they are very ill. He makes the ritual seem like it is either

a traumatic or positive experience, depending on what needs to be done at the latispso. I would

not want to receive medical treatment at the latispso in the Nacirema culture because, according

to children, "that is where you go to die" (Miner). In our society, we go to the hospital to get

better. Our hospitals have the best equipment and specialists that can cure many diseases.

The holy-mouth men are the dentists in the Nacirema society that help their patients as

well. Miner writes that the holy-mouth men rituals "involve discomfort and pain" (Miner).

Obviously, Miner does not like the dentist and he illustrates his dislike for going to the dentist

and be believes the general public dislikes this particular ritual too. Most people do not like

going to the dentist and Miner clearly explains the reason for this

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