The Nacirema are a tribe that is indigenous to the North American continent. The name "Nacirema" is actually "American" spelled backwards, and was coined by cultural anthropologist Horace Miner in 1956 as a way to highlight the strange and exotic customs of American culture from the perspective of an outsider.
One of the most striking aspects of Nacirema culture is its focus on the human body and its appearance. The Nacirema have a number of rituals and practices that revolve around the care and beautification of the body. For example, they engage in elaborate rituals of personal hygiene, such as daily washing and brushing, and they also engage in practices such as tattooing and piercing to alter their appearance.
Another notable aspect of Nacirema culture is its emphasis on materialism and consumerism. The Nacirema are obsessed with acquiring material possessions and are willing to go to great lengths to obtain them. They have a highly developed market economy and are known for their elaborate system of trade and commerce.
Despite their focus on the body and material possessions, the Nacirema have a deeply ingrained belief in the supernatural and the power of magic. They believe in a variety of magical remedies and potions that are used to cure ailments and bring good fortune. They also believe in a wide range of supernatural beings and forces, and often engage in rituals and sacrifices to appease or appease these entities.
Overall, the Nacirema are a fascinating and complex society that is characterized by their emphasis on the body, material possessions, and the supernatural. While their customs and beliefs may seem strange to outsiders, they are an integral part of the Nacirema's unique cultural identity.
What is Nacirema?
The choice of this adjective can be supported by many facts. Because when you reveal that even the most mundane beliefs and practices that make up your life can be viewed as strange and exotic, they also become contingent, which is a fancy way of saying that they need not exist or that they could have been different. The Nacirema culture presents the development in a high market economy focusing the activities regarding the rituals on the human body and the appearance of being healthy. I was able, however, to establish sufficient rapport with the natives to examine these shrines and to have the rituals described to me. They rip up all of the paper covering the boxes, and leave a mess on the floor. In this way, the future of the race, as represented by Nacirema culture, was determined by unnatural man-made techniques.
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. Then, on command of the high priest of the ceremony, all the gnicar racs were slowed to a funereal speed and carefully held in their relative positions. In fact, most of these Americans I have observed highly treasure their material items from under the tree as they pay more attention to them than to fellow Americans. He clearly thought that was more important than spending time with his family or friends. They are taken to a store where, when presented with a slip of paper, can be exchanged for currency. To achieve these ideals, some Nacirema go so far as to have ritual specialists cut them open and inject liquids into areas of their body that they desire to be larger, or remove soft body tissues and make other parts of their body smaller. Learn More Like many other communities, the Nacirema have various rituals that they practice.
Body Ritual Among the Nacirema: Classic Anthropology
Retrieved February 16, 2019. Founded by James Smith, a native of New York City, who worked his way up from selling product out of the trunk of his car and then eventually opened Nacirema in 2012. The Nacirema: Readings on American Culture. It is to be hoped that, when a thorough study of the Nacirema is made, there will be careful inquiry into the personality structure of these people. The Latipso is a temple in which the tribe goes there because they believe it will keep them alive. This part of the rite involved scraping and lacerating the surface of the face with a sharp instrument. When pregnant, women dress so as to hide their condition.
The males of the culture were persuaded to believe that any handicap to masculine dominance could be overcome by selecting the proper cult symbol. The counter-magic of the witchdoctor is unusual in its lack of ritual. It is a challenge to help these people overcome their biggest problem. The more powerful individuals in the society have several shrines in their houses and, in fact, the opulence of a house is often referred to in terms of the number of such ritual centers it possesses. Each Nacirema household has a shrine or sometimes several shrines in which private rituals are performed to mitigate what they see as ever-present and pervasive threats to their bodies. This is not only awkward, but it is very dangerous, and I wonder how they managed to survive for such a long period of time because this lifestyle is dangerous.
The sections from di Leonardo emphasize this aspect. The Nacirema avoids the exposure of their body in everyday life; a part of the body rituals the people would bathe in the privacy of their own homes before participating in the ritual. The judgments such as good or bad, right or wrong are very subjective values that depends on cultures Glazer, 1996. Further, at times the Nacirema culture even seems to be shocking. In every-day life the Nacirema avoids exposure of his body and its natural functions. Retrieved February 16, 2019. The air was subjected to a similar alteration: it was changed from an azure shade to a uniform gray-yellow.
One has but to watch the gleam in the eye of a holy-mouth-man, as he jabs an awl into an exposed nerve, to suspect that a certain amount of sadism is involved. According to Nacirema mythology, their nation was originated by a culture hero, Notgnihsaw, who is otherwise known for two great feats of strength—the throwing of a piece of wampum across the river Pa-To-Mac and the chopping down of a cherry tree in which the Spirit of Truth resided. . Franz Boas, the father of American Anthropology, said that his whole outlook on life had been determined by one question:. Nonetheless, it will take a while trying to introduce conventional medicine to these people. General dissatisfaction with breast shape is symbolized in the fact that the ideal form is virtually outside the range of human variation. Revised 11 September 2022.
The Nacirema Culture: Unusual Perceptions and Mind
The supplicant entering the temple is first stripped of all his or her clothes. They act more as a cult than a religion. If it can be possible, sick people in this community should be given conventional medicine, and allowed to undergo their rituals for their psychological comfort. However, the di Leonardo quote has been a bit too much on the first day of an Introduction to Anthropology course. These, then, to the best of our present state of knowledge, were the principal familial uses of the Elibomotua Cult symbols.
Ceremonies and Rituals of Nacirema Free Essay Sample on childhealthpolicy.vumc.org
Instead, there are options at every turn of life. It was reported to me that the ritual consists of inserting a small bundle of hog hairs into the mouth, along with certain magical powders, and then moving the bundle in a highly formalized series of gestures. The various areas were generically referred to as ottehgs. While such a concern is certainly not unusual, its ceremonial aspects and associated philosophy are unique. Among the Nacirema, medicine men are usually found in the temples referred to as the Latipso. The daily ceremonies, like the rites of the holy-mouth-men, involve discomfort and torture.
The Mysterious Fall of the Nacirema · Julianna Kim
They humiliate themselves for ceremonies and they worship shrines by giving them precious goods. American Anthropological Association 58 pp. It is believed that even after healing, the patient would not be allowed to leave the temple without presenting a gift to the custodian of the temple. Most cultures exhibit a particular configuration or style. A few women afflicted with almost inhuman hypermammary development are so idolized that they make a handsome living by simply going from village to village and permitting the natives to stare at them for a fee. From time to time the medicine men come to their clients and jab magically treated needles into their flesh. The Medicine Man, Holy-Mouth-Men, and Witchdoctor are all different rankings within the religion and each rank holds a different power.