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However, it is interesting to find that some rare communities such as Nacirema are yet to embrace modernity. Nacirema presently exhibit ways of life that defy all realms of humanity. It is quite difficult to understand how a community could be so coined to inhuman traditions. This reading response discusses the characteristics of Nacirema community and how they deviate from a typical societal set up. Nacirema’s history is not well understood. However, their present way of life is a true reflection of how strong beliefs of cultural values can be detrimental to societal development. One thing that sets this society apart is the fact that their cultural beliefs are destructive in nature. Societal development has been made possible because societies exercise cultures that are constructive in nature thereby bringing sociological developments in a positive way. Contrary, Nacirema’s traditions are less likely to generate a wave of evolution of the society. When we deconstruct their fundamental belief, it is evident that it is evident that the society is so much skewed to rituals and traditions that other aspects of life are compromised. For instance, while Naciremas spend appreciable time in economic activities, their sociological, and economic developments is not noticeable since most of the money is spent on rituals. They fundamentally believe that human body only perpetuates diseases and therefore, it is the individual’s responsibility to protect the body from diseases and illnesses through different rituals. It is quite interesting to note that, unlike other societies where the socially and economically empowered individuals in the society influence change for the better, this society is different. The rich spend appreciable amount of their resources on purchasing shrines, and other ritual paraphernalia. Unexpectedly, the rich are more engrossed in the rituals than the poor are, which is contrary to a typical society. Sadly, for this society, the poor mimic the rich by having more pottery plaques, which they attach to their shrines (Miner, 2009). In such a society, it is not impossible to pinpoint who will be the medium for change since the rich nor the poor is ready to abandon the Nacirema’s traditions no matter how inhuman they are. One notable difference between Nacirema and a typical society is that the rituals they perform are personal and done in secrecy. Whilst rituals that bring the families or the societies together characterize other societies, Nacirema rituals are practiced at a personal level. Ideally, it would be expected that societal icons such as medicine men be of benefit to the society through provision of medicine and other treatment options for the sick in the society. Indeed, it can be said that medicine men evolved into modern medicine through improvement of their practices. However, it is evident that in this society, medicine men are medium of destroying the society further. It is beyond human understanding that Naciremas will undergo protracted rituals conducted by the medicine men even when it is clearly evident that people have died in those rituals. Further, we cannot fathom how the medicine men and the guardians will keep on asking for rich gifts from the ailing patients even when they cannot treat them (Miner, 2009). More worrying is the fact that Naciremas hold reproduction as a taboo as opposed to typical societies where reproduction is an essential element of procreation. Here, natural procreation is distorted and the community uses crude means of avoiding unwanted pregnancies. Actually, pregnant women would even dress such that their condition is not visible. Whereas the news of a new
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Rituals in America are often the determined by a number of factors such as the lifestyles, cultural values, religious beliefs etc. Though these rituals are observed by different ethno cultural segments of the American, the commonalities of an American ritual depend on the question whether the lives of the common American people are determined and shaped by any the aforementioned factors.
In Miner Horace article, Body Ritual among the Nacirema there is profound information about strange things in which this tribe performed. There are various indicators in the story that reveal the topic of discussion such as how the nation changed to the way it is and the issue of Notgnishaw cutting of trees.
According to the study conducted, the profound ethnocentrism that Horace Miner used to portray the ‘oddity’ of the American culture is, in fact, an analytical instrument to identify which American elite or intellectual has the perfect view of American culture and the most appropriate remedy to its ‘illnesses’.
This paper also describes the reasons why some of the practices and rituals of other cultures seem odd or foreign to us, how our cultural norms affect our understanding and perceptions of other cultures, the assumptions we make about other cultures, and outlines some of the examples of practices in other cultures that we find odd and hard to understand.
In his article in the American Anthropologist, however, Horace Miner manages to depict the tribe's extraordinary body rituals as beyond human comprehension, "poorly understood" (Miner 1956, p.503) and occultic in nature. The tribe itself he describes as "magic-ridden" (Miner 1956, p.507), characterized by a gruesome fascination with certain body parts that are routinely-and sadistically-subjected to torturous practices in the service of beauty and health.
Nacirema culture is a unique society, which inhabits territories between the Canadian Cree, the Northern Mexican States, and the Carib and Arawak of the Antilles. This group of people is known for their exotic spiritual viewpoints and practicing ancient exclusive body-rituals, like oral cleanliness and other mouth-rites, ritual of purification, or keeping little sacred “charm-boxes” filled with magical herbs and poisons, etc.
st of the indigenous members of this society dedicate most of their time in economic pursuits, a good portion of their profits are channeled into ritual activities. The rituals focus on the human body, their health and improvement on their appearances. It is more of the usual