Nacirema

In: Business and Management

Submitted By emoore
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In the article, “Body Ritual among the Nacirema,” Horace Miner details several rituals of titled tribe that are rooted in a fundamental belief that the human body has a natural tendency is to ineffectiveness and disease. Some rituals that are described in the article include women baking their heads four times a year as well as a daily mouth-rite to help fight against tooth decay and to attract friends. (Harvey, 2009, p. 20) However, the one ritual of the Nacirema tribe that most resonated with me was that of the ritual of every citizen keeping shrines devoted to adverting the above-mentioned belief.
Within every household, one or more shrines are prepared to ward off the human bodies tendency to weakness and disease. (Harvey, 2009, p. 19) Rich families within the Nacirema society have several shrines within their homes. According to this tribe, the richness of a house is referred to in terms of the number of ritual centers or shrines it possesses. (Harvey, 2009, p. 19) Most citizens have homes made of wattle and daub construction. However, the shrines rooms within these houses the wealthy are walled with stone. Poorer families on the other hand imitate the rich by applying an imitation plaque to their shrine walls. (Harvey, 2009, p. 20)
The focal point of the shrine is a box, which is built into the wall. In these boxes are kept the many charms without which no one of the tribe believes he/ she could survive without. (Harvey, 2009, p. 20) A charm is not disposed of after it has served its purpose, but is placed in the charm-box of the house shrine. The charm box is commonly full to overflowing as charms are specific for certain ills. (Harvey, 2009, p. 20) The quantity of charms in these boxes is so numerous that the people forget what their purpose was. (Harvey, 2009, p. 20) During times of worship, people use holy water, to sprinkle it in front of the shrine…...

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