The “Body Ritual Among the Nacirema” By Horace Miner, is a good demonstration that the attitudes that entailing a body have a great influence on many Naciremas’ society. Miner has fundamentally used the article to give a description of the American rituals from a view of an outsider. Reading the article with an understanding of Nacirema as an American is of help in understanding the view of culture by other people. For this reason, using relevant examples, I chose on this paper, to Use the example strategy to address Horace Miner?s ?Body ritual among the Nacirema?, Agree with Miner that our culture?s primary focus is the body, and translate all examples Miner used into their common names.
In understanding the Horace Miner?s ?Body ritual among the Nacirema”, one will note that the Nacirema culture is one that is characterized by a market economy that is estimably developed. The market economy has developed to a rich natural habitat. It is seen that a lot of time is spent by people in the economic devoted pursuits. However, a large number of the activities and part of days are being spent in the ritual related activities. All the focus that is in all these activities is on the body not talk of its appearance and its health. This is what puts a great importance in the ethos that guide people. Such an expression is not different and the aspects of the ceremony and the philosophies that are associated here are one of a kind. There is a fundamental belief that the human body has always remained to be ugly. The natural tendency of the body in this case, therefore, has remained to be diseases and debility. Having been incarcerated in such a body, the responsibility of a man is to make sure that he averts these characteristics. All these have to be done through the influences that ceremonies and rituals have. Every household, therefore, has, for instance, a shrine to carry out these ceremonies and rituals. In the shrines, a number of activities are carried out on the body which includes, for instance, the mouth-rite.
From a perspective of sociological standpoint, one ends up understanding The “Body Ritual Among the Nacirema” By Horace Miner. Every culture is based on certain rituals. For this reason, every culture finds itself defining its acceptable behaviors and realities and therefore, it ends up choosing its authorities by its own rituals. The rituals are then what makes people discover the knowledge they have for purpose of making their rituals their own authority. People find themselves following it after they know the whole truth of how the society defines it. What people do repeatedly and on regular basis hence binding people together with for instance assigned roles, shared beliefs, and loyalty is known as culture. It is rituals that have the capability of enforcing these roles and values by supporting them and creating social solidarity. Rituals will always hold a society together even though not all the societies. Rituals will remain to be part of what holds a society together. For this reason, it is always good to always think outside the box with the help of viewing things in an American way.
I am in agreement with Miner that our culture?s primary focus is the body. From the concept of the word and the entire concept of body culture, the body culture is what signifies the form in which a physical practice happens. For instance, the life reform has aimed at the reform of nurture and clothing that favors body activities. This is having in mind that clothing or mode of dressing walk hand in hand with the concept of culture. This is what has constituted and constitutes, for instance, sports and gymnastics. The nudism is a good representation of this kind of culture. Most cultures have a tendency of exhibiting a particular style or configuration. As miner goes on to demonstrate the attitudes of the body, hence having a great influence on the society he is from, other societies have a tendency of demonstrating their own culture through the body as well. For instance, the “machismo” has a pervasive influence in the Spanish culture. On the other hand, the “face” in the culture of Japanese and the “pollution by females” in the highlands of Guinea are seen to have a pervasive influence in these societies. For instance, the body face in the culture of Japanese is what refers to the dignity a person holds in reference to the social contexts. Face holds to the prestige, honor, and reputation. For this reason, people have a tendency to save the face by taking into lengths to preserve their positions in the society and taking actions to ensure that good reputation is maintained. This has now become a culture that is learned and maintained by all.
“Miner in his works has used a number of examples which in a real sense, have their common names. For instance, Notgnishaw, the Pa-To-Mac, and the cherry tree with the Spirit of Truth is the fact that America lies between Mexico and Canada. Shrines with a chest in the wall or with a box, are the bathrooms which have medicine cabinets. The medicine men are the doctors while the secret language or the ancient code represents the joke that the doctor has an illegible handwriting particular on the prescriptions. The herbalist represents the pharmacist, the substantial gift represents the prescriptions high prices, the font represents the sink, the holy water remains to be the holy water, while the holy mouth men are the dentist. The ritual ablution of the mouth of children is in a real sense, whenever they say something wrong clean their mouths out with soap. Certain magical powders and the small bundle of hog hairs is the toothpaste and the toothbrush. The highly formalized series of gestures is the brushing teeth. On the other hand, men lacerating and scraping the surface of the face with an instrument that is sharp is the act of shaving. The fact that for about one hour women bake their heads in small ovens is the old fashioned hair dryer at the beauty of a salon while the latipsoh is the hospital. Group of vestal maidens and thaumaturge is the nurses and doctor. The magic wands in the supplicant’s mouth are the thermometer while the listener is the psychologist. The limiting of intercourse to certain phases of the moon is the birth control pills while the phrases in the story are the true meaning (Horace, 1956, pg. 503-507).”
In a nutshell, certain practices which hold a base on for instance the native aesthetics have a dependency in the natural body and the functions it plays. The ritual life of Nacirema is a clear evidence of this. Miner most words have a common name, for instance, the Notgnishaw, the Pa-To-Mac, and the cherry tree with the Spirit of Truth which means that America lies between Mexico and Canada among others. I am in agreement with Miner that our culture?s primary focus is the body. Furthermore, In understanding the Horace Miner?s ?Body ritual among the Nacirema”, one will note that the Nacirema culture is one that is characterized by a market economy that is highly developed. The market economy has evolved to a rich natural habitat. It is seen that a lot of time is spent by people in the economic devoted pursuits. However, a large number of the activities and part of days are being spent in the ritual related activities that focus on the body as discussed in the above paragraphs.
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