Analysis on Nacirema

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The article is written about the body ritual of the Nacirema. The author, Horace Miner, explains the role that culture plays in the development of stereotypes and prejudices. The author also focuses on seeing one’s culture through a different perspective. Miner begins with addressing how anthropologists are no longer surprised by people’s behavior because of the familiarity with diversity. The author then makes a point about how some exotic customs are yet to be discovered. This makes a lot of sense to me. In order for someone to truly know all the customs and behaviors of people, they would have to visit every inch habited in the world. I am sure there are still some undiscovered tribes in places that have not been visited by researchers. Miner then begins by describing the Nacirema. The Nacirema “are a North American group living in the territory between the Canadian Cree, the Yaqui and Tarahumare of Mexico, and the Carib and Arawak of the Antilles.” The author mentions how little is known about their origin. The author proceeds to make a very important statement, “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.” I believe it is always a good thing to know what a group of people believes in order to understand how they think. The Nacirema focus on the appearance and health of the human body as a prevalent interest in the philosophy of the people. “The fundamental belief underlying the whole system appears to be that the human body is ugly and that its natural tendency is to debility and disease. Incarcerated in such a body, man’s only hope is to avert these characteristics through the use of the powerful influences of

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